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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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  • Oracle and Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ravenswood1000 (543817) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:06PM (#38655158)
    With Oracle responsible for Java, is it even worth it to learn the language any more? I mean they will be killing it off soon.
    • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Foxhoundz (2015516) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:11PM (#38655240)
      Not a chance. Java has changed the face of mobile computing within the past decade. Why would oracle shoot themselves in the foot?
      • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:4, Interesting)

        by silanea (1241518) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:18PM (#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.
      • Re:Oracle and Java (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#38655334)

        And if oracle keeps up, Android 5 or 6 will ship with a shiny python-esque runtime when google gets tired of paying for java lawsuits, leaving java on "feature" phones nobody writes apps for.

        • You do realise java runs on just about every smart card around today don't you? I've got two java interpreters in my wallet. Its not just phones, desktops and servers that java runs on. Java has also been in Oracles database since not long after it was invented. If one of their database competitors - IBM and Microsoft - bought Sun they could have be in trouble.
        • by FunkyELF (609131)

          we can only hope this happens

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

        by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:35PM (#38655550) Homepage

        Why do companies shoot themselves in their feet? I don't know, but companies do it all the time. Oracle has always been remarkably short-sighted and unable to see the bigger picture.

        On the other hand, the fact that there is a an officially GPL'd version of official Java out there may well mean that in the long term, Java will be fine. Oracle can kill off their own branch, but Java in some form is probably going to continue, because it's too entrenched. There are some big players on the sidelines (e.g. IBM) with a lot invested in Java who aren't going to sit idly by and let Oracle destroy it when Sun made it easy to go another route. OpenJDK may have a few shortcomings at the moment, but that could easily change if some bigger players got more serious about it.

        It's still too early to tell how this is all going to play out, but the death of Java seems like one of the least likely outcomes.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          The GPLed branch will only act as a safety net if it's kept up to date with features introduced in the dominant branch (Oracles), or if it becomes the dominant branch in the very near future and removes Oracles ownership over the future.

          If neither of those happens, the GPLed branch will be the one to fade into the past. I'm not a Java user, so can someone who is possibly chip in and give us an indication of how it's looking?

          With regard to the story, it does reek of the OSGi throwing their toys out of the pr

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

            by VGPowerlord (621254) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:00PM (#38655858)

            The GPLed branch will only act as a safety net if it's kept up to date with features introduced in the dominant branch (Oracles), or if it becomes the dominant branch in the very near future and removes Oracles ownership over the future.

            Oracle's version is just a repackaged version of OpenJDK, so that shouldn't be a problem.

            • by jd (1658)

              No, it's got some speed improvements from JRockit and other tweaks that don't exist in the open source code and are unlikely to ever be published. They may well port over other bits from JRockit and other JVMs they've bought or have heavy control over, with the intent of vendor lock-in. You can't move to the free version because Oracle won't let the free version support the enhancements (such as real-time support, better debugging and profiling, etc) that projects actually use.

              • Even then, you can download JRockIt 28.2 [oracle.com] separately. As far as I can tell, this is synced with Java 6 r29. Since Java6 r30 [java.com] is the latest Java6, it's not that far out of date.

                Now, whether it will be compatible with Java7 is a whole different ballgame.

                Side note: java.com does not yet offer Java7 for download, so 6r30 is the latest version in its eyes, despite 7u2 being out.

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

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:10PM (#38655978)

          2. Oracle thinks that Java is not open, and they also have damning email correspondence showing that Google did not actually believe Java could be used without a license.

          You mean the damning email that came out in August 2010 saying from engineer Tim Lindholm to Andy Rubin that said we need to license java?
          (http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/11_-_November/Oracle_v__Google_and_the_most_relentlessly_litigated_email_ever/ [thomsonreuters.com])
          Remember that Oracle purchased Sun in 2009 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Microsystems [wikipedia.org]) where Android was first released in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org])

          Putting together a timeline:
          1) Android released in 2008
          2) Oracle purchased Sun in 2009
          3) "Damning" email in 2010

          So after Android is released, Oracle purchases Sun hoping to sue Google for $$$, then an engineer says yeah we better license java. That isn't damning, that's an opinion of one engineer (or more likely a team). Now if that timeline had #3 coming first, it would be damning, but to come last in the chain is hardly even worth mentioning. Oracle's case resting on that one email is laughable at best

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Truedat (2545458)
            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

        • by mvar (1386987)

          Why do companies shoot themselves in their feet? I don't know, but companies do it all the time.

          We should probably just ask HP

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Why do companies shoot themselves in their feet? I don't know, but companies do it all the time.

          Well, I do know, and I'll tell you the secret. It's the exact same reason individuals do things like take up smoking, go flying by themselves with very little experience as a pilot and wreck, drive recklessly, have sex without protection when they're in no position to take care of kids, etc. It's because people are stupid, and also because they're too self-confident and think they know what they're doing, when

      • by MartinG (52587)

        Because they don't know how to handly the firearm they are holding.

