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Google Java Oracle The Courts

Google Backs Out of JavaOne 344

Posted by timothy
from the but-java-is-delicious dept.
snydeq writes "Citing concerns about Oracle's lawsuit against it, Google has backed out of the upcoming JavaOne conference. 'Oracle's recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally,' Google's Joshua Bloch said in a blog post. The move may signal eventual fragmentation for Java, with Google conceivably splintering off the Java-like language it uses for Android."
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Google Backs Out of JavaOne

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  • !Good (Score:2, Troll)

    by Warll (1211492)

    The move may signal eventually fragmentation for Java, with Google conceivably splintering off the Java-like language it uses for Android.

    Oracle should use their Java related patents to stop this from happening,

    Oh wait...

    • Re:!Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tomhudson (43916) < ... <nosduh.arabrab>> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:56AM (#33402468) Journal

      Except that Android doesn't run Java classes - it runs dalvik classes. It's like you taking a .doc file and converting it to pdf so that people don't need the Evil Word.

      Java's dying anyway. It's a lot slower than dalvik, and Java simply hasn't lived up to its "write once run anywhere" claims. Just like it hasn't lived up to earlier promises to "reinvent the desktop", or before that, to "change the way we use the Internet with applets - remember them - to add interactivity.

      What are they going to do when dalvik is extended to run on regular servers, and all those Java support contracts dry up? Just like is happening right now in the mobile space with the multi-fragmented JavaME? [javaverified.com]. Pretty bad when your core market tells you that the competition already raided your fridge, ate your breakfast and lunch, and took a dump on your supper.

      • It's still huge in Big Business, where COBOL also remains alive and well.

        From what I've seen, it's still largely popular as a web application language for the server-side. Usually an alternative to .NET.
        • by tomhudson (43916)
          Not for long - by 2020 it will be the New COBOL.

          Php became the #1 web server language in 2002 [lwn.net] - and that hasn't changed since, and isn't likely to. Most web sites don't use jsp/struts/spring/jsf

          We call it a LAMP (or WAMP) stack for a reason.

          • by DragonWriter (970822) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:18AM (#33403306)

            Php became the #1 web server language in 2002 [lwn.net] - and that hasn't changed since, and isn't likely to.

            The article you link says it became the number one server side scripting language in 2002. While there isn't a really clear boundary of what is and isn't a "scripting" language, Java isn't included in any of the definitions generally used for that category, so in a discussion of Java, PHP's position among "scripting" languages -- server side or otherwise -- is pretty much irrelevant.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by tomhudson (43916)
              Java is an interpreted scripting language. It's also nowhere near number one - most hosting providers don't even offer it.

              And before we get into *that* argument again ... Java is no more compiled than converting a word doc to a pdf is "compiling" it. You cannot execute the resulting class files directly - they need to be interpreted by the run-time (originally, they were supposed to be interpreted by a special "Java chip" - "write once, run anywhere" was the exact opposite of the original design goals).

              • by Glock27 (446276)

                Java is an interpreted scripting language. It's also nowhere near number one - most hosting providers don't even offer it.

                And before we get into *that* argument again ... Java is no more compiled than converting a word doc to a pdf is "compiling" it.

                Java source is compiled to either native object format, or bytecode. The Gnu gcj compiler is an example of a "native" Java compiler. There are also a few commercial compilers that do the same thing.

                You cannot execute the resulting class files directly - they need to be interpreted by the run-time (originally, they were supposed to be interpreted by a special "Java chip" - "write once, run anywhere" was the exact opposite of the original design goals).

                You should explain why the original versions of Java had a VM, and why the "Java chip" never went anywhere (hint: there were implementations, but they didn't really offer anything compelling).

                If Sun had had any brains, they would have fixed the slowness of Java by including the ability to compile down to native code. Then they could have arguably had the best of both worlds.

                I guess you're too uninformed to know that one of the big reasons gcj hasn't taken off, is because the HotSpot type VMs ou

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by node 3 (115640)

                Java is an interpreted scripting language.

