Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reader´s feedback says sometimes I´m not full of sh..

It´s really nice when you write a news story and someone writes back, months later, "from inside" -a big corp- saying "hey you hit the nail on the head".

 Photo courtesy (CC) of Marco Repola @ IStoleThe.TV

I wish that came back more often, but I guess that also means I hit the nail on the head only once a while. ;)

This was my story on Oracle´s decomission of "Sun Download Manager"

And this the feedback the story got, posted by the SDM product manager Gary Zellerbach:

12 Aug 00:42

Hi Fernando, I was the co-inventor and Product Manager of Sun Download Manager (SDM) from its inception (~2001) until its recent "retirement." I was surprised to see this article -- frankly, I wasn't sure if anyone had noticed, but obviously you did! 

You seem very perceptive and make some salient points. For the record, I believe the main reason SDM was discontinued was due to lack of engineering resources to update it. As you pointed out, first there was the the desire to rebrand it as "Oracle Download Manager." More importantly, as you also noticed, was the lack of HTTPS support, which was not a problem on the Sun Download Center, but meant that SDM simply did *not* work with Oracle's primary product download site. That was a serious issue. 

To be fair, there was interest expressed in updating SDM and a desire for Oracle to have a good download manager for its customers, but when push came to shove, it was deemed there were higher priority needs for the download engineers. Soon after SDM was retired, my brief stint at Oracle came to end as well. I understand the need to prioritize resources but did not agree with the lack of communication. I wanted to post a blog with a heads-up and explanation about why it was being discontinued. But I was advised not to by my management, as it is company policy not to pre-announce product changes. The most I could do was to insist that customers not get a 404 when hitting the former SDM web pages, and so I got a redirect put in to the FAQ you saw. 

Now I see the redirect appears to have been removed too. (BTW, while the redirect is gone, the FAQ is still available here: ) I can't disagree with much of your editorial perspective, though hopefully my comments help fill out the background.

I don't know Oracle's future plans as to whether they'll ever offer another download manager. I do know, though, that SDM had a great run, was downloaded and used literally millions of times, saved Sun a ton of money on bandwidth and support costs over the years, and was a great example of Java programming. Thank you for noticing it disappeared. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

What can I say, thanks to you, Gary, for the kind words and taking the time to write back, confirming some of my perceptions from afar.


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