Feeds

Oracle: destroyer of virtual worlds

Lights out for Sun's Project Darkstar

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.