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Google Oracle The Courts

The Case For Oracle 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the flip-side-of-the-coin dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a lucid writeup, InfoWorld's Neil McAllister takes a different angle on the Oracle-Google lawsuit, giving an explanation why Oracle was right to sue Google. McAllister argues that Google is splintering the Java platform, just like Microsoft was doing back in the 90s, and should be held up to the same standards. He further cites Google's Josh Bloch calling for Oracle to take a lead role in steering Java, concluding that Bloch maybe 'should have been more careful what he wished for.'"
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The Case For Oracle

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  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:17PM (#33332264)

    Java is their language. Don't like it? Don't use Java.

    Myself, I never use Java because I don't like the language, that's my personal choice. But if Google wanted to use Java in a different way they should create their own derivative like Microsoft did with C#.

    It feels kinda strange to defend Microsoft, but that's the way it is.

  • by KarmaMB84 (743001) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:18PM (#33332266)
    I don't know why anyone ever suggests this. It would be suicide for Google. The moment they revealed they would even consider blocking search terms in retaliation for anything they're no longer trustworthy as a search engine.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:19PM (#33332274) Homepage Journal

    Google isn't advertising Android as a Java platform. It's a platform that you can write code for in the Java language, yes, but this is a world away from claiming you're shipping "Java", and virtually no end users are under the impression Java has anything to do with the Java platform. Be very clear about this: no applications shipped as .jar (or .class) files for J2ME, J2SE, or J2EE, will run under Android, and nobody thinks they will.

    By comparison, Microsoft was shipping a supposedly compliant, but actually semi-incompatable, JVM with Windows that gave users and developers the idea it was a full implementation, which caused programs supposedly written for Java to often fail if either written for the Microsoft JVM and run under a standard stack, or vice versa.

    If this is the crux of the author's argument, he's an idiot. If Google is "fragmenting" Java by allowing you to write programs in the language for its platform, then I suppose every operating system author, from Microsoft to Commodore, has been "fragmenting" Unix by allowing you to write code in C for their non-Unix operating systems.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:26PM (#33332312)

    McAllister argues that Google is splintering the Java platform, just like Microsoft was doing back in the 90s, and should be held up to the same standards.

    What the hell does that mean? Microsoft got sued because it failed to live up to a contract (huge surprise there.) There are no contractual issues here, so far as I'm aware (if I'm wrong someone please correct me.)

    Java isn't some religious manuscript that needs to be kept "pure" so the true believers won't rise up and slay those who would adulterate it. It's a goddamn PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. If Oracle is suing Google, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Java being held to some standard (I could believe that of Sun, who held a certain vision for their progeny and a justifiable pride in their work) but is part of a some strategic plan. Matter of fact, that was Sun's strategy: keep Java consistent across all platforms so that "write once, run anywhere" would work. Do you really think that is a part of Oracle's planning? Is it even of the slightest concern?

    Larry Ellison is a lot of things (I've heard appellations such as "real son of a bitch", "bastard", and "prick" applied to him on a regular basis) but he's not exactly a visionary. This is about money and access to specific markets, and trying to spin it as being about the welfare of the Java programming language is ridiculous. If I were a real conspiracy theorist I would have to wonder if one of Google's real competitors in the advertising space were behind this, but I'm not. I leave that to other posters.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:27PM (#33332316) Journal
    I wish that I had mod points left. I would modded you up. The fact is, that if Google were to do what the GP did, well, that would make them JUST LIKE MS. That is why MS was sued, and lost. The last thing that Google needs to do is something that stupid. It helps in the short term, but kills in the long.

    However, Google does not have to help Oracle either. And if I were Google, I would start exploring, along with the other phone companies, another VM. And let it slip that they are now exploring a different route for ALL OF THE SMART PHONES AND PHONES. At that point, Oracle will become VERY concerned about the idea of losing that market. Sun had the same issue. Wanted to make LOTS of money, and they were not content to simply control it as well as be the top money maker. They wanted the largest profits possible in the shortest time. That approach is what Oracle is doing.
  • Re:Hey Google (Score:2, Insightful)

    by object404 (1883774) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:29PM (#33332326) Homepage
    But hasn't Java been doing a good enough job splintering and fragmenting the platform with J2EE, J2SE, J2ME MIDP 1.0/2.0/3.0, JavaFX on its own?
  • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:30PM (#33332332)
    If it's a platform that you can write code for in Java language, then it damn well better compile under the standard Oracle Java, otherwise you're very blatantly infringing upon Oracle's trademark. Additionally, if you can do it the other way around, then it's really not Java language programming. This isn't C where platforms are allowed to be incompatible, the whole purpose of Java was theoretically to allow it to be written once and run on any platform with Java support. What Google has opted to do damages Oracle's trademark by referring to non-compatible software as Java language.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:31PM (#33332340)

