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Oracle's Latest Java Moves Draw Industry Ire 372

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
snydeq writes "Two years later, Oracle's stewardship of Java continues to raise user and vendor ire, this time due to modularization, licensing, and security concerns. 'Plans for version 8 of Java Platform Standard Edition, which is due next year, call for inclusion of Project Jigsaw to add modular capabilities to Java. But some organizations are concerned with how Oracle's plans might conflict with the OSGi module system already geared to Java. In the licensing arena, Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu Linux, says Oracle is no longer letting Linux distributors redistribute Oracle's own commercial Java, causing difficulties for the company. Meanwhile, security vendor F-Secure views Java as security hindrance.'"
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Oracle's Latest Java Moves Draw Industry Ire

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  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by silanea (1241518) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:18PM (#38655318)
    Is Oracle a mobile computing company? I don't think so. By killing Java they would shoot a whole industry in the foot - or the head, more likely. But Oracle itself? No. They could still develop the Java platform in-house for their own products - at least that is my understanding of what they bought in the Sun acquisition - and leave everyone else out in the rain.
  • by Necroman (61604) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:26PM (#38655454)

    I follow Java developments regularly and I don't see these points as being real issues.

    Modularization: Project Jigsaw is meant to bring a more simple module system when compared to OSGi. OSGi is a great tool, but overly complicated for many people. Also, having Jigsaw built into the JRE will allow Oracle to split the base JRE into modules and hopefully reduce the memory required on initial load of a Java app. (Java core libraries have some horrible dependency trees, which cause a large chunk of the base JRE libraries to load on even the most simple applications).

    Java Licensing: Sun started to push OpenJDK before it was bought by Oracle and that trend is continuing. The idea is that OpenJDK should be included with OS's like Ubuntu. OpenJDK is a GPL fork of a majority of the Oracle JDK, but some pieces could not be released as GPL because Sun originally licensed them from others (so those parts had to be re-written). I think it's better for everyone if OpenJDK gets more people using it so the bugs are worked out and it's a great open source Java implementation.

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:44PM (#38655628)

    I don't think it was. And it is certainly unsuitable as a first programming language. It is not close enough to the machine for many tasks, yet not abstracted enough for many others. It also does not teach concept cleanly enough that there would be a large benefit for learning other languages later.

    Sadly, academia does not seem to realize that and it is taught as first (and sometimes only) language in many places. Just had to tech C to a bunch of college students last semester because you cannot teach an OS course with Java.

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:46PM (#38655644)

    I work almost exclusively in COBOL and make 160k a year 28 years old (switched to COBOL 3 years ago). I see nothing but old people retiring or dieing and demand increasing.

  • damned if you do... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackfrancis75 (911664) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:06PM (#38655926)
    the really funny/sad part is that many of the same people here who will condemn Oracle for capitalizing on Java are the very people who sadly shook their heads that Sun *wasn't* able to leverage it commercially.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:09PM (#38655970)

    Those "two sides" are not correct. This lawsuit doesn't hinge on whether or not Java is open. The real situation is that if Google had licensed Java, it would be protected from Oracle's patent infringement lawsuits (due to licensing terms) regarding patents that have NOTHING PER SE TO DO WITH JAVA. Those patents cover techniques used to implement virtual machines, and they could potentially be used to sue Perl, Python, Ruby, and other virtual machine technologies.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:21PM (#38656134) Homepage Journal

    You assume they are mutually exclusive.

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:23PM (#38656150) Homepage

    IMHO, Sun fucked up, and fucked up badly, when they handed over control of Macintosh Java to Apple. Jonathan Schwarz basically handed Steve Jobs the rope, and was too oblivious to notice Steve busily tying it into a noose. Java's main reason for existing as a platform for desktop applications is WORA, and allowing Apple to screw up Macintosh Java as badly as they did hurt that main purpose really badly.

    To be fair, at the time Apple execs were crowing that Mac OS was going to be the premier platform for Java development in the world. They were hinting pretty strongly that they were going to tie Java into every possible aspect of the OS to wring every possible ounce of performance and system integration out of it, so it only made sense that Apple engineers, who had insider knowledge of the Mac OS platform, should be in charge. I suppose we have nobody to blame but Sun, but nobody could have known Apple would drop the ball so badly. (And BTW, it was Scott McNealy who let Apple be responsible for Mac Java, not Schwartz.)

