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Oracle's Java Policies Are Destroying the Community 314

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the shares-in-haskell-inc-up-ten-points dept.
snydeq writes "Neil McAllister sees Oracle's buggy Java SE 7 release as only the latest misstep in a mounting litany of bad behavior. 'Who was the first to alert the Java community? The Apache Foundation. Oh, the irony. This is the same Apache Foundation that resigned from the Java Community Process executive committee in protest after Oracle repeatedly refused to give it access to the Java Technology Compatibility Kit,' McAllister writes. 'It seems as if Oracle would like nothing better than to stomp Apache and its open source Java efforts clean out of existence.'"
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Oracle's Java Policies Are Destroying the Community

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  • Round 1. Fight. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:05AM (#36985932)

    We have the last Java 7 preview (GPL).

    Fork the darn thing and see who lives.

    • +1 for this!

    • It's working for LibreOffice so why not.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Doesn't help since Oracle owns both the patents and the trademarks on the JAVA brand.
    • by neokushan (932374)

      That wont work because Oracle will still sue you for patent infringement (See Oracle v. Android).

      • Only if you claim its not Java...

        • by rvw (755107)

          Only if you claim its not Java...

          Just turn it upside down and it becomes "enef", which could be pronounced "enough". That would fit the situation quite well I think.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anrego (830717) *

      Fork the darn thing and see who lives.

      With their war chest of patents.. they could litigate any serious competitor into the ground.

      Now whether they have any reason to do so is another question.

      Personally I'd start transitioning away from Java at this point if possible/practical. It's a shame because it worked really well in a lot of situations :(

      • Now whether they have any reason to do so is another question.

        They are Oracle and they own the patents & trademarks. Those are the only reasons they need (and frankly, the first one is probably enough for them).

      • IBM hasn't been sued yet, and they have their own JVM too. Or there's OpenJDK too. The current litiagtion now with Google is about creating an incompatible Java. (For compatible forks patents are granted. )

        It's not the Java developers who are fucked, but the Dalvik developers.

        • by russotto (537200)

          IBM hasn't been sued yet, and they have their own JVM too.

          IBM also has the Nazgul. And a patent war chest that would make your eyes bug out.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:07AM (#36985944)

    It seems as if Oracle would like nothing better than to stomp Apache and its open source Java efforts clean out of existence.

    Also in the news. It seems that water makes things wet.

  • They're Oracle, that's their business model, it's what they do. Convert the goodness of open source communities into money, like a software Gargamel.

    What's the next article going to be? Facebook eroding society's expectations of privacy? BP moving fossil carbon into the biosphere?

    • Except the post is wrong, the article isn't about Oracle damaging the OSS community, it's about them damaging Java.

      Releasing a JVM with a serious bug doesn't damage the OSS community. In fact it's an excellent way to give it more influence. Issues like these provide plenty incentive to fork.

      The worst case for Oracle would be it goes the way it happened with XFree86: every distribution ships the Apache version, and everybody stops caring about the original project's existence.

      • The worst case for Oracle would be it goes the way it happened with XFree86: every distribution ships the Apache version, and everybody stops caring about the original project's existence.

        That's all good and well, if they can guarantee all existing Java applications will work with it. I'm not sure how it functionally compares with OpenJDK, but lots of existing Java applications simply won't work with it. If they can manage to do what OpenJDK can't, then they have a chance. Otherwise everyone is still suck using Oracle's version, especially Enterprise users (which I'd imagine accounts for most of Java's use).

        • I have pretty positive experience with OpenJDK. I guess you won't get to run into any trouble unless you use video streaming features. (codec licensing problems) For J2EE fat client or webapps you're pretty safe.

    • by webheaded (997188)
      It's amazing they took something that was so championed by the open source community and are now driving it into the ground. Do they honestly think people are going to give a shit anymore if they keep trying to screw the community? They're either going to fork it or they're going to move on to something completely different and then Oracle can go fuck themselves. Either way, they really need to learn how to place nice. It's getting ridiculous now.
  • No kidding .. look at what java has done to my dreams!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guGchg4mbLs [youtube.com]

  • ...but why is it Ironic that the Apache foundation were the first to warn the community? From reading the summary, it seems highly appropriate that Apache were the first ones to warn the community, not Ironic at all. Unless, of course, I'm missing something (which I suspect I am).

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Unless, of course, I'm missing something (which I suspect I am).

      Unless I'm missing something also, it's probably the fact that a large majority of the population doesn't actually understand what the the word irony actually means.

