Oh Joy

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Wed Sep 17 12:14:16 PDT 2003

I never saw anything posted on this, so I included it
here.  A couple of nice quotes from McNealy and one
from Irvine eBuilt CTO Joe Lindsay.


Gregory Alan Bolcer, CTO  | work: +1.949.833.2800
gbolcer at endeavors.com  | http://endeavors.com
Endeavors Technology, Inc.| cell: +1.714.928.5476


  Legacy Of Bill Joy, Departing Co-Founder, Will Live On At Sun

By Jeff O'Heir & Elizabeth Montalbano, CRN

As Chief Scientist Bill Joy leaves Sun Microsystems, so does a big piece 
of the company's history.

Back in 1982, Scott McNealy, Andy Bechtolscheim and Vinod Khosla were 
looking for a software expert to drive their new company's creative 
direction. No matter whom they asked in the San Francisco area, one name 
popped up: Bill Joy, a 22-year-old graduate student in electrical 
engineering at U.C. Berkeley. He also happened to be a Unix expert.

Nearly 21 years later, Joy--a 1999 inductee into CRN's Industry Hall of 
Fame--is still considered a technology oracle who has continued to 
recognize important technologies before they enter the collective 
computing consciousness.

Joy led the design of Berkeley Unix, one of the earliest examples of 
open-source development; helped create Sun's Network File System, which 
drove the then-revolutionary idea of distributed computing; and 
contributed to Sun's SPARC chip architecture.

Most recently, Joy, who helped develop the Java programming language in 
1995, drove the creation of Project JXTA, an open-source, standard 
framework on which solution providers can build peer-to-peer applications.

Sources recently told CRN that Sun, Santa Clara, Calif., plans to 
incorporate JXTA technology into N1 and Project Orion, a Sun effort to 
integrate its middleware products into its Solaris operating 
environment. Some also say Sun is pondering the use of JXTA for its 
StarOffice suite of workforce productivity software.

On the heels of next week's Sun Network technology conference, Sun 
unveiled Tuesday that Joy would leave the company after more than 20 
years. Greg Papadopoulos, Sun's CTO and executive vice president, now 
will assume Joy's responsibilities.

Burned out by the hellish traffic and daily grind of life in Silicon 
Valley, Joy packed up his family in the late '90s and began 
telecommuting from a new home in Aspen, Colo. The wild-haired engineer 
had not been a part of the day-to-day administration of Sun for some 
time, but has worked in recent years on creating innovation with new 
technologies and driving the company's technology vision.

Speaking to CRN at the OracleWorld conference in San Francisco, Sun 
Chairman, President and CEO Scott McNealy said there is no ill will 
between Joy and the company, and he wished Joy well in his new endeavors.

"Bill and I are best buddies and his departure was very amicable," 
McNealy said. "I'd like to see him get passionate and motivated and 
focused on something new."

Solution providers said Joy's exit from Sun marks the end of an era for Sun.

Marc Maselli, president of Needham, Mass.-based solution provider Back 
Bay Technologies, said he is sorry to see Joy go because of what his 
presence at Sun meant for the company's technology vision.

"It is a shame given his history with the company and Bill's technical 
ties to the heart of what is 'Sun,'" Maselli said.

Joe Lindsay, CTO for Costa Mesa, Calif.-based solution provider eBuilt, 
said Joy's departure has even stronger implications for Sun's foundation 
as a company committed to open industry standards.

Lindsay, who previously worked for IBM, said when he left the Somers, 
N.Y.-based vendor in 1996, IBM was the "epitome of a closed system in 
favor of proprietary technology and against the idea of open standards."

But he said IBM and Sun have since switched roles. While IBM has 
committed to open source technologies such as Linux, Sun clings to its 
proprietary Unix-based Solaris OS and still holds the reins to Java, 
which should be an open-source effort rather than overseen by Sun.

"How strange is it that IBM is the company pushing open source and open 
standards while Sun is standing against things like open-sourcing Java," 
Lindsay said. "Sun has lost its leadership position, and Bill Joy has 
always been associated with Sun's vision. The loss of Joy completes the 
picture of a Sun being eclipsed."

Barbara Darrow contributed to this article.

This article appears courtesy of CRN, the newspaper for builders of 
technology solutions.

More information about the FoRK mailing list