AppForge is a company that makes a runtime for mobile device development. Basically, you develop to their platform, and they provide runtimes for the myriad of different mobile devices out there ( Palm, Windows, Blackberry, etc.. ). It provides a write once, run anywhere strategy for mobile development. AppForge has been around for a while, until, that is, about 6 weeks ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the current situation surrounding AppForge, here are the cliffs notes:
1. AppForge has ceased to exist. Apparently, some board and / or financial decisions caused the company to basically vanish.
2. All web sites & forums for AppForge are now gone, including various google caches.
3. http://www.appforge.com now redirects to this page, http://www.oracle.com/appforge/index.html, indicating that Oracle has purchased much of the IP from AppForge and hired some of the former employees.
4. Oracle does not intend to support existing AppForge companies.
Clearly, this situation sucks for many reasons. Moving off of the AppForge platform was a development project we were’t planning on for ’07. However, the biggest f*** you to this whole situation surrounds the AppForge licensing scheme ( the pessimistic readers out there already know where I’m going ) :
They used a license server
That’s right. Now, thousands of development environments will cease to function when their license expires. Which, for some, is very, very soon. Clearly, Oracle is in a position to take several steps here and, according to the linked statement, they seem to not want to take any.
The ironic thing here is that Oracle was recently complaining about being neglected by the blogosphere. Well, here’s their chance. Oracle can make this unbearable situation livable by aiding the thousands of developers out there. Yes, it’s not their fault AppForge closed up shop and they owe us nothing. However, to the karma gods, this is a perfect opportunity to get some good will love out there from the community.
Oracle, will you help?