                Wow, your ignorance of Java is astonishing.

                Java is no more compiled than converting a word doc to a pdf is "compiling" it. You cannot execute the resulting class files directly

                It's compiled for the virtual machine. Your choice of PDF as an example is rather interesting. Had you instead chosen PostScript, you'd have had greybeards provide countless counterexamples.

                But no matter how you want to look at it, it's absurd to maintain that Java isn't compiled.

            • by rsborg (111459)

              The article you link says it became the number one server side scripting language in 2002.

              Most of the times J2EE involves using JSP, the Java scripting equivalent of PHP. I've worked on many Java environments in the enterprise, and I've never seen a Java web server without JSP of some sort. PHP displacing JSP and ASP speaks volumes... I doubt those environments are replacing their JSP/Java with PHP/Java.

        • This was a great troll - I almost fell for it :D
  • Loss of confidence (Score:5, Informative)

    by Duncan J Murray (1678632) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:37AM (#33402378) Homepage

    Looks like we're seeing a new loss of confidence in Java, much like the loss of confidence in mono, for which patent concerns stunted its uptake.

    So where to next?

    And where is my replacement for open office?

    • by The Snowman (116231) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:54AM (#33402454) Homepage

      Looks like we're seeing a new loss of confidence in Java, much like the loss of confidence in mono, for which patent concerns stunted its uptake.

      No, we are seeing a loss of confidence in Oracle. Unfortunately, Oracle now owns Java. That means its future is a little foggy. Oracle has a serious hard-on for Java, which you can see because it is the only major database I know of that allows you to use Java in place of PL/SQL. Disclaimer: I haven't actually done this, but I did read about it while googling some issues I was having with an Oracle database.

      So where to next?

      I think there is room for two cross-platform environments such as .NET and Java. Right now, those are the players. I don't see the F/OSS community putting all their eggs in Microsoft's basket, even if people do use Mono to some extent. If Oracle succeeds in making Java their pool boy and effectively neutering OSS implementations of the language and JFC, another environment will need to rise to to the occasion. I think it would be a community effort to some degree, but driven largely by Google. I could see them forking Java and realizing that due to trademark and patent concerns they would need to make large changes, so they would make major changes, add a bunch of stuff, and turn it into one hell of a platform for mobile and network development. That was Java's original goal, but it has since bloated up well beyond that and I do mean bloat, not grow. Why do we need a total of three implementations of core JFC classes to do stuff like "read a JPEG," and two of them either don't work at all or only work if you drink unicorn blood while coding? Why are there two GUI implementations, and the one that makes sense is still a zombie built on top of decaying pieces of the AWT corpse?

      Sun had so many opportunities to grow the JFC, add value, etc. but due to their intense fear of breaking backwards compatibility, they just layered more and more band-aids and duct tape on top of each other. At some point you need to do it right with new implementations and say "upgrade to version X, and deprecated crap is being removed. You are now warned."

      Also, Java EE needs to be merged into Java SE. There should be two Javas. One for memory-constrained devices (embedded), and one for everywhere else. Java EE has been a pain in my ass for some time. Java doesn't need the extra complexity.

      • Oracle has a serious hard-on for Java, which you can see because it is the only major database I know of that allows you to use Java in place of PL/SQL.

        Most databases have similar features, for example Sybase ASE [sypron.nl] & PostgreSQL [postgresql.org].

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        they just layered more and more band-aids and duct tape on top of each other.

