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Oracle's Newest Move To Undermine Android 342

GMGruman writes "Oracle's decision to shift focus from the Harmony Java open source project to OpenJDK seems innocuous enough — but InfoWorld's Josh Fruhlinger explains it's part of an effort to derail Google's mobile Android OS by gutting the open source project that Android has been driven by. IBM has signed on, apparently in return for getting the Java Community Process reactivated, leaving Google in a bind."
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Oracle's Newest Move To Undermine Android

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  • Rough times (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:31PM (#33874878)

    Fuck you Oracle. Android is the only mobile OS worth using on the market right now, why are you trying to fuck that up? Its not like Apple's garbage is worth using.

  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:32PM (#33874898)
    Google is full of smart people. I'm sure they saw this move - and the entire assault on mobile Java and derivatives thereof - coming long before Oracle started their anti-Android crusade. I'd be willing to bet that Google has something new 'brewing' for Android 3 that will leave this whole mess behind. You just don't get that many programmers together without a few being paranoid enough to have planned an 'escape module'.
  • Who is surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:33PM (#33874912)

    Did this surprise anyone?
    Let us all remember that ORACLE stands for "One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison"

    This is the company that buys out someone else and does not even bother to offer the customers a migration path. Nor any form of support other than letting you fill out a bug report they close as the product is EOL.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:34PM (#33874926)

    Can someone explain why Oracle cares about the success/failure of Android? I honestly don't know.

    The success of Android means a potential 'licensing fee' from every Android install. They don't care about Android per se, they just want to charge everyone to be able to use it.

  • by Orga ( 1720130 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:36PM (#33874950)
    Agreed, I think the usage of the term bind is excessive. Somehow MS and RIM survive without external developers working on their products language I'm sure Google can handle it. And as TFA stated Google has OpenJDK developers right now, whose to say what the future will bring to android.
  • No Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:42PM (#33875042)

    Sun started OpenJDK as the project from which the GPL'ed version of Java would be created.

    It stands to reason, that Sun had planned to discontinue supporting Harmony when OpenJDK was formed.

    Don't mean to spoil a good conspiracy...

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:44PM (#33875072)

    J2ME is not free, if your phone uses that VM you owe oracle money.

  • Re:No Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dr.newton ( 648217 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:47PM (#33875118) Homepage

    Did Sun ever really support Harmony?

    Either way, making a deal with another company to ensure that all their developers stop working on a project is going farther than to "discontinue supporting" it.

    Also, I think you did mean to spoil a good conspiracy. Shame on you.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:47PM (#33875122)

    Google is famous for building a piece of cool software to version .8 or so and then releasing it under open source and letting everyone else finish the work. they build some cool software for internal use but for all their consumer products they expect everyeone else to finisht the work or let a cool product like google reader languish

  • by Snap E Tom ( 128447 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:59PM (#33875300)

    And Larry Ellison's good buddies with Steve Jobs. Coincidence? I think not.

  • Re:Rough times (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:05PM (#33875386) Journal

    Not sure that's a good comparison.

    The Wii is focusing on a different crowd than the 360 and the PS3 -> casual gamers and kids. It's also quite a bit cheaper, particularly at the release of either the 360 or the PS3. Their lack focus on hardcore gaming probably says less bad about them than you...

    Also, since the classic gaming systems are hard to get for a reasonable price, the Wii isn't a bad choice to get a bunch of classic games relatively inexpensively.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:07PM (#33875416)

    Not even check, honestly. More like a limp attack on the queen with a pawn. What Google uses from the Harmony project is a bunch of the core java.* classes. This stuff changes, sure, but not particularly heavily or rapidly these days. This is not where Android is innovating, nor is it a huge area of rapid development, assuming Harmony is at or approaching stability. This might require Google to shift a couple of their Java developers around, but the legal issues are far more significant than any costs associated with this.

    The Dalvik VM itself is already developed internally at Google. The Android apps and framework and the rest of the stack is already developed internally at Google.

    This might very well mean that Harmony won't see ongoing development toward being a fully featured JDK replacement, but Google doesn't need that anyway.

    I'm not an expert on Android internals or anything, but I think this story is being significantly overblown.

  • Re:Next SCO? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:07PM (#33875418)

    So you're expecting a big, collective gasp as suddenly thousands of people realize Google is a company? You might want to prepare yourself for disappointment.

    On a different note, Google's model seems to be more interesting than simply controlling data. They don't want control; they want visibility. They want data to flow through their systems. And they want systems that will make better use of that data. All the free services produce advertising eyeballs, to be sure. But they also provide massive amounts of test data on which Google can try new ideas and tweak useful tools. GOOG411 is a great example. Google presented the service and used it to collect voice samples and feedback to tweak their voice recognition. Now that they're to a certain point (and perhaps Android devices are providing a cost-effective alternative), GOOG411 is EOL.

  • Re:Rather Huge (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:19PM (#33875574) Journal

    It's a huge amount of code when you consider how reliant Java code is to how strings work, to how the networking classes work, to how date handling works, to how internationalization works.

    Is it a huge amount of code, or a huge amount of work to get it right?

    Note that there is no talk about rewriting anything. Harmony already has the implementation, and it is OSS, and will remain such even if its development is discontinued. Google would only need to fork that code and maintain it on the level of fixing bugs.