    Block all searches for Oracle and Java on its search engine, until this issue is resolved

    problem solved

    Not really. Google is hardly the only search engine giant out there, and the ensuing public-relations disaster would be far worse than if Google ends up dropping Android entirely. Android is just an experiment for Google, a way to give more eyeballs access to its services (and hence advertising, which is where Google earns its revenue.) Granted, Google needs Android (or something like it) in order to continue its growth because the mobile market is enormous and growing exponentially, and it has heavy-duty competition that wants a slice. Either way, it wouldn't really be in Google's interests to try and play hardball there, especially since it would likely draw the attention of Federal regulators. I doubt they want that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:41PM (#33332396)

    And if I were Google, I would start exploring, along with the other phone companies, another VM.

    After blocking Oracle in it's search, I would say this is the second worst thing Google could possibly do. The Android platform had a late start against iOS, and while it's done a great job gaining market share, it's just now starting to catch up in terms of getting developers to develop for the platform. If they had to start over from scratch, they'd never catch Apple. Not to mention how angry they'd make all the end users who find their brand new, very expensive phone running a suddenly abandoned platform.

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:42PM (#33332400) Homepage Journal

    While I like to feel that Google is somehow better than Microsoft in all ways, I know this is clearly not true. The problem I do have with Google and their Java VM is that they aren't really contributing back to the core Java platform, and their choice of a different VM byte code makes me think of some of the things that hurt Smalltalk. In the case of Smalltalk none of the differing VM implementations were compatible, so it meant the you lost of the ability of 'compile once, run everywhere'. In many way what Oracle should be pushing for is:

      - getting Google to use the standard Java byte code
      - working with Oracle to contribute their work back to the core

    J2ME is in many ways a dead platform, for GUI based devices, (at least, I am not aware of places proudly taking it forward), and Android is the best chance for seeing Java on low resource mobile platforms.

    If Google does end up taking the same road as Microsoft with J++, then is could hurt very much what makes the Java appealing and even hurt the long term viability of Java as a cross-plaform language.

  • by SilentMobius (10171) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:45PM (#33332426)

    Which is why Google _don't_ call it a java platform. It's dalvik, it runs dalvik bytecode on a dalvik VM. You can write in any high level language you like as long as you have a compiler that results in dalvik bytecode.

    As a convenience, Google provide a java->dalvik bytecode compiler, which is nice of them, but they don't ship a JVM nor a java system.

  • Face the truth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TRRosen (720617) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:45PM (#33332432)

    Face the truth why didn't Google use a full implementation of java as they are required by the patent grants. Because they wanted people to write for there platform and not simply port software. Just like Apple not wanting Flash for the same reason.

  • Java (the language) is free and open. Java (the trademark) is not. Provided google is not doing business advertising "Android - with Java(tm)!", they're doing nothing wrong. Oracle owns ONLY the trademark.

  • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:55PM (#33332490) Homepage

    If I were Google I'd start exploring a drop in replacement for everything Oracle made, and making it open source.

    Google actually made something out of Java. Nobody else put it in the hands of so many consumers; they may as well change the spec for Java to what Google produces.

    What goog did splinters Java in the same way Apache splintered the NCSA web server or Linux splintered Unix sys III; this is just leechy Larry's money grab in a world where small databases are diminishing the need for big database iron and the reason they bought Sun - just so they could do this.

    This is just SCO all over again.

  • by diegocg (1680514) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:58PM (#33332518)

    What Google has opted to do damages Oracle's trademark by referring to non-compatible software as Java language.

