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Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck 478

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the larry-ellison-sues-every-cs101-student dept.
mikejuk writes with an update on the Oracle vs Google Trial. From the article: "One month into the Oracle v Google trial, Judge William Alsup has revealed that he has, and still does, write code. Will this affect the outcome? I think so! After trying to establish that the nine lines in rangeCheck that were copied saved Google time in getting Android to market the lawyer making the case is interrupted by the judge which indicates he at least does understand how straightforward it would be to program rangeCheck from scratch: 'rangeCheck! All it does is make sure the numbers you're inputting are within a range, and gives them some sort of exceptional treatment. That witness, when he said a high school student could do it — ' And the lawyer reveals he doesn't: 'I'm not an expert on Java — this is my second case on Java, but I'm not an expert, and I probably couldn't program that in six months.' Perhaps every judge should be a coding judge — it must make the law seem a lot simpler..." From yesterday; the Oracle lawyer was attempting to argue that Google profited by stealing rangeCheck since it allowed them to get to market faster than they would have had they wrote it from scratch. Groklaw, continuing its detailed coverage as always, has the motions filed today.
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Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck

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  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tpstigers (1075021) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:40AM (#40018295)
    Here's a news flash for you: complete idiots can (and do) program. The ability to code is a piss poor measurement of intelligence.
  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:1, Informative)

    by LocalH (28506) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:40AM (#40018301) Homepage

    Wow, fuck you dude. Just fuck you.

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:42AM (#40018325)

    In for loops, and anyone who uses it has to pay me lots of money. I'll let them use it and as soon as they start making money I'll show up at their door to collect their soul.

  • What does it matter (Score:4, Informative)

    by htnmmo (1454573) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:44AM (#40018355) Homepage

    What does it matter how easy the code was to write? And if it was so easy why did google need to copy it?

    I tried to submit this over the weekend but it wasn't selected. http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/google-oracle-decompile/ [wired.com]

    "Judge William Alsup ruled that evidence presented during the trial had shown that Google infringed on Oracle’s copyrights by decompiling eight Java files and copying them in their entirety for use with Android."

    As someone who really likes Java and Google I don't like this lawsuit one bit.

    Sun created Java and mostly gave it away for free except for the mobile part which they were licensing to create revenue. Sun and Google couldn't come to terms regarding licensing and Google decided to just make it themselves.

    Sun didn't seem to care, or didn't have the money/will to fight it. Then comes Oracle.

    Please resolve this amicably soon. I don't like it when mommy and daddy fight.

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Barbara, not Barbie (721478) <barbara DOT hudson AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:49AM (#40018431) Journal

    It is an exact 1:1 copy. Google is screwed.

    Of course it's an exact 1:1 copy - the guy who wrote it gave it to both Sun AND Android. And if you've been following the trial, Sun never registered a copyright on that specific function.

    Oracle is *SO* screwed.

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:59AM (#40018553)

    You haven't had to register copyrights in the US for decades. Ever heard of the Berne Convention?

  • Hired Help (Score:2, Informative)

    by andersh (229403) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:08PM (#40018663)

    Google did not copy it. Their contractor reverse engineered Sun/Oracle's code - despite being told by Google explicitly not to do so!

    Google used Noser to provide additional resources and accelerate the completion(?) of Android.

    On March 28, 2007, Google hired Noser to deliver a package of Java libraries. /See/ TX 30 (Statement of Work between Google and Noser, dated March 28, 2007)

    On April 19, 2007, Andy Rubin wrote to Alan Eustace regarding the "Noser agreement": "This is our final java solution — consultants to take our java libraries as a starting place, and bring our java classes up to J2SE spec, in a clean room environment. They have signed up to a pretty aggressive schedule for quite a bit of work. This deal replaces the $18M approved acquisition that we decided to pass on. Barring any unforeseen surprises, I think this is our last big deal ($4M)." (TX 438.)

  • The juicy bits (Score:5, Informative)

    by RemyBR (1158435) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:11PM (#40018703) Homepage

    For those of you who don't want to read all the transcript, this is what the judge said:

    Oracle: I think the law with respect to infringer's profits, rather than damages, only requires us to show that there was a product that contained infringing material and that the product produced revenue, and then the burden shifts to the other side. If I'm wrong about that, I still think it's possible to demonstrate a nexus by showing that speed was very important to Google in getting Android out, and by copying they accelerated that.

    Judge: We heard the testimony of Mr. Bloch. I couldn't have told you the first thing about Java before this problem. I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You're one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?

    Oracle: I want to come back to rangeCheck.

