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Oracle To Launch Linux Center, Keep Seeking "Gurus"

Aug 01, 2003, 17:30 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacqueline Emigh)

By Jacqueline Emigh
Linux Today Writer

All the big vendors in the Linux arena are packing up to head for San Francisco next week, with Oracle one of the biggest. Today they've detailed some of their plans for the LinuxWorld Expo.

Specifically, Oracle will launch a Web-based center for Linux application developers working with the Perl, PHP, and Python programming languages. The site will initially provide sample source code for Perl only. PHP and Python code will be added later, in that order.

Meanwhile, internally, Oracle is now in recruitment mode for more "Linux gurus," said Oracle's Wim Coekaerts.

The upcoming new section of the Oracle Web site underscores "Oracle's commitment to Linux ," according to Coekaerts, Oracle's newly appointed director of Linux engineering.

Perl, PHP and Python are all popular with Linux application programmers, Coekaerts noted. "We're already shipping Perl," he pointed out. "We include Oraperl in Oracle Enterprise Manager."

Over the past year, Oracle has substantially beefed up its internal Linux development arm, according to the company. Coekaerts indicated that he couldn't provide the names of any new hires or the numbers of Linux developers currently on staff.

Oracle, though, continues to be interested in recruiting "Linux gurus," particularly from the Linux community in the San Francisco Bay Area, he said. "Aside from Linus (Torvalds)--who gets lots of mail and is always very busy--the main Linux guys are at Red Hat and SuSE. They do the same type of work there that we do here. We're all part of the same community. We do a lot of things together outside of work, too--like going to the movies and out for dinner."

Oracle's attendance at next week's LinuxWorld will also "reiterate our commitment to Linux," according to Coekaerts. "Oracle doesn't tend to go to many non-Oracle trade shows." Oracle has been exhibiting at Linux shows ever since 1999, however.

"We won't be announcing any new apps next week. All our (existing) products already run on Linux," Coekaerts maintained.

Coekaerts declined comment on what role PeopleSoft's and JD Edwards' Linux activities might be playing in Oracle's intentions to acquire PeopleSoft.

Also at LinuxWorld next week, Charles (Chuck) Rozwat, executive VP of Oracle's Server Technologies Division, will deliver one of the keynotes. On the show floor, Oracle plans to demo its rackmount clustering system. "We're running this internally, too," Coekaerts said.

Elsewhere in the Oracle booth, Oracle partner PyX will display its iSCSI products. Ximian will show the use of its Evolution client with Oracle Collaboration Suite, including Oracle's IMAP server and calendaring software.

"Oracle is clearly being recognized as an important component of Linux," Coekaerts contended, citing a recent Linux kernel developers conference as proof. "What struck me as really cool was that everyone (there) kept saying, 'We need to make sure this works with Oracle.'"

Coekaerts also declined to name any competitors to Oracle in the Linux arena. Oracle, however, is not particpating in the IBM-led Eclipse Project, he acknowledged. "We have our own IDE (integrated development environment) for Linux. It's called JDeveloper, and it's designed to work with JSPs (JavaServer Pages)."

Coekaerts expects Oracle's new Web-based development center to start being accessible through Oracle Technology Network (OTN) on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, at http://otn.oracle.com. Beyond actual sample code for Perl, Oracle will post timelines next week for adding PHP and Python code.

"There's a large community using PHP to build Web sites, and PHP is already included in most Linux distributions. If you go to PHP.net, for example, you'll see (sample) code for a few Oracle functions," Coekaerts said. "We'll follow on with Python later."

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