      • I remember when oracle bought RDB from DEC. They jacked the support fees up by a factor of ten, took a short term profit, and killed it off.

      • by jgrahn (181062)

        Java has changed the face of mobile computing within the past decade.

        Java didn't change it; cell phone vendors just implemented support for Java and nothing else, for reasons which are still unclear to me.

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

          by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:51PM (#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.

    • Sure it is. Oracle will make itself irrelevant in the Java world if they keep this up. The Java world will simply fork from Oracle's Java. The only thing Oracle can do it sue the Java world into oblivion.

    • by Zomg (818060)
      Yes. With 5 years of java experience I make 100k and see nothing but growth. It is comments like this and this thread as a whole that really drill home how ignorant some people are about java.
      • by iggymanz (596061)

        the industry is not seeing that, J2EE/Java is in decline, server share being eaten by .NET and scripting languages. good riddance, it's so 1990s and at the core just warmed over 1980s concepts.

        • .Net is just Java if MS created it. Sure it's more modern but it's Windows-centric and aimed at the same exact market as Java. I'll be surprised if it lives as long as Java.
    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      Depends. Oracle has Java so it won't lose it as a language as an interface tool for its database system. If you intend on eventually doing work using an oracle database it might be good to know, but I'm sure it's not required. Outside of Oracles little world might be what's at risk. If Apache and IBM finally finds something else that they are willing to work with more then Java is dead.

      Honestly, Programming in general needs a game changer anyways. Multicore chips have been around for a while now, and

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by gweihir (88907)

      The language itself is definitely not worth the effort, better learn C (and maybe C++) and some decent scripting like Python or Ruby. Java is a collection of not really working compromises. With Oracle messing things up, the only real argument for Java, namely wide adoption is beginning to fade as well.

      So, no, don't waste your time.

      • "Don't waste your time" Java is the most demanded language in terms of getting a job that pays money. Its also still increasing (although not as much as C#, but its still well ahead). C/C++ however, is coming 3rd and currently on a downward trend. Who's wasting their time?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There's lots to criticise Oracle for... but Canonical's complaints are laughable (as is much of their work TBH... not to mention their moronic loud-mouthed userbase).

      OpenJDK is now the *official* version of Java. It's now a legitimate part of stuff like Fedora - a full, open, legal distribution of Java. Oracle's move in this case was entirely right and constructive for all involved.

      This has been discussed over and over again by various people involved - and yet we still here this bullshit.

    • by antdude (79039)

      http://www.zdnet.com/blog/service-oriented/java-tops-list-of-software-skills-in-demand- [zdnet.com]
      employer-survey/8326 says Java tops list of software skills. Maybe not for long?

  • F-Secure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Great, a language is a security hindrance. Isn't that like saying executable files themselves are security hindrances?

    • by Ossifer (703813)

      I think the basis is that with Java the code is technically in the executable's data memory and thus lacks certain OS/CPU-level protections...

    • by gorzek (647352)

      In a perfect world, users wouldn't be able to do anything, because everything would be 100% secure!

  • by Necroman (61604) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:26PM (#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.

  • by Abalamahalamatandra (639919) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:42PM (#38655612)

    I will say that this has been a major pain for me - I run nothing but Ubuntu at home and already spend enough time dealing with my kid's school's insane focus on Microsoft technologies.

    Now, one of the most important sites for my kids to use (Aleks) is totally broken with Open Java. It was enough of a pain with Oracle's Java, but now it's unusable.

    Thanks a lot Oracle! Wouldn't want anyone actually using your software or anything.

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      already spend enough time dealing with my kid's school's insane focus on Microsoft technologies

      Yeah, stupid, insance, irrational school. The idiocy, using products that are niche and unpopular and barely used by anyone...

      Oh wait...

    • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:27PM (#38656184) Homepage

      I don't want to be an ass, and I agree in principle that school sites should be at least as platform independent as possible; but honestly how many possible OS configurations should a school test against? If you work on Windows you probably have 90% of parents covered. If you work on Windows and Mac you probably have 99.9% of parents covered. Is working on Ubuntu really worth that extra .1% of parents who could honestly just put Windows in a VM? I understand the desire to use what you want to use, and not let stuff like this dictate how you run your computer, but is it really worth a whole lot of tax payer money to make sure that the school website works for such a small user base? If so at what point do they stop? Do they have to test against every Linux distro? The various BSDs? 32 and 64 bit version of all of this? Install the most minimal cost/complexity Windows VM you can get away with and show the kids how to boot it to do their work.

    • If your kid's school is teaching them using Windows and the tools they provide work better in Windows then install Windows on a computer for your kids so they can get their shit done. When they are older and want to chose which OS is better for them, let them.

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

    by blackfrancis75 (911664) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:06PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      You assume they are mutually exclusive.

    • I think the issue is that under Sun, Java didn't suck, where Oracle seems to have made it suck in order to make money from it. People here are (generally) in favour of companies making money by delivering good products. The issues come up when they try to squeeze too much money out and by doing so degrade their products quality.

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