back to article Google dubs Oracle suit 'attack on Java community'

Google has called Oracle's Android lawsuit an attack not only on Google but also on the open-source Java community. "We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit," a company spokesman said in a statement to USA Today. "The open-source Java community …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Well, *this* should be good

    This one has it all: OSS, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, evil corporations doing battle for the fate of humanity, the whole nine yards (or hogsheads, or whatever they use in Britain). There is one good thing that could come out of this battle, though: the death of Java. Perhaps we can all finally be free of memory-leaking, poorly-encoded, fugly-ass applications that do half as much with twice the resources. Oracle wants Java? Fine--let 'em keep it! I, for one, can do without Java altogether.

    1. technome

      We've had yards...

      ...longer than you lot have had a country.

      1. James Hughes 1


        We have now moved on to the metric system, which, as I am sure you are aware, is considerable better than the imperial system in almost every respect.

        That's my ha'penny anyway.

        Now, got to drive the 36 miles home, filling up my car with litres of petrol, drink a pint in the pub and so on and so forth.

      2. serviceWithASmile
        Thumb Up


        your, sir, win.

        can we have "respect" / "diss" buttons?

    2. vic 4
      Thumb Down

      buggy software is not limited to java

      I hate these comments, based on nothing but legacy opinions from around 10 years ago and a few poorly written applications. Like any language java has had some poor application developed using it, not to mention a load of useless applets that web developers decided they could slap on their page to demonstrate how clever they were fortunately the world has moved on. It an application looks ugly and is obviously developed in java then you can be 95% shure it was slapped together with out any real skill, just as if you see an app that was obviously developed in say VB or visual c++.

      I've used c++ a long time before an ISO standard was offical, java since 1.1 and c# for the past few years. Of those only Java comes close to providing a practical platform for enterprise level software, and that software runs on linux, mac, windows and more UNIXes than you could shake a stick at. The death of java would set back the operational running of many buisnesses, true .net is going to improve in the coming years, but until then it only makes sense when you are heavily invested in windows.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      "Trolls will be trolls.

      They are in need of care and attention."

    4. Daniel B.

      Death of Java actually the worst possible outcome.

      I'd rather have Java live on. The only real alternative is MS's .NET, and that means that MS would take over the server industry as well. No thanks.

      The one beast I would love to see die a horrible death is that monstrosity called Visual Basic. Now that is a technology that should have never been born at all!

  2. Renato


    I just took a fast search on the OIN website, and it seems no JVM or anything related to Java runtimes are protected by their definition of "Linux System". Android is not Linux. It is Linux + Java + Android framework.

    1. prathlev


      I understand the problem thus: The allegedly infringed patents might be generic enough to not only concern Dalvik but also other pieces of code in other software stacks. If Oracle would succeed in winning a patent case against Google they would set precedent and therefore make it much easier to "come after" other open source software projects with patents, either the same or similar.

      Testing software patents this way might open up a Pandora's box. Imagine that a court decides that the specific patents from this case are clearly enforceable, or imagine that Oracle and Google choose to settle out of court, thereby scaring others from using Dalvik code or derivatives, or even code vaguely similar to Dalvik.

      We can of course hope that Oracle clearly loses this case, and that an appeals court (or higher) asserts that (at least these) patents simple aren't enforceable. But that's probably hoping too much.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Sun just lost the plot when it came to business v's just doing cool stuff and hoping to make money!

    “During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle.”

    – Java founder James Gosling

    Never fails to amaze and sadden me when I read quotes like this, where was Sun's plan to make money?

    Lost of people here bemoan that Oracle is more interested in making money than pursuing cool innovative projects with no clue as to how they're going to make money, Sun is a prime example of how that's not an effective business model.

    1. prathlev

      @AC 00:22

      There are others ways of making money than being litigious you know. I think James' was miffed by the sparkling eyes being those of the lawyer, since this lawyer's goal seemed to clearly be suing Google.

      1. Code Monkey


        You have to admit that Sun did become very bad at making money

        1. Captain Thyratron


          Sure, but it's not like being nice to people was what damaged their business. Being matrix-managed to hell, paying gobs of cash for business units that would never make up that investment, having broken sales and marketing staff, and not knowing how to get a major, multibillion-dollar chip project or two out the door on time (or at all) were probably bigger problems than not suing enough people.

  4. Jason Ozolins

    Write once, test everywhere; or, Java reality != Java whalesong

    Showing my age, I remember a leaked Sun internal memo from 2003, entitled "The Java Problem":


    "It is impractical for a project based on Java to correct bugs in the Java implementation. Java Software corrects bugs only by releasing an entire new version. For that reason, projects seek to deliver their own copy of Java so they can maintain it without fear of a future upgrade. Outside vendors, such as TogetherJ, specify a particular release of Java for their product. The customer must locate that release and install it. If a future product seeks to use a different version, that version has to be installed side-by-side with the prior version or TogetherJ may no longer function.