        I think you're giving the argument why there's a general loss of confidence in Java. Google could (and probably will)
        do a lot better with a language that looks "quite a lot like" Java, yet isn't, in much the same way Microsoft did with C#. I'll be happy to see Java die off and be replaced with better. My biggest problem is that there will be several 'evolutionary' new languages instead of 1, but then, at the moment propriet

    • Trying not to be alarmist as this looks like a pretty specific case and while Sun was content to look the other way while Oracle isn't. It probably wouldn't hurt to discuss possible ports/alternatives. OO has always been more than good enough and the ubiquity given by java meant no gtk/qt squabbles. How would things go if Oracle decided to stop spending any resources on it? The license [openoffice.org] is LGPL. What about patents/CRs? Could someone fork oo or re-implement in another language without legally running af
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:40AM (#33402684) Journal
        Ximian, now Novell, did fork OO.o. You can get their fork at http://www.go-oo.org/ [go-oo.org]. The only reason that Sun maintained control over OO.o was that they provided most of the code. Last statistics I saw for OO.o contributions were around 80% Sun, 15% Novell, 5% everyone else. If Oracle doesn't keep up the contribution rate, then other forks will overtake theirs and be regarded as the main version. A lot of Linux distributions already include the Novell fork, rather than the main branch, as their OpenOffice.org package.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      We are? What are the indications? The fact that Google has been sued for making a Java implementation that does not conform to the Java specification, and yet continues to call it Java?

      It'll probably get me modded down, but I don't see this as a Bad Thing. When it comes to core Java systems (excluding GUI) it *is* write once run anywhere as long as you use the standard packages. Not only will it run on any JVM, it will also run in a predictable manner on any JVM (and I think this is one place where G

  • by slasho81 (455509) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:23AM (#33402612)
    This lawsuit boggles my mind. I'm sure the guys running Oracle are pretty smart. Can't they see that no matter the outcome of the lawsuit, they are losing big on reputation and client lock-in just by pursuing it? Am I missing some great strategic outcome Oracle is hoping for?
    • For Slashdot readers this seems to be about Java the language (as created by Sun), Oracle & Google the companies, and Android the 'upstart'. However to Oracle customers (for which there are tons), none of this means anything because they are completely indemnified in anything relating to Java. They (Oracle clients and developers) are also neck deep in Java for many big Oracle products, so why should they care much about Google's Java-like language for a phone? Oracle is big enterprise and its users/deve
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:47AM (#33403470) Homepage Journal

      Am I missing some great strategic outcome Oracle is hoping for?

      Yes, they need Google patents for their database product to not become obsolete in the next few years. Buying Sun got them two things - a) hardware fast enough to get them over the gap b) leverage for patent cross-licensing agreements.

      This is a [software] patent (government) problem.

    • I don't know what they hope to achieve with this but maybe this lawsuit is connected with the purchase, ie. they planned it from the beginning.

  • by mmacdona86 (524915) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:17AM (#33403654)
    That's the whole case. There's no Java license or trademark involved.

    Two enormous differences with the Sun/Microsoft case: 1-- Everything Google built for Android is open-sourced; 2-- No Java license is involved

    Google built a VM called Dalvik. Like the Java and .Net VM's, it can run code written in a number of languages, including the Java language. That patents at issue are not related specifically to the Java language, but they do cover common techniques in VM implementation, and if upheld could threaten other VM implementations.

    • Parent is basically correct. However, pedantically, Dalvik does not, in general, run programs written in the Java language. The language is defined not just by its syntax, but also by a certain set of standard libraries being present and implemented according to Sun/Oracle specification. Dalvik doesn't support all of those, and hence doesn't run Java.

      However, Dalvik does run a very Java-like language. One that has all the syntax of Java, and *many* of the same libraries. Moreover (as everyone here knows, I'm sure), programs compiled by 'javac' to .class file may be converted to Dalvik executables (as long as they contain only the subset of Java that Dalvik supports).

      It would be proper to prevent Google from claiming that Android "Runs Java"... but then, I'm pretty sure they never claimed that to start with. Indeed mostly--almost entirely--it's claims about patents that should never have been granted, or really just about lawsuits to try to mess up competition and technical progress just for the sake of disruption (I doubt Oracle actually cares that much about the outcome, it's mostly FUD).

  • by Kensai7 (1005287) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @12:25PM (#33404092)

    Isn't this the perfect moment for Google to pass to Scala for Java-like development and Go! for the rest of it (critical native components)? To hell with Java the language. After all, what is really important is the JVM and they've already forked that with Dalvik.

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