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:22PM (#33875634)

    And Larry Ellison's good buddies with Steve Jobs. Coincidence? I think not.

    Of course it's not a coincidence. Pompous douchebags like other pompous douchebags. :)

    Not to derail the conspiracy angle, but sometimes it's better to bet on people being self-promoting jerks than people being Evil with a capital E.

  • Re:Rough times (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhcompy ( 1877290 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:26PM (#33875692)
    It's a great comparison because the iPhone targets the casual phone user. It's not a phone for a power user. Similar to the iPod, which doesn't even play OGG like a 30 dollar Sansa Clip. 360 and PS3 are for the power users, Wii is for the mass market.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @05:20PM (#33876326)

    Perhaps you ought to turn yours in. The suit isn't about destroying Android. The suit is about the fact that Google is using an incompatible VM with the Java language and trying to pass it off as Java. Which it isn't. Java is supposed to be compatible between the various VMs, even if not always perfect.

    It can only be incompatible if they actually claim to be java compatible. They don't. They claim to be able to parse the java byte code, which they do. This is like ARM complaining that you can run ARM binaries in an emulator on another platform - only once more removed.

    Java syntax -> java compiler -> java byte code -> compiled to dalvik byte code -> dalvik VM.

    The magic happens in the byte code to byte code recompilation. Basically this means Android uses java's byte code as an object format. So unless there is something magical about providing interoperability and compatibility, which are absolutely, legally allowed, I'm not sure what Oracle is complaining about.

    Hell, according to the die hard nutjobs in most IRC #java, they completely deny Android has anything to do with Java and a statement to the contrary will result in a kick/ban. Obviously, that's not legally binding but given how far removed Android's Dalvik is from Java, its difficult to understand the confusion when even Java's supporters don't recognize Android/Dalvik.

  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @06:52PM (#33877268)

    But with no major financial backing for the development of its Java libraries, Android could slip behind and lose the love of its Java-savvy developer base.

    Doesn't Google count as a major financial backer?

  • Re:Rough times (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @07:15PM (#33877524)

    Fuck you Oracle. Android is the only mobile OS worth using on the market right now, why are you trying to fuck that up? Its not like Apple's garbage is worth using.

    Oracle wants to get money from Google and control the Android phone market. Evil? No question about it. Moral? Not a bit. Good for users? No. Good for the economy? Certainly not. Yet another typical dickhead move by Larry Ellison? You bet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @07:52PM (#33877868)

    Smart and arrogant are not a good mix and that is what you have at Google. They have made many missteps because of this arrogance. Google Wave for one and many other projects. It is certainly conceivable they could have seriously damaged themselves here.
    Plus you managed to miss the main point which is having separate Java libraries is not a good thing for Google for many reasons. We all know Google can throw money at the problem.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:13PM (#33878016)

    Google has gotten away with not making Android a real Java, and thus not subject to Oracle's rules for the platform.

    The idea that a computer language should have rules imposed by a vendor is as absurd as the idea that a spoken language should have rules imposed by a government. In most civilized countries there is no such absurdity.

  • by MarkCollette ( 459340 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @08:23PM (#33878084)

    I'm noticing that all the pro Google comments are getting the high moderation, and the ones pointing out that Google leveraged Java in such a specific way as to not have to actually pay for it, are not getting the moderation.

    So let me ask all the clearly biased moderators:

    Why is more free, Java or Dalvik? Can you download and use Dalvik on your desktop or server? Is it completely open source? Or is it just a proprietary copy of a more open platform, with a few tweaks, and a cynical dodge of paying for it?

    Sun poured development into Java for more than a decade, creating a whole community of Java developers around the world, freeing us from the Wintel dominance. A whole ecosystem has been created, of tools IDEs, libraries, books, tutorials, applications servers, etc. Google has swept in, taken all that, and with a little legal trickery has attempted to not pay for it, to not give back compensation for what they are clearly benefiting from. And somehow, that's alright. Fighting to stop from being robbed means one is suddenly a patent troll.

  • by Pootie Tang ( 414915 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @12:19AM (#33879408)

    No wonder efforts to open Java stalled out a couple years ago, because along comes Google, who's willing to leverage every strength of Java, borne on Sun's back, and take it away without giving back, by walking some fine line of the letter of the law, while ignoring the spirit of the law, which is that if a company drops billions of dollars into a technology, and is trying to sell it (JavaME), they should be compensated. Why didn't Google simply make their own technology from the ground up? Because they received tremendous value from taking it. Was that not worth some compensation?

    I would say they did make their own technology from the ground up, as much as Sun did anyway. Android is not compatible with JavaME, you can have floats, there's no CLDC. Android is open source, how is Google not giving back?

    Sun didn't drop billions on JavaME. Java itself was open (at least to an extent) that was the spirit of the "law". Google ignored the ME part of the blueprint when building their own house, which me to removes any obligation to pay for it.

    Certainly Java is a fine language. But it built on the state of art at the time, not from a void. Android does the same. Isn't Java just a "proprietary copy of a more open platform, with a few tweaks, and a cynical dodge of paying for it"?

    I still don't understand what you think Google is supposed to pay for. JavaME license? Certainly Google didn't invent computers, programming or phones (and neither did Sun). Who was Sun supposed to pay for the progress they took advantage of?

    It's not that I don't understand how Google benefited or how Sun contributed. I just don't understand what business model you expect.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk