The latest news about the infringement dance Google and Oracle are doing, indicates that Google may be in serious trouble. These law suites usually are far-from-my-bed things which are taken note of, wondered about, and swapped out for day to day activities. But, for some reason, this morning I woke up early and felt angry. Very angry even. And it was aimed at Oracle.
I’ve coded Java since version 1.1. The last 10+ years of my professional life have been about Java. I’ve spent many of my spare time learning, fine tuning, enhancing my Java skills; I’ve tried to contribute as a compensation for making my work possible; even this week I’ve spent precious family time on JavaFX (JFXtras). I never believed that Java was dead. No language was able to pull me away; no Jython, Scala, Haskell or Groovy, no C# or mono. Oh, I’ve examined them all, but they just confirmed that Java is a good and solid choice for the years to come.
But this morning, for the first time, I wondered that if Oracle would use Java to really hurt Google (considering the amount of money they’re suing for, that is a real possible scenario). If Oracle would abuse their stewardship of Java to really hurt one of the biggest contributors to the Java ecosystem. If this law suite turns out to be more than just a slap on the wrist to make clear who’s boss. If Oracle loses the benefit of the doubt, if I then still would be willing to invest my private time in a community with such a leader. With such risk of innovation being slammed down by legislation… Oracle may be able to accomplish what nothing could before; kill my Java community spirit.
I still hope Oracle learned from situations like OpenOffice and Jenkins, and that they will join Google in the mutual interest of further developing Android. The future will tell. Naturally my professional life will still involve a lot of Java in the coming years, Java is too entrenched for that, but what would I do with my spare time if things turn out for the worst?