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Oracle Android Google Java

Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs 215

An anonymous reader writes: Google is ditching the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android and moving to only OpenJDK. The news first came by a "mysterious Android codebase commit" from last month submitted to Hacker News. Google confirmed to VentureBeat that Android N will rely solely on OpenJDK. “As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”
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Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs

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  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @09:29PM (#51206097) Journal
    I wonder how much stuff this is going to break?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @09:38PM (#51206137)

      As long as it pisses off Larry Ellison, it's worth it.

    • I wonder how much stuff this is going to break?

      That's my first thought as well. OpenJDK is almost identical to Oracle Java as far as I know (it's even the reference implementation for Java starting with 7), so what are the real implications of this? And just what exactly is Google "giving up" by moving to OpenJDK?

    • by maligor ( 100107 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @09:39PM (#51206153)

      I wonder how much stuff this is going to break?

      The difference between OpenJDK and Java JDK is meaningless (In Android), so nothing will break. I think the core build systems has been using OpenJDK over official java for a while, and I would imagine this is the shift for the app developer stuff, but it won't really change anything aside from having to download a new JDK.

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @10:16PM (#51206299) Journal
        OpenJDK is under the GPL, which means there will be a lot more GPL in Android now.

        Here is the commit message [googlesource.com]. Right now they are just copying files over, so it's not entirely clear what they will be doing with the OpenJDK stuff, but it's in there. Presumably Google will modify it to use Dalvik (or whatever VM they are using now).
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @10:23PM (#51206325) Homepage

        The difference between OpenJDK and Java JDK is meaningless (In Android), so nothing will break

        If that's true, why haven't they been using it all along? The first commercial Android phone was unveiled in late 2008. The OpenJDK class library was pretty complete by then.

      • Anything source compatible is copyright violation subject to the dmca thanks to the Oracle court case.

        Compatibility is intermingled with copyright. Terrible decision

        • by jonwil ( 467024 )

          If Google were to replace their existing implementations of the Java APIs with the implementation from OpenJDK and followed the GPL in doing so, they would be legally in the clear since the GPL explicitly lets Google use that code (and those APIs) and says that doing so is not a copyright violation as long as you follow the license.

        • Anything source compatible is copyright violation subject to the dmca thanks to the Oracle court case.

          No, there might still be a fair use defense. Eagle Technologies copied the IBM bios, for example.
          The Oracle vs Google trial is ongoing, it is up to Google to present a fair-use defense (but these things move slowly).

          • by amorsen ( 7485 )

            The IBM vs. Compaq case about BIOS would almost certainly have gone the other way today if it had not by itself set a precedent.

            At the time, copyright was a more limited concept, and a work had to show artistic merit to be protected. It was decided that the mere functionality of a program did not have artistic merit, only the particular expression, and Compaq only copied the functionality without copying the particular expression. Today the same applies in theory, but the standards for what is required for

            • The IBM vs. Compaq case about BIOS would almost certainly have gone the other way today if it had not by itself set a precedent.

              Maybe. There's a clear interoperability clause written into copyright law now, so it seems like it would probably still go the same way.

              The weakness in Google's fair-use interoperability defense is that they didn't use Java for interoperability purposes. So I'm interested in seeing which way the case will go, but I don't have much hope for them.

    • by nyet ( 19118 )

      This changes nothing, both legally and technically. The API is exactly the same.

      Stupid.

      • Legally OpenJDK is covered by the GPL which would allow Google to do what they want with it providing they abide by the license (provide source code which they already do).
    • Application-wise, probably not much, what with the official move over to ART.

    • I wonder how much stuff this is going to break?

      None on the OpenJDK side. OpenJDK has been the officially recommended JDK for Android development for the past year already.

      I suppose this announcement means that Android will stop supporting the Oracle JDK from now on, and I suppose that means there will be a lot of breakage on that side.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    All the apps continue to be developed for iOS. That's where the money is, less theft, less radically different OS's.

  • by jblues ( 1703158 )

    If you're developing for Android it is worth checking out Kotlin [kotlinlang.org] along with the Anko [github.com] libs from Jetbrains.

    Kotlin, by the company that provides the Android Studio platform, is built on the Java platform and adds a modern, fashionable multi-paradigm (OO, functional) syntax, fixes some gaps in the Java standard libs, adds optionals that are (IMHO) easier to read than Swift's. It seems to be the best bet for getting a modern, fashionable language on Android, ie does not add to download size, seamless operation w

    • Jetbrains doesn't provide the Android Studio platform, they provide the underlying base editor of the Android Studio platform.
      • by jblues ( 1703158 )

        The IntelliJ platform is much more than an editor. For example, it provides the following:

        • Refactoring such as inline, extract method, extract variable, rename method, rename class.
        • Code sense such as badges that show, for example, which classes implement a given interface, and identification of poor practices.
        • Test execution facilities with listener and GUI feedback.
  • "Proprietary" is a word meaning ownership. Oracle does not own any APIs.
    If you mean "hold the copyright to" well the US Congress wrote the law and it says they can't.
    The courts last year said they sort of can (in the 9th District). So in the 9th district Oracle
    has copyrights (but it's still not their proprietary anything) and in the other districts nothing.

    SCOTUS declined to hear it. Perhaps with conflicting rulings in other districts they will
    harmonize this and once again APIs will be free from copyrigh

    • The courts last year said they sort of can (in the 9th District). So in the 9th district Oracle has copyrights (but it's still not their proprietary anything) and in the other districts nothing.

      It was the Federal Circuit's decision, not the Ninth Circuit. While not binding on other circuits, the Federal Circuit is extremely influential.

      • by SLi ( 132609 )

        Yes, but the Federal Circuit's decision in this case is binding (only) in the 9th Circuit, I believe. You are right, though, that it will have influence in other circuits.

        While I don't like the result, contrary to what others have written, I do not find the Federal Circuit's decision in this case to be hasty; on the contrary, I think it was very well reasoned. It's not for the courts to make law, but to interpret it. The decision made, in my opinion, well the case that this is what the law says and it is fo

  • "As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat.

    Is that why they are making 'closed source' versions of apps that was a part of the open source Android? Like Camera, Dialer, Keyboard, Contacts, Calendar, etc. It seems, if Google could, they would make Android closed source... I just take it that they don't want to pay licensing costs to Oracle anymore.

  • Oracle Lawyers Confused by Latest Google Move. Have no idea who to sue so sue themselves.

    Highly appropriate that the captcha is "losers." Which is a good description of Oracle/Larry Ellison.

  • Apache Harmony (Score:5, Informative)

    by staalmannen ( 1705340 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @02:16AM (#51207085)
    They never used Oracle/Sun Java but Apache Harmony due to the " no GPL in userspace" rule in Android. My guess is that this has nothing to do with Oracle and everything to do with that Apache harmony isdead and it is annoying to maintain a fork. Using OpenJDK could increase quality and security thanks to more eyeballs.
    • My guess is that this has nothing to do with Oracle and everything to do with that Apache harmony isdead and it is annoying to maintain a fork.

      Using OpenJDK insulates Android from Oracle lawsuits over Java.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @04:35AM (#51207343)
    OpenJDK is 100% compatible [ubuntu.com] with the Java public APIs. So they are switching to something which is the same ...
  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @04:47AM (#51207367) Homepage

    Wasn't Android using Apache Harmony as basis? Given that Harmony is no longer being developed due to OpenJDK being just as open and available, it's only a logical choice to upgrade to a modern Java API.

    Additionally, using OpenJDK instead of Harmony (or any other Java Classpath implementation) does nothing with respect to using "Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At least at this site posts should be accurate enough to distinguish between interface and implementation correctly.

    Title should state that next version will switch *implementation* of Java API from Google's proprietary *implementation* (taken from Apache Harmony as they had told the judge) to OpenJDK *implementation*.

    Ditching Java API (Application Programming *Interface*) would be a catastrophe for entire Android ecosystem as Google would need to reinvent all the library APIs for Java language. At that poi

  • Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs

    That's not what Google is doing. It is switching the internals from Apache Harmony to OpenJDK. Seriously, who the fuck writes these titles and headings. Slashdot, news for nerds and hackers? Suuuuuuuuuuuuure.

    • Google Confirms Next Android Version Won't Use Oracle's Proprietary Java APIs

      That's not what Google is doing. It is switching the internals from Apache Harmony to OpenJDK.

      Implications:

      * Google overcame their longstanding irrational anti-GPL bias, at least for the toolchain
      * Google follows the lead of IBM, 5 years later [wikipedia.org]
      * Google finally saw the wisdom of going it alone with a project that end-of-lifed> 4 years ago [wikipedia.org]
      * The Harmony project forced Sun/Oracle to fully GPL the JDK, achieving its primary goal, and after that had no reason to exist

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