Feeds

Oracle: destroyer of virtual worlds

Lights out for Sun's Project Darkstar

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Another of Sun Microsystem's almost-practical projects for Java has been shuttered now that Oracle holds the purse strings. Project Darkstar, an open-source application server catered specifically for massively multiplayer online games, will no longer receive Snoracle funding.

The news was announced yesterday with a post to the Project Darkstar community forum.

Loosely, Project Darkstar is open-source middleware written in Java aimed at helping developers create massively scalable persistent virtual worlds. The project later expanded its aim to include social networking applications as online ventures are wont to do these days.

The idea behind Darkstar was to help smaller game developers and operators avoid the complexities of multi-threaded and distributed systems programming. (And larger firms in theory too, although they usually like to keep this sort of thing proprietary). Server-side magics like resource allocation, transaction management, and task scheduling are automatically handled by the Project Darkstar infrastructure, allowing game makers to keep their hands clean of the stuff.

Although shy of any major wins, Project Darkstar did have its share of smaller adopters.

Though Oracle has turned the lights out on Darkstar at version 0.9.11, the hope is that the community will continue to develop the project on its own. "We will be maintaining the source repositories and the projectdarkstar.com site for as long as we can, but we are also investigating other homes for both the code and the supporting content," a Sun representative said on the forum.

Another virtual world-related casuality of the acquisition will be Sun's Project Wonderland, an open-source toolkit for creating 3D environments (ala Second Life) for business meetings and presentations.

At the Project Wonderland blog, team lead Nichole Yankelovich said they had anticipated their fate under Oracle rule and have already been pursuing both for-profit and non-profit options for becoming a self-sustaining organization.

It's safe to say the butcher's bill for Sun's vanity project incubator will continue to climb dramatically going forward. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.