    • I thought the same thing after reading the article. It was their modules that were broken in the release so you would expect them to have more specific automated testing for these areas.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:23AM (#36986166)

    It seem strange that Oracle would push people away from Java, especially since Sun spent a great deal of time getting people to adopt it. Now Microsoft seems to have gone soft on .NET which was that technology to compete with Java. Did Oracle somehow make a backroom deal with Microsoft? As I recall the Sun/Microsoft suit prohibited Microsoft from having their own Java implementation, is Microsoft now going to license Java from Oracle as the .NET replacement? This is all speculation but Oracle hasn't done anything good for the things they received in the Sun acquisition, Solaris, Java and SPARC. I realize that Oracle is a big company that likes lots of revenues but it seems to me that Sun market share was on the decline and now Oracle is just shutting the door on what remaining customers they had.

       

    • Java would not be a suitable replacement for .NET. The purpose of .NET is to keep people on Windows, not give them a migration path away from it.

      • Given how well the "write once run anywhere" marketing aspect of Java has basically failed, its no more a migration path than .Net is these days.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          Given how well the "write once run anywhere" marketing aspect of Java has basically failed, its no more a migration path than .Net is these days.

          What things won't Java run on? We routinely run the same Java code on Windows and Linux.

          • And MacOS, AS/400, z/OS.

          • Java runs on lots of things, but thats not my point. Will every Java application run on all JVMs? No.

            Take Azureus for example - built in Java, but separate downloads for OSX and Windows. And thats all too common in the Java world...

            Java is only a migration path away from Windows if all your applications run seamlessly on the other platforms, and that only happens if you are actually careful during development.

            • by Teckla (630646)

              Take Azureus for example - built in Java, but separate downloads for OSX and Windows.

              That's because Azureus isn't 100% Pure Java. They decided to use SWT instead of Swing for the UI. SWT uses a lot of "native code". Of course you end up needing separate installers.

              The software company I work for targets Linux, Windows, AS/400, HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX. In our non-trivial experience, Java is shockingly and impressively portable.

            • What Java doesn't have is a good external installer for native libraries. That's the only reason for multi-platform installers. Even 3D games like http://wurmonline.com/ [wurmonline.com] don't have multiple platform installation options; they run through Webstart and install automatically.

        • by Atzanteol (99067)
          What? Really? Is it *still* 1996?
        • Which features of Java as a language or Java programs do you commonly see failing to work across different platforms?

      • by medv4380 (1604309)
        Now now, if java is used to replace .net we all know that MS will put back in all the Direct X api's and stuff that got them in trouble with Sun in the first place, and that would keep Java developers and users on Windows.
      • by Svartalf (2997)

        For Microsoft it wouldn't be. For Oracle, it would. :-D

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      It wouldn't surprise me in the least if oracle bought sun just for their IP .. so the could sue the shit outa google.

      Java and soon MySQL are just collateral damage.

    • by drolli (522659)

      As I recall the Sun/Microsoft suit prohibited Microsoft from having their own Java implementation,

      Wrong. It prohibited them from having an incompatible implementation and calling it java, very similar the current case of oracle vs. google.

      in the process against ms it was about the name. in the process against google its about the patents. However the core of both is: work for the platform and fall under special regulations for the platform or not.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        It's not really analogous for the Java/Android story... If you wanted to reach for an analogy, it'd be Oracle suing Microsoft over .Net.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          It's not really analogous for the Java/Android story... If you wanted to reach for an analogy, it'd be Oracle suing Microsoft over .Net.

          Except Microsoft licensed Java VM patents for .Net. Oracle can't sue Microsoft for infringement because they've already got a licensing agreement in place.

          So the situation's the same, just the Microsoft-Sun (now Oracle) deal would've been the path had Google licensed the patents as well. One licensed the stuff, the other didn't.

    • Its amazing how far a single article of FUD goes these days - Microsoft is not "going soft" on .Net, they just weren't willing to discuss it during a talk about something else entirely, while in Windows 8, .Net is still there and stronger than ever.

      As I recall the Sun/Microsoft suit prohibited Microsoft from having their own Java implementation, is Microsoft now going to license Java from Oracle as the .NET replacement

      Microsoft already have a licensing deal with Sun/Oracle in place for .Net - it was pursued years ago, at the very birth of .Net. And besides, what would Microsoft gain from going to Java? Functionality wise, .Net is better featured so what would Microsoft gain from switching ecosystems? Not a whole lot.

      Microsoft don't want Java, they already made their version of it and are quite happy with it.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Actually, they've done pretty good with one and only ONE item they got... VirtualBox. I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one as well, thought.

    • by wasabii (693236)

      I really wish I knew what you meant by "go soft on .Net". It's the premier development platform for the most widely distributed desktop and server OS on the planet. And their new phones use it.

      Yeah. I don't know what you mean.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        I was referring to this: Slashdot [slashdot.org]

      • by hubie (108345)

        It's the premier development platform for the most widely distributed desktop and server OS on the planet.