    Judge: rangeCheck! All it does is make sure the numbers you're inputting are within a range, and gives them some sort of exceptional treatment. That witness, when he said a high school student could do it--

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:14PM (#40018741)

    Google did say that they copied it, but really, how else might one write it?

    Espically when you consider that the programmer who "copied it" for Google is the programmer who originally wrote it for Sun....

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by daniel78 (2563977) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @12:16PM (#40018793)
    Google pretty much admitted it was copied - claiming it was accidental (the same guy wrote it for Oracle and later, Google). It has since been replaced. The jury - completely reasonably - found that it infringed. This is no longer in debate

    The question is whether it is worth anything.

    Google says no. Oracle's own expert witnesses said no. The judge - who has apparently revealed he is a programmer - says no. Oracle are arguing it's worth millions.

    Someone is desperate here, and its not Google
  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:04PM (#40019419) Journal

    J2ME is a pretty feature-limited version of Java. It certainly was never going to be suitable on the mid to high end smartphones. Pretty much every smartphone out there now is perfectly capable of running the full-blown JRE out of the box. In other words, with or without Dalvek, mobile Java editions are a fading proposition.

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbengt (874751) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:05PM (#40019439)
    SCO had the same lawyer.
  • by bytesex (112972) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:33PM (#40019779) Homepage

    That is all that should be said about this case. The guy cannot seem to help finding himself on the wrong side of a technological argument. Why do they keep hiring him ?

  • Oracle surrenders? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:40PM (#40019859)

    Google pretty much admitted it was copied - claiming it was accidental (the same guy wrote it for Oracle and later, Google).

    Actually, its not the "the same guy wrote it for Oracle and later, Google". It wasn't written twice.

    Its that the Google employee who wrote it on his own time both included it in the Android source tree and contributed to to the OpenJDK (including the required copyright assignment.)

    The question is whether it is worth anything. Google says no. Oracle's own expert witnesses said no. The judge - who has apparently revealed he is a programmer - says no. Oracle are arguing it's worth millions.

    Actually, Oracle's pretty much given up on that, too. In a joint stipulation filed today, Oracle has agreed to waive both jury trial and its claim for actual damages and infringers profits on the copyright claims for which liability has already been found if the API SSO issue isn't resolved in its favor, and accept statutory damages for rangeCheck and the decompiled files.

  • by andersh (229403) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @01:57PM (#40020121)

    Are you sure about that?

    Josh Bloch, who wrote rangeCheck, testified that “[a]ny competent high school programmer could write” that method. RT 815:13-16 (Bloch). Even Oracle’s expert Dr. Mitchell conceded that “a good high school programmer” could write rangeCheck with guidance. RT 1316:24-25 (Mitchell).

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120516083919975&query=rangecheck [groklaw.net]

    To quote Google's lawyer in court today:

    [PJ: Let me remind everyone that the testimony was that a contractor, Noser, did it, and it did it contrary to specific instructions from Google.]

    Let me come back to rangeCheck. Every time I talk about this, I feel like I'm either saying it's important or it's not important. That's a false dichotomy. No one can say it's a big thing. But it was something that was copied, and it was important to TimSort, which had a significant performance advantage.

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120515120106322&query=rangecheck [groklaw.net]

    P.S. I admit that I could be wrong, I'm not following the case that closely, but this does seem clear cut?

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:4, Informative)

    by the_B0fh (208483) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @03:00PM (#40020925) Homepage

    Please. Boies was the lead lawyer in the Microsoft monopoly trial - against Microsoft. He was one of the best trial lawyers to break up illegal monopolies then.

    Lawyers argue for the side that is paying for them. Just like everyone else - you do the work you're paid to do.

  • Re:A high schooler? (Score:2, Informative)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @04:57PM (#40022229) Homepage

    Those numbers are outdated (Sep 1, 2011); smartphones surpassed feature phones in the US this year: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Smartphone-Update-2012/Findings.aspx [pewinternet.org]

    In any case, current numbers are not nearly as important as future growth, and the feature phone sales have actually declined while smartphones are growing like crazy.

  • Re:5 Seconds (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @05:08PM (#40022335) Journal

    More 7 minutes tryiung to figure out why the comparasion operators fucked up a block of what should be a plain text block. X-(

    You've used <tt> - it's not a "plain text block", it's a "monospaced span". It can still contain HTML formatting inside.

    Slashdot actually gives you the ability to conveniently format pieces of code and such - that's <ecode>. This treats any < and > as verbatim characters inside the element, except for those that make up its closing tag.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @05:18PM (#40022435) Journal

    He didn't say the part about "a high schooler", but he did say something that pretty much amounts to the same thing:

    "I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. "

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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