    Oracle disagrees with you. They aren't suing Google because of some trademark issue, they are doing it because of patent infringement. And the patents are more about the dalvik VM than about Java itself - .NET probably infringes those patents too, but Oracle probably won't take Microsoft to court.

    And there is nothing wrong with "forking" Java. What's the problem with the Dalvik VM and the Harmony classes? Maybe it can replace Oracle's Java in the embedded market? Well, I think that's better than letting C# kill Java, like Sun has been doing in the last years.

  • by ADRA (37398) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:00PM (#33332532)

    Firstly, on a strictly legal sense, they're suing over Patents and Copyrights. The copyright route seems rather fishy, and I wouldn't be surprised if this argument gets dropped later. The patent suit is like all others, and has little if anything to do with the spirit of java, etc..

    On a philosophical sense, Oracle is correct. Android may never claim to be Java, but anyone who isn't a retard knows that Google is enticing Java developers into their pseudo-compatible platforms. From a personal perspective, it is annoying porting existing java apps into AppEngine / Android. The standard class libs limitations make interoperability between stock java and Google's platforms more difficult. This IS similar to the tack that Microsoft made proprietary core feature additions. Microsoft was never forced to use Java when coming up with their proprietary JVM. They chose java because it had buzz, and they assumed it would be next good language to assimilate and conquer. I don't think Google wants to kill Java, but I think they want to steal the large pool of existing Java developers and coerce them to use their platforms. Does this diversity hurt java (the language) in the end? Yes. Much of the advantage of java is in the rich set of additions built upon existing platforms. If those libraries now have to choose which platform to track against, it means two versions of common libraries, and smaller guys may just not bother to support J2SE,Android,AppEngine,GWT, etc...

  • by Calibax (151875) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:14PM (#33332630)

    Actually there are a number of similarities. I'm not taking sides here - I don't write Java and don't care about it myself. However, I do care that licenses are upheld as I've personally been bitten by people ripping off my code for their profit.

    When Google decided to use Java they had full access to the Java license, and they had full knowledge of the very public lawsuit between Sun and Microsoft. They still chose to do what Microsoft did and ship an incompatible version of Java. I suspect that (like Microsoft) they feel they are above the rules that govern other developers.

    Google knew what they were doing. Why they did it, I don't know - did someone decide to ignore the license, or did they forget to involve the legal folks, or maybe they didn't think the license applied to them. The point is that they did use a great deal of the Java code, but then they discarded the bits and pieces that they didn't need. Can't blame them for that - why do work that you don't need to do. One answer: because the license says you must. Same with the executable format - you can come up with a better one, but it clearly breaks the Java license and the whole spirit of Java (as I understand it) if you make it the only way to execute code on your system.

    I like Google, I really do. Google has done great things in the last few years, but they are starting to do some really boneheaded stuff also (net neutrality comes to mind immediately). Their corporate attitude seems to be "we're changing the world, get out of our way." Which is fine provided that you don't trample on other people and their rights in the process. I also worry about all the free stuff they give away - Microsoft used to do a bunch of free stuff in the early 80s, and look how that changed - will Google's shareholders eventually demand that they monetize everything?

    I suspect this is just a ploy by Oracle to monetize Java by making Google pay for a new and special license for the Android platform. Nobody ever accused Oracle of being a philanthropic institution. I don't think this has any negative sides for FOSS - it's just a case of getting companies to follow the license that goes with the code they use, otherwise they have no license to use the code. It's no different than suing companies who don't follow the terms of the GPL license, and I don't see people up in arms about that.

    One difference, Oracle has a pile of money and can afford to the best lawyering around. But so can Google. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

  • wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yyxx (1812612) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:17PM (#33332654)

    Face the truth why didn't Google use a full implementation of java as they are required by the patent grants. Because they wanted people to write for there platform and not simply port software.

    Google didn't use a "full implementation of Java" because J2SE is extremely bloated and unsuitable for mobile phone use. And they couldn't use Sun's implementation because that wasn't even open sourced when they started. J2ME doesn't have a patent grant, so making a cleanroom implementation of that wouldn't have helped them either.

    Of course, Google didn't use "an implementation of Java" at all, they implemented something completely different that happens to use Java syntax. Oracle's lawsuit is not based on the parts that Android happens to share with Java, because those are not covered by any patents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:20PM (#33332674)

    Java is their language. Don't like it? Don't use Java.

