Reader survey results: Is Sun too Java-centric?

SunWorld readers say whether Sun is wasting its time with this hot technology

Is Sun focusing too much attention on Java? According to our readers: No way. When SunWorld asked that question in a survey recently, 75 percent of respondents answered no, and about 60 percent said they would rather see Sun do more new development on Java rather than on its Solaris or SPARC technologies.

Why such strong support for Java? Well, by a hair's breadth (1.1 percent), more readers said that Java had made their life easier than Solaris. To Solaris's credit, however, only 8.5 percent of respondents said it had made their life more difficult -- compared to 18.3 percent with Java.

It seems that most of our readers believe that Java is here for the long haul. A whopping 91 percent of respondents indicated their companies would be developing in-house applications with Java sometime in the future though 30 percent said they would never purchase Java-centric applications for in-house use. Apparently what you can do with Java is better than what others can.

Apparently even asking questions about Java's value can be a touchy subject. One reader wrote, "I thought your question about whether Sun is focusing too much on Java to be, quite frankly, stupid."

But then, according to the survey, one fifth of respondents think Sun is focusing too much on Java. And it is worth noting that 14.4 percent indicated that this Java focus is hurting its traditional markets. About a quarter said they'd rather see more development on SPARC and Solaris than Java. One reader wrote, "Sun, please give us a break. Java is maybe -- maybe on a good day - an alpha quality language. You've built an industry out of nothing. As a result your OS has suffered."

Are these people the Luddites or the visionaries? You tell us.

If you would like to know more about what Sun is doing with both Java and Solaris these days, you should check out Robert McMillan's article in this month's issue detailing how Sun is integrating the operating system with its Java virtual machine.

For more detailed statistics on our survey, see the complete results below and also be sure to read our readers comments in "What are your Java plans?"

--SunWorld staff

SunWorld Reader Survey

In all the hype about this wonderful technology called Java is Sun forgetting it has a few other pretty good offerings, like Solaris and SPARC?

Number of respondents: 137
as of June 24, 1997

  1. Did you attend (or will you be attending) JavaOne '97?
        Yes:                                                        17.3% 
        No:                                                         82.7%
  2. Did you attend JavaOne '96?
        Yes:                                                         7.5% 
        No:                                                         92.5% 
  3. If you attended JavaOne '97, who gave the best keynote?
        Scott McNealy:                                              33.3% 
        John Gage:                                                  11.1% 
        James Gosling:                                              18.5% 
        Alan Baratz:                                                11.1% 
        Eric Schmidt:                                               11.1% 
        Vinton Cerf:                                                 7.4% 
        Dana Carvey:                                                 7.4%
  4. If you didn't attend JavaOne '97, which keynote are you sorry you missed?
        Scott McNealy:                                              32.1% 
        John Gage:                                                   0.0% 
        James Gosling:                                              35.9% 
        Alan Baratz:                                                 1.3% 
        Eric Schmidt:                                               10.3% 
        Vinton Cerf:                                                 9.0% 
        Dana Carvey:                                                11.5%
  5. What kind of impact has Java had on your life?
        Java has made my life easier:                               61.1% 
        Java has made my life more difficult:                       18.3% 
        Java has had no impact on my life:                          20.6%  
  6. What kind of impact has Solaris had on your life?
        Solaris has made my life easier:                            60.0% 
        Solaris has made my life more difficult:                     8.5% 
        Solaris has had no impact on my life:                       31.5% 
  7. Is Sun focusing too much attention on Java?
        Yes:                                                        20.1% 
        No:                                                         75.4% 
        I don't know:                                                4.5%  
  8. Is Sun's Java-centric vision hurting its traditional markets?
        Yes:                                                        14.4% 
        No:                                                         60.6% 
        I don't know:                                               25.0% 
  9. Would you rather see more new development efforts on Solaris than on Java?
        Yes:                                                        24.8% 
        No:                                                         63.2% 
        I don't know:                                               12.0%
  10. Would you rather see more new development efforts on SPARC and other hardware technologies than on Java?
        Yes:                                                        25.4% 
        No:                                                         57.7% 
        I don't know:                                               16.9%
  11. Which best describes your primary job duties?
        Systems administrator:                                      14.2% 
        Programmer or developer:                                    40.3% 
        Network administrator:                                       2.2% 
        Database administrator:                                      2.2% 
        Systems analyst:                                             3.7% 
        Webmaster:                                                   3.7% 
        Consultant:                                                 12.7% 
        Systems integrator:                                          3.0% 
        Other technical professional:                                7.5% 
        Other manager:                                               2.2% 
        Student:                                                     5.2% 
        Other:                                                       3.0%  
  12. Is your company developing in-house applications with Java?
        Now:                                                        57.1% 
        Not presently, but within the next six months:              19.5% 
        Within the next six to twelve months:                        7.5% 
        More than a year from now:                                   6.8% 
        Never:                                                       4.5% 
        I don't know:                                                4.5%  
  13. Is your company purchasing Java-centric applications for in-house use?
        Now:                                                        26.2%
        Not presently, but within the next six months:              25.4%
        Within the next six to twelve months:                       13.1%
        More than a year from now:                                   4.6%
        Never:                                                      30.8%)
        I don't know:                                                0.0%  
  14. What types of Java-centric applications are you developing or purchasing (or planning to develop or buy)? How will they be used?

    Go here to see what kinds of things are readers are doing with Java.