By far the most interesting series of articles I've read in a while, this group of jive on IBM's future and its dependence on Java is a great read. This bit was featured on Slashdot, but don't stop at the article entitled When Will IBM Buy Sun, or, even worse, at the title of the article like so many Slashdot posters seemed to have.

The idea that IBM would buy Sun in a hostile takeover is just an extended metaphor for what kind of power IBM needs. The author continues this line of thinking by showing how IBM doesn't need to buy Sun, it's only got to get Java open sourced or changed into a true open standard, though that article is more about how IBM's used open source as a weapon to make its proposed standards into de facto ones before any ruling body has a chance to change the proposal. Here's a key quote on that subject:

If Sun, the Java Community Process, or the other ebXML supporters had any objections, it wouldn't matter. When code like this is given away, it has the same effect on developers that the price of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (free) has on end users. A standard is born.

Clever, eh?

Overall incredibly interesting. "Personal revelations" from the list included...
* Me finally figuring out just how ballsy the name Eclipse is for IBM's open source competitor to Sun's Netbeans (duh, sun, eclipse, even if IBM claims the name was a coincidence)

* IBM's Standard Widget Toolkit is doing what got yesterday's article author so fired up about the Mac, but in a much more cross-platform friendly manner. Both are intended to make Java a true player on the client-side to compete against Windows.

* Lingua franca means "a common language consisting of Italian mixed with French, Spanish, Greek, and Arabic that was formerly spoken in Mediterranean ports", according to Merriam-Webster Online (which gives a little more meaning than my previous understanding which was limited to "a common lang"). I think I knew that before, but it doesn't matter if I'd forgotten.

* Netscape 6.2 for Win2k has real issues with cleaning up after you close a window, pegging the processor. This problem is compounded when you have multiple windows open at once to read all these articles.