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @05:51PM (#38656524) Homepage Journal

    Java's API is more stable than Tcl/Tk, the mobile version of it is less of a memory hog than C++, it's easier to learn than Erlang, and easier to port across OS' than Visual Basic. Java applets will also run on web browsers for your PC, whereas there aren't applet containers for any of the other languages I've listed other than Tcl/Tk (and that is not only unmaintained, it wasn't very good when it was maintained).

    With the exception of Visual Basic, the other languages are superior to Java in absolutely every respect other than the couple of things Java does better, but the point of marketing is not to present reality for a fair and honest debate of merits but to promote one option over others.

    Java is actually a really bad language in many respects, but it IS runnable in any web browser and it DOES have a good marketing team. Other languages which are actually superior overall are unmarketed and often not runnable in environments you need them in to make them useful in this kind of hybrid market.

    I'll also point out that when Java was released, the only serious rival as a ubiquitous platform-independent language at the time (Python) was maintained by one person and that scared a lot of people. Python also had a lot of limitations back then, long-since overcome. Unfortunately, Python 3's lack of serious traction (Python 2 is still the interpreter of choice for most new Python apps) and design quirks resulted in a lot of people moving to Ruby. I say "unfortunately" because although Python and Ruby are great languages, there's a lot of insularism. Communities don't fragment through the presence of choice, they fragment when those choosing do so with an exclusive and elitist air.

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RubberMallet (2499906) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @05:16AM (#38661330)

    Sure... by riding on the success of the database. As many others here have pointed out, the database is fine, but everything else they touch turns to shit - Need an example? Well, have you ever tried Oracle Unbreakable Linux? One example of many many many in the Oracle pile of rotting product lines... some have already fallen out, and many more are due to follow.

    Being "successful" doesn't make it right. Look at the success of certain world rulers. They are "successful" for decades by basically destroying everything in sight. Random despot has survived and thrived for n years where n is somewhat larger than 1.

    The point being, yes Oracle is successful, but not through careful management and intelligent decisions.... more through blind luck, sheer bloody mindedness, and the ability to not care who gets crushed in the process... The core of this discussion links back to Oracle's stewardship of Java (and several other projects/products). Oracle has no real interest in Java as a product beyond "this quarter". If profits now mean trashing and destroying Java, you can count on it that Oracle WILL trash Java. Why do you think the remaining debris of what was once Sun is looking nervously over its collective shoulder? VirtualBox, Solaris, MySQL... all at major risk from Oracle's money money money money money money money focus (not that profit is wrong... but profit at the expense of everything else... that's not healthy for anyone).

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BeforeCoffee (519489) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @05:19AM (#38661336)

    Oh, you're one of THOSE guys. You complain too much. Java isn't as bad as you say even if there's a whiff of truthiness in most of your criticisms.

    I argue, Mr. Grouch, that the crown jewels of Java are not to be found in the language. They're found in the JVM. Plain and simple: the JVM is the most banged on, battle hardened, security-first computer programs ever written. There is no more trustworthy binary in the world more than java.exe. You want an unrockable web server? Run Tomcat with the NIO thingy enabled on the latest Java 6 atop Linux with the firewall all ratcheted up. And don't proxy through Apache HTTPD if you don't have to - that's just one more security-as-afterthought, million moving parts binary with perennial remote exploits to worry about.

    Why do languages "that target the JVM" actually make a difference? Because you get all that bitchin runtime robustness without the Java language baggage you just love love love to complain about. And while we're at it: Java Native Invocation (JNI) is considered harmful. Native code tainting the JVM? You better have a darned important exotic business requirement to bring new native code into the equation. As far as I'm concerned, you're crazy as a loon to write native code these days unless you're doing embedded systems or device driver development. I'm wondering why you would suggest something so reckless! Care to elaborate?

    I know the JVM's design makes life a real drag sometimes. It feels like a trusty slingshot that's been upgraded into a WMD. But, I could care less about aesthetics or the angst about Java that computer language and open source purists express. I care about stability. I care about uptime. I care about speed. But most of all, I care about security. I care about the total cost of the systems I run.

    Ok, ok, I'm leaving, I'm getting off your lawn.

  • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Truedat (2545458) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @05:32AM (#38661384)
    You failed to mention the initial email http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/07/judge-orders-overhaul-of-oracles.html#sovietstyle [blogspot.com] sent by Rubin in 2005 that said:

    "If Sun doesn't want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language - or - 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way"

    Not saying this is a smoking gun but your timeline deserves a correction:

    Putting together a timeline:
    1) First "damning" email in 2005

    2) Android released in 2008
    3) Oracle purchased Sun in 2009
    4) "Damning" email in 2010

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