    The ARCs commonly see project submittals requesting permission to ship their own version of Java. The ARCs have been routinely forbidding projects to do this even though they are aware of specific cases wherein interfaces or their underlying behaviors have changed incompatibly across minor releases."

    So in 2003, even engineers inside Sun wanted to bundle a separate JVM with each app to reduce the chances of JVM problems causing support issues. My question to current developers of mobile apps would be, do you still see enough variation between JREs on mobile devices that you end up having to test your apps on lots of different devices?

    If mobile app developers do still need to test across a wide range of devices to have confidence that their apps will work, then any professed concern from Oracle about Google splintering the mobile Java app market is either defending an ideal which doesn't work, or simply an excuse for reasserting tight control over who gets to do what with Java, and how much they should pay for that privilege.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's more of a device problem than a Java problem

      unlike on the desktop, the devices within the mobile market can vary greatly in their basic set of capabilities. Java ME supports a huge range of APIs, but no device supports them all. I don't think there is such a thing as a device that supports the entire Java ME JSR set, each has their own subset. MSA and MSA 2 are supposed to help fix that but even within MSA there are subsets, and of course there will be supersets.

      Then you've also got more basic differences such as screen size, input controls etc. that complicate things further.

      Apple succeeds in this regard by having a severely limited set of devices. If you want choice in devices then this problem is inevitable. Android only aggravates the problem further by doing very little to deter fragmentation of the implementations, in fact the license almost encourages it. Java has an extensive set of tests available, even beyond just the TCKs, but not every OEM cares enough to do it right. Still the fragmentation of the Java implementations isn't that bad anymore.

      1. c 1

        fragmentation of the Java implementations is worse than ever!


        J2ME is still as broken as it ever was. As a standard it is dead as a doornal, MIDP3.0 is sstillborn and not one single device vendor is doing anything signficant with it. All of them are abondoning in favour of Android or other open OS.

        As for TCKs - theya re joke. Most OEMs dont even pay lip service to the TCKs.

        Andorid howver - yet to have a serious compatibuility problem. Things just "work" across multiple vendors. That is unheard of with J2ME. I completely reject the notion that somehow Android is "fragmented". yes there is potentila for this to happen but is most defeintely has not yet.

        1. Daniel B.

          BlackBerry's approach

          RIM stuck with J2ME, but their approach was to simply extend J2ME with their own framework, which adds all that lost functionality. Android could've done this, but they didn't. They didn't really forsee the consequences of doing this if Sun ever got bought out by a less flexible entity.

          Maybe Google should've gobbled down Sun, instead of Oracle. But now it's too late for them!

    2. vic 4
      Thumb Down

      Write once, test everywhere

      And why is this a problem with java? Surely this would be done when necessary with any software. If the software is windows based you any company releasing software is going to test the software on different OS versions and service packs? Devices with different features and resources obviously need separate testing.

  5. c 1

    Fragmentation! J2ME defines what fragmetnation is!

    ""They had very weak notions of interoperability, which, given our history, we strongly objected to. Android has pretty much played out the way that we feared: there is enough fragmentation among Android handsets to significantly restrict the freedom of software developers.""

    JG must be kidding or he is living in cloud cuckoo land. Java/J2ME is so ridiculously fragmented that it defies belied. There 100 or more JSRs that comprise it, the vast majority of which are optional. Even the ones that are mandatory have large chunks where things are either not defined or optional as well. FFS even address book access is defined in an an optional JSR! As is access to any of the messaging functions. Want a listening socket - well that is optionally supported as well. That is before you even encounter a device - which most likely wont work as expected or at all with the feature that you want. J2ME needs to be killed and killed now. Luckily that is happening at a very fast rate.

    Android is beacon of consistency and stability in comparison.

    1. vic 4
      Thumb Up

      Here, here

      J2ME just awful, but it was/is a revenue stream for sun/oracle.

      What we need is a more modular approach to packaging java, a few efforts tried to do something but nothing practical has come out of them. I'd love to see oracle (and android) embrace osgi as a way of managing fragmentation and providing extensions.

  6. ysth

    Will this be the time it's finally worth the $ for someone to do away with U.S. software patents?

    Will this be the time it's finally worth the $ for someone to do away with U.S. software patents?

    How much in campaign contributions would Google have to make? $10 million? $20m?

    Compare that to the billions software patents end up costing end users every year. If we had an unbought government, it would be already done. Failing that, all it takes is one company to see more of the downside than the upside.