    Myself, I never use Java because I don't like the language, that's my personal choice. But if Google wanted to use Java in a different way they should create their own derivative like Microsoft did with C#.

    Sorry but that is horse crap.

    Google did exactly as you say. They did NOT use Java. They don't claim to use Java. They made their own derivative like Microsoft did, except called Go instead of C#.

    Yet they still got sued, and people are still in favor of that.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:28PM (#33332752)

    If it's a platform that you can write code for in Java language, then it damn well better compile under the standard Oracle Java, otherwise you're very blatantly infringing upon Oracle's trademark.

    Language syntax does not define a trademark. The trademark is on the word "Java", nothing else.

    This isn't C where platforms are allowed to be incompatible, the whole purpose of Java was theoretically to allow it to be written once and run on any platform with Java support.

    The law doesn't give a damn what pipe dreams Sun had for Java.

    What Google has opted to do damages Oracle's trademark by referring to non-compatible software as Java language.

    You use Oracle's Java compiler to compile software for Android. Google is correct to refer to that as a "Java compiler" because Oracle refers to it that way. The fact that they do something different with the class files afterwards is none of Oracle's business.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:32PM (#33332786)

    Java is their language. Don't like it? Don't use Java.

    Companies don't own languages unless they can claim a patent or copyright on the language. Oracle has neither. Their patents are on something completely different.

    If they did, neither Sun, nor Oracle, nor Microsoft would exist. In fact, much of what any of those companies got started with was ripped off from others.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:39PM (#33332838)

    "While I like to feel that Google is somehow better than Microsoft in all ways, I know this is clearly not true. The problem I do have with Google and their Java VM is that they aren't really contributing back to the core Java platform"

    And how can they do it? JCP is dysfunctional, just look how long it takes to release JDK7. And there are other even more blatant examples:

    What else? Google has written a lot of splendid Java libraries (like http://code.google.com/p/google-collections/ [google.com] ). Sun/Oracle are free to take and integrate them into the JDK - they did this with Xerces and other libraries.

    But they won't do this. Why? Because Java is dead. For example, a request to add Multimaps was filed in 1998 and is still open: http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4155149 [sun.com] Sun can't be bothered to take one of available Multimap implementations and add it to the core JDK.

    "In many way what Oracle should be pushing for is:
        - getting Google to use the standard Java byte code"

    What for? To make devices run slower?

    " - working with Oracle to contribute their work back to the core"

    Contribute back what? Android implements core libraries very faithfully.

  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:53PM (#33332954)

    not quite. Java - mobile edition - is not free and open at all. They opened up the 'legacy' Java and kept the 'future' java for all the juicy licencing cash they expected to get. Quite a sensible move as it turns out, as there's lots of money to be made in mobile computing, far more than you get flogging licences to Enterprise app developers.

    Still, its their language, VM, patents and copyright. You (and Google) never had to use it, but if you do, you have to play by their rules. So although I'm a fan of Google and what they've done, I think their manipulation of Oracle's rules on the use of Java isn't as decent and honest as I'd expect.

    And yes, I'm sure it'll end up with Google dumping Java and making their own language (G# perhaps, or something truly open like Python and C)

  • by Haxamanish (1564673) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:59PM (#33333014)
    Sorry for replying to self, but /. has no edit function...

    The above "solutions" I suggest are solutions which keep Dalvik - I don't know why Google has chosen Dalvik over Java VM, I assume/hope it was on technical grounds. Dropping Dalvik, perhaps in favour of Java VM, might also be an option.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:07PM (#33333080)

    The only problem is that Dalvik ISN'T a JVM. Never was, never will be, and was never called one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:24PM (#33333222)

    Whether or not SCO had a case for copyright infringement or not was never tested in court because it turned out that they did not in fact own the copyrights in question.

    There was no infringement on SCO's copyright because SCO didn't have any copyrights infringed. There is no copyright infringement for SCO to have tested in court.

       

  • by oiron (697563) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:32PM (#33333290) Homepage

    Trademark: irrelevant as long as Google doesn't call it Java

    Copyright: irrelevant as long as Google doesn't use Java code (or infringe other material published under copyright)

    Patents: well, that's what Oracle's suing about; the veracity of their claims is yet to be demonstrated

  • by raynet (51803) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:49PM (#33333394) Homepage

    And patents for Java that may or may not be enforcable.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <.barbara.hudson. ... bara-hudson.com.> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:55PM (#33333428) Journal

    Google actually made something out of Java

    No, google bought a virtual machine that didn't need java, and created a transcoder so that java classes could be translated to dalvik classes. No need for java on the phone, which is what pisses off Oracle - Java ME for the cell phone is not free, and they're losing all the cell-phone market that used to license it to Android.

    The next step is to make a transcoder for php, python, and javascript - then devs can say goodbye forever to Java, and good riddance.

  • by oiron (697563) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:57PM (#33333452) Homepage

    And again, it appears that Oracle isn't claiming copyright over those - they're claiming patent infringement. I don't know what the legal issues over using the java.* namespace are, but apparently, even Oracle doesn't claim that they're infringement.

    Note: If it were even remotely likely to be i

  • Re:Hey Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dwonis (52652) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:38PM (#33333796)
    No kidding. Java is like XFree86 was in 2003: hobbling along okay, but in desperate need of an overhaul.

    A fork is the best thing that could happen to the platform.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @05:26PM (#33334682)

    Are you sure? I remember way back in 1997, in school, writing apps with J++ and their were MS name spaces, and the documentation indicated that it was an Windows only function?

  • by devent (1627873) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:02PM (#33334908) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but for what purpose you need a Multimap in the core of Java? I'm using Java now for 4 years and I never needed a Multimap. And if you need a Multimap, why not include some third library? You properly need a whole bunch of third party libraries anyway, like you need with any language.

    I think that's the big reason that Java is so much used in the enterprise, because the core is rock solid and there are a whole ecosystem of free and open source enterprise ready libraries. I had used C# as well and I just cannot understand why you need so much bloat in the core of the language, which changes anyway with the major versions of it. Properties are just bloat, operator overloading is just bloat, structs are bloat and so on. If you need such things just take Scala, Groovy, JPython, etc. That's why I really like Java. The core language is rock stable and very easy to use with tools like Eclipse and Maven. But if you need the extras, just take Groovy, JPython, JRuby, Scala, Clojure, JavaScript, etc.

    Now I really wish that Oracle would make this things better: Desktop Java, and "Internet Java". Because to write a desktop application in Java is like a developers dream and it runs with the same speed as a native application. As a bonus you get platform independence. I take a Java application anytime over a native application, for one reason: you just download the JAR file and it runs. In the "Internet Java" there is so much potential and it's criminal from Sun to not became the market leader for internet applications written in Java. That was a catastrophic management failure. Java Web Start applications are a dream. You just click on a link and in few seconds you get a fully functional application. Now of course everything is Flash, but if Sun would have had a better management they could have been the market leader.

    What I really hope is that the open source community around Java finally takes the lead and cut any ties off to Oracle. What the open source community can do you can see with Groovy, Scala and Clojure and the other languages around Java. But they need to have a leader, like Linus with the Linux kernel, to not fragmentize the Java platform. I really with that this lawsuit is a wake up call to the community. The Java platform is under the GPL, now take it and make it the number one in desktops and in the internet. The potential is there. There is an open source enterprise ready virtuel machine with a rich core library and a more richer open source ecosystem around it. The patents are only valid in the USA so screw Oracle and any other American patent troll company.

    Please, someone in Europe, India or in China (anywhere where there are no patents threads), take the Java technology and make it the next Linux kernel. The potential is there. It's open source and it works.
  • by TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:37PM (#33335162) Homepage

    Java is dying just like C. It has been replaced by the technologically superior C++. Just like Perl, which has been replaced by the syntaxically superior python. Like Assembler which has been replaced by the easy to use .net framework.

    The above should be read in a sarcastic drone. And I'm not sure whether "syntaxically" is a real word, but it should be.

  • by owlstead (636356) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:52PM (#33335698)

    Because it is way slower.
    Because it would use more memory.
    Because it does not have a set of libraries required for this kind of device.
    Because it does not suit itself well to the security architecture implemented in the device.
    Because V8 was not present when they implemented Android.

    Need more?

