Oracle vs Google

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. (more…)

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About Oracle and Java

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You know, half the world is stumbling over each other trying to point out that Oracle is alienating the open source community from Java. And maybe they are, but until now, for me, it is still undecided.

Yes, Oracle did make Apache leave the JCP. But Apache was the one mixing the JDK7 specs with the fact that they wanted Harmony to be put through the JVM certification. I understand Apache, but I also understand Oracle for wanting to move forward. And for all the negative issues that people like to mention, Oracle also scored some points with me for getting Java on the Mac rolling again (they would score big time with Java on iOS, but that is a different matter and probably biased by my latest Objective-C experiences). And Google with Android, well, would the Android JVM pass the JVM certification? Most likely not, so legally it should not be called Java. And just like Microsoft wasn’t allowed to “abuse” Java many winters back, neither should Google.

For now Oracle is getting the benefit of the doubt, let’s see where they are taking it. The soup usually isn’t eaten as hot as it is served. [freely translated Dutch saying.]

That doesn’t mean that one should be oblivious to the negative points. What if Oracle is leaning too hard on the open source community and they are going elsewhere… Where would they go? DotNet? It’s not like Microsoft is much better than Oracle. PHP? Come on, PHP is just a scripting front-end for a bunch of Unix system libraries. It needs some serious growing up to be able to do full scale software development. Scala? Python? (more…)

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