        I thought Linux had at least half, and maybe even as high as 2/3, the server market as compared to all other operating systems.

    • Apache Foundation has strong ties with IBM. Oracle has interests that are quite different, even opposite of IBM. Thus it isn't really surprising that Oracle does things that annoy the Apache Foundation. That's my take on it.
    • by zlogic (892404)

      SPARC is the only thing Oracle is protecting. All those " sucks, move to a much faster Oracle SPARC server" ads, the early retirement of Oracle for Itanium. And they're actively spreading the message that their SPARC box is optimized for Oracle, so it's worth more.

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:25AM (#36986192) Journal

    I'm not Oracle fan (actually, I'm a hater), but this seems more like a witch hunt. I mean, the title "Oracle's Java Polices Are Destroying the Community", sounds a little harsh considering you only said that Oracle released a buggy version of Java and they were not the first to report it. ...not that I'm against an Oracle witch hunt. ;)

  • Most production work will remain at java 6 for a while, until everyone makes their versions of java 7 available, Apple and IBM in particular. RHEL doesn't ship with the openjdk-1.7.0 yet. It's just not available in enough places to be worth developing against yet. Oracle knows that Apache is one of the major reasons that java is a popular as it is. They did give the Apache foundation, all of OpenOffice you know. Some idiot made a bad call and told management, that the error was just a corner case, and ma

    • by Atzanteol (99067)
      How I wish Oracle would just turn Java over to the Apache Foundation... The Apache folks are 90% of the reason Java is as successful as it is. It's not like Oracle is really going to be able to monetize it at this point anyway.
  • I've been looking for an alternative to Java for some time. Java was appealing because of it cross-platform compatibility, and relatively easy to use GUI classes. Anyone have any suggestions?
    • by Jamu (852752)
      The LLVM [llvm.org] project and OpenCL [khronos.org] look interesting. I've never understood why a virtual machine is, in any way, better than an intermediate language that can be compiled to native code for a particular platform. An interpreted language may make sense for dynamically created code. Even so, why not just compile it first? You can run interpreted code in a sandbox, but any IM compiler could add the same features to native code.
      • by ifrag (984323)

        I thought that on x86 at least, most Java is JIT compiled to high performance native.

        Just-in-time compilation [wikipedia.org]

        HotSpot [wikipedia.org]

      • by sycorob (180615)

        I've never understood why a virtual machine is, in any way, better than an intermediate language that can be compiled to native code for a particular platform.

        Garbage collection. GC makes people angry for some reason, but I'm personally happy not having to malloc memory all the time. Also hardware and OS independence. It's nice to just open a file and read and write from it, and not really care what the OS is, or what filesystem it's using, and so forth. Same with inputs and outputs, memory management, thread handling, etc. You could add all of these things to your hypothetical intermediate language, but in the end you'd just be recreating the JVM.

        A fair number

    • Scala scheme python etc all run in the JVM

      If you don't like Oracle's JVM, use the IBM one or the Apache one instead

      Oracle is NOT going to destroy java, IBM and Apache will not allow it.

    • I'm not a Microsoft user or programmer, but I've worked with both. C# is very very nearly Java at first blush and if you are comfortable in Java you will be comfortable in C#. Go with mono and you've got your cross platform. There aren't as many libraries as there ae for Java, but it seems that the core is a bit stronger.

      Your Mileage May Vary and I've not even seen C# doing GUI work, but it has to be better than swing in both ease of use and looks.

  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @11:47AM (#36986512)

    A couple of factors motivating users to seek open solutions are: The proprietary vendor screws a product up and then doesn't fix it[1]. The vendor starts withholding necessary documentation or other support from the software community[2]. When will my product become competition for the vendor and I too will get buggered?

    I can't think of a faster way for developers to jump ship to an open version of Java. And perhaps begin to fear other Oracle products as well.

    [1] Heck, enough screw-ups and I'll start looking for a competent alternative. Never mind timely patches.

    [2] Its called 'cutting off their air supply' and was made famous by a little outfit in Redmond.

  • by Lord of the Fries (132154) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @12:15PM (#36986930) Homepage

    Never had to interact with Oracle much, that they're not well regarded is obvious, but if is the one thing they end up doing, then I will thank them and love them for it, in a perverse way. This overheard at OOPSLA during lunch many years ago:

    Some Random Guy: "So James, really, what do you think the odds of Java really working are?"

    James Gosling: "Of course it'll work, there's not a damn new thing in it!"

    Or put better by Jan Steinman: "Java. All the elegance of C++ with all the speed of Smalltalk."

    Rant aside, sadly, from what I hear, there's enough Java love fest going on at Google to keep things going for quite a while.

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