  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:53PM (#33335712) Homepage Journal
    Here is the problem. If Java was not defended the likes of MS and Google and even Adobe would do everything in their power to splinter it into a confusing mess. MS tried to create extensions to make certain virtual machines work only on MS technology.

    Some say this is only because Oracle now has Java, but if the issue is the mobile platform, we also see that Google is playing hardball with the phone. Google is suing companies that use Google tech on Android without Google approval. Google is charging $5 to play in the Chrome field. Google is clearly aggressively protecting it's IP. Not allowing Sun to do the same is hypocritical.

    With a unified Java we have a language that one can do many interesting technical things in without a required $1000 IDE. The applications from Java is about the only thing that competes with MS and Adobe. Openoffice.org is one of the very few alternative we have to paying MS a huge amount of money or giving Google control over our data. Defending Java is a big deal. Taking it down would provide competitive advantages to many big players.

  • by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:00PM (#33336470) Homepage

    Since Google never claimed it was Java

    Maybe Google never formally said that, but here is how Wikipedia describes Android:

    The Android operating system software stack consists of Java applications running on a Java based object oriented application framework on top of Java core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine featuring JIT compilation.

    Even clearer, Google says

    The Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language.

    in developer.android.com.

    I suppose you can call it The-Language-Previously-Known-As-Java or such (worked for Prince, til his contract ran out), but it is Java in every way that counts, except it has some differences that make Java the platform as a whole less standard. This irked Sun, and for good reason, but they got over it. Oracle is not over it. Sadly they decided to enforce this using patents, which is an abhorrent thing to do. But that they are irked by Google's actions - very understandable.

  • Flamebait? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Monday August 23, 2010 @12:49AM (#33337290) Homepage

    The mods seem to be on crack today^H^H^H^H^H. The parent's suggestion might be misguided and would be harmful to Google's credibility (as several people have pointed out) but there is no reason to believe he's trying to provoke a fight or troll.

    Flamebait != "I disagree"

  • by azrider (918631) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:11AM (#33340526)

    Maybe Google never formally said that, but here is how Wikipedia describes Android:

    The Android operating system software stack consists of Java applications running on a Java based object oriented application framework on top of Java core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine featuring JIT compilation.

    Even clearer, Google says

    The Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language.

    in developer.android.com.

    Talking points:

    • "here is how Wikipedia describes Android": Now there's a cogent, accurate description... I don't think so.
    • "using the Java programming language (not copyrightable, not patentable), not "using a Java Virtual Machine" (patent - maybe, copyright - yes).

    See any difference?

  • by CowTipperGore (1081903) on Monday August 23, 2010 @10:52AM (#33341306)

    Maybe Google never formally said that, but here is how Wikipedia describes Android...

    "Yeah, but Wikipedia's summary uses the word 'Java'" is an insightful argument? How Wikipedia describes Android has no bearing on this issue.

    The Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language.

    They built a clean-room implementation that uses Java bytecode created with your favorite Java IDE and compiler to produce their own unique Dalvik bytecode. They do not call it Java and they do not use Sun's JVM.

    ...but it is Java in every way that counts, except it has some differences that make Java the platform as a whole less standard.

    No. Google capitalized on developers' familiarity with Java to avoid creating a new programming language and convincing people to learn it. The Java syntax is familiar and comfortable. However, Google is not calling these Java programs. A Dalvik app for Android is not going to run on a JVM. This is obvious to anyone developing for Android.

    This irked Sun, and for good reason, but they got over it. Oracle is not over it. Sadly they decided to enforce this using patents, which is an abhorrent thing to do. But that they are irked by Google's actions - very understandable.

    If you had bothered to follow this when it happened, read the history now, or even read the previous Slashdot stories recently, you would know how off-base your comments are. Negotiations between Sun and Google didn't go well, Sun's stock value plummeted, and Schwartz began shopping Sun soon after Android's debut. Oracle bought Sun with the intent of suing Google. Oracle took a calculated business risk by investing in a company with very little value in the hopes of cashing in on this lawsuit.

    They decided to enforce this using patents because that is the only sliver of hope they have in this. Google was careful in how they approached this and worked around the threats laid out by Sun during their failed negotiations. Without the patents, Oracle has nothing. It remains to be seen if they have anything even with the patents.

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