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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.