    1. Lou Gosselin


      I'll vote the same way as you, but large companies with large pocketbooks are the typical beneficiaries of software patents.

      It enables them to have monopolies on software algorithms, even when independently implemented in someone else's source code on an irrelevant project. This makes them far more powerful than copyrights.

      Software patents are a big burden for open source projects in particular, because the developers are usually just individuals using their technical skills to solve their own problems.

      At least google has the resources to fight oracle, and failing that, the cash to license the patents. Most of us do not, and innovation not only stalls, but reverses when developers are forced to remove features to avoid litigation.

  7. John Sanders

    Java the JVM should die

    And Java the compiler should be born free and Open Source.

    And suddenly Java will run fast and will be debugged quickly.

    Die Java die!!!!

    Next is .net

  8. Tony Paulazzo

    Kill all the lawyers

    I say we drop a nuke from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      You're terminally stupid...

      ...or an agent provocateur. It's about changing the laws that are wrong, not about giving ammunition to the people that paint the movement for the abolition of patents as a bunch of nutjobs.

  9. Ian Michael Gumby

    This is a Java ME issue. Not a Linux issue.

    "Oracle and Google are both licensees of the Open Invention Network, a patent-sharing organization set up to protect Linux from legal attack. But this was no impediment to Oracle unloading on Android, which is, yes, a Linux distro."

    And of course here's something else... is Android a Linux distro if its not certified as a Linux distro?

    (Of course I'm going from memory, but wasn't there a couple of articles about Google getting back into the Linux community's good graces?

  10. Stephen Channell

    Need to follow ISO Standards

    Time was when almost nobody would use any language feature until it had been ratified by the International Standards Organisation. Microsoft was roasted for introducing the “far” verb into the C language to simulate 20-bit addressing on the Intel 8086 (instead of 16-bit segmented memory).. but C on MSDOS was useless without far pointers.

    Everybody seemed to think it was OK to go with Java and the benevolent Sun dictator, but even Churchill thought Hitler was a benevolent dictator at the start.. the “safe” path is to go back to strict adherence to ISO standards.. and challenge Oracle to step-up.. but that won’t happen.

    Dalvik is not a “mean-mans JVM”, it is not the licence fee that infects the Oracle wound but a lower-level VM (LLVM) that can bring together Java, CLR, C++, Python, etc. Oracle can see the writing on the wall.. if Java is just another language on an open VM.. it’ll never make money from it. Java’s either going to stagnate (as if it hadn’t already!), die, or go open.. either way.. the new COBOL is the best we can expect from it!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We will strongly defend open-source standards?

    This is not about Linux, but Java, which is not a standard? Looks like Google are muddying the waters again and trying to look like the white knight... sort of when they did a u-turn on China and were shocked, shocked that censoring was taking place. Maybe if they had started with a truly open-source standard for Android this wouldn't have happened?

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  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Tinfoil hats on

    Close personal bud of Steve Jobs in attack on burgeoning Android platform. What *could* have motivated that?

  14. ForthIsNotDead


    "In my opinion the OIN has already failed. If it worked, Oracle would never have filed its suit in the first place. So the OIN isn't the protective shield for Linux that it claims to be."

    Except of course that the entire basis of the argument is JAVA. You idiots.

    Why were they even approached? THey just made themselves look really silly...

    1. Tom King 2

      Oracle wants all Android instances destroyed

      From page 9 of the complaint:

      "An order that all copies made or used in violation of Oracle America’s copyrights,

      and all means by which such copies may be reproduced, be impounded and destroyed or

      otherwise reasonably disposed of;"

      Whether that means just the alleged bits or the whole Android OS, it's not completely clear here. If that does indeed mean all Android instances, this isn't just about the Java anymore.

  15. Vic

    Florian Muller is not a "noted open source advocate"

    Florian is a gob for hire.

    If he holds forth on any subject, there's a near-certainty that someone has paid for some astroturfing.

  16. vic 4

    Pretty much off topic

    Whatever you think of Google they have a sense of humour, any one else seeing the google ads on this article linking to for "Scientology Today Why is Scientology the Fastest Growing Religion of 21st Century?"

    Given the (rightly IMHO) negative press they (scientologists) receive on here, maybe google should add some logic to check for negative comments about what they are advertising rather than just(?) keyword matching.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    The Java 6 update 21 that just kicked off on my computer still offers me the chance to install the Google toolbar.....

    Which is nice.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TurboHercules and

    The mention to IBM vs TurboHercules case got me curious and I did some reaserch. Interesting this article on Groklaw ant the fact that TurboHercules on their News link point for the 2nd page only of this blog,0 (curious isn't it?) among other things. I'm not defending IBM, it's just the whole TurboHercules thing it's a bit strange...

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