Oracle Closing Sun HPC Language Fortress

Oracle Closing Sun HPC Language Fortress

  • Published November 18th, 2015
  • |
  • by Jared Haggerty

After working on the project for nearly a decade, Oracle is finally “winging down” development of the Fortress programming language which was originally started by Sun Microsystems. As you can expect, the company ran into some serious hurdles which limited their ability to finish the Fortress project in a reasonable amount of time. However, Oracle has claims to be winding down on the project.

What is the Fortress Programming Language?

The Fortress programming language was originally meant to provide an advanced alternative to the Fortan language of HPC. While much has changed over the years regarding fortress, it’s goal still remains the same. In addition, it’s one of the few programming languages which has received support from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The development of Fortress wasn’t intended to last over ten years long. One of the problems they faced was the minimal starting concept. During the early stages of Fortress, the development team simply didn’t know which direction to take their project. Another issue faced by the team was a “mismatch” between the Fortress language a virtual machines which were supposed to support it. For some reason, these machines weren’t connecting to the Fortress language, which became a big issue in itself.

The development on Fortress language is expected to stop within the next few months as the team finalizes their project. During this time, they’ll work on fixing up any coding errors and optimizing it for open source release. The Fortress language wont be in perfect condition, but programmers will tweak it to the best of their ability before halting work and releasing it to the public.

You might be wondering how this became an Oracle project is Sun Microstystems originally started it. Well, a few years back (2010), Oracle purchased Sun for nearly $7.4 billion. It was a toss-up who was going to purchase Sun, as they were actively searching for potentially buyers, some of which included IBM, Cisco and Oracle.

Some analysts say the acquisition of Sun had a significant effect on MySQL development. With less team members focusing on the database project, MySQL would take a hit. Thankfully, though, we didn’t see much of this as Oracle continued to update and tweak the MySQL systems. If you recall, MySQL was one of Oracle’s biggest competing threats, and by purchasing out Sun Microsystems, they took out the greatest threat to their database system. I’d say that’s a pretty impressive move by the company.

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