back to article Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Oracle is massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences – six years after it bought Sun Microsystems. A growing number of Oracle customers and partners have been approached by Larry Ellison’s firm, which claims they are out of compliance on Java. Oracle bought Java with Sun Microsystems …

  1. DasWezel

    That time of year again

    Larry Ellison wants to buy a new yacht.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That time of year again

      And a moob job.

    2. TVU Silver badge

      Re: That time of year again

      "Larry Ellison wants to buy a new yacht."

      Yep, Litigious Larry is at it again. I regard it as a complete failure when companies resort to de facto patent trolling to gain income instead of coming up with innovative new products and delivering good service.

    3. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: That time of year again

      Also the time of year I start spec'ing out software projects for next year. Looks like we'll be prioritizing the re-write on anything written in Java (mostly CGIs with a few middle-ware bits hanging about). Planned on re-writing these next financial year, but moving it up if Oracle is trying to extort money out of its users.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That time of year again

      Who would let that malware vector called Java on any machine under their control? Just not having that rubbish around eliminates half, if not more, of the threats out there.

      1. pdxITgirl

        Re: That time of year again

        Well when you are forced to install applications for your users that require Java, you have no choice. Not to mention all the products (like HP switches and Dell DRACs) that require it for the web interface to function. So while I'd love to retire Java once and for all for my entire network, I cannot. Unfortunately. As every machine has *at least* one thing that requires it.

        Could they make the licensing requirements any more confusing though? The installer is now warning about Jan 2019 being the cutoff for security updates, so this is the first I've even heard of any of this. So now I need to figure out which versions are installed companywide and figure out what I need to replace existing versions with to ensure updates. And when your patch management / desktop auditing system just happens to be malfunctioning, that's really, really going to suck.

  2. James 51

    Sounds like a good way to alienate people you should be develping a good relationship with.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Come now! Oracle's strategy has always been to make sure your balls are in one of its vices and then to turn the screw every so often to extract more money.

      It worked so well for large databases when there was limited competition of any sort, so why would Larry think it wont work again?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Paul Crawford

        ".....Oracle's strategy has always been to make sure your balls are in one of its vices and then to turn the screw every so often to extract more money....." Which is exactly why this is good news! Larry also had adopted Sun's crazy plan to try and flog the hardware he got with the Sun corpse, so this is more evidence that Larry is finally beginning to realise his hardware toys are simply not an efficient use of resources, and he should go back to concentrating on the core products that us customers actually want, namely the database.

        As to why it has taken so long to happen, it was because Oracle needed to embed bits into the SE suite that he could claim were proprietary, such as the unwanted Desktop "product". Hey, do you remember all the pro-Oracle, ex-Sun fanbois insisting that would never happen? Those fanbois should be sheepishly hanging their naive heads in shame. The best thing they could do now is help the open source community devise some free and clear instructions for users on how to not install or remove the added crud that Larry has inserted into the Java suite so users can tell Larry's vultures where to insert their license demands.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Paul Crawford

          And a big ol' fucking HAHA! from me to everyone who's foolish enough to keep offering their balls to the One Raging Asshole Called Larry Ellison; AKA ORACLE.

          I used to be a Solaris Admin. Then Oracle purchased Sun Micro. That same day I switched my resume to read Linux Admin. Never looked back. And my rate for Solaris shops went up by 50%. Natch.

          Java? Never heard of it. I've heard of JavaScript, rather ECMAscript. Java? Do not want.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Paul Crawford

            > Java? Never heard of it. I've heard of JavaScript, rather ECMAscript. Java? Do not want.

            Normal. You are a sysadmin.

            Stay in your Corner!

      2. a_yank_lurker

        @Paul Crawford - Leisure Suit Larry has forgotten that companies probably do not need the Java SE only the JDK and RE for internal purposes.

    2. Ilsa Loving

      >>Sounds like a good way to alienate people you should be develping a good relationship with.

      You do realize that this is Oracle we're talking about, right?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Sounds like a good way to alienate people you should be develping a good relationship with."

      Ayups, and this is one of the main reasons I seriously dislike (wh)Oracle. Their approach is the sole reason why my company completely stopped using Solaris and migrated to FreeBSD (a move which we never regretted): right after the takeover we were told that we could renew our support license for Solaris, but it would "only" cost us 3 times more. Of course with getting less service back in return.

      Well, it worked: we dropped Solaris and in the mean time (between then and now) also advised many of our customers to do the same. Many did. Some decided to migrate to Windows Server, others started using Linux and some also followed our example of using FreeBSD.

      But at this time none of our clients is using Solaris anymore to my knowledge.

      I guess this is Oracle's way of ensuring that less people continue to use their products.

      1. a_yank_lurker

        Re: @James & Shell User

        (Wh)Oracle most valuable product is their relational database. As far as dbs go there is nothing spectacular about it. There are competitors with solid relational databases and there are other db systems which may be a better fit for one's specific situation.

        Solaris has always struck as Unix clone/derivative with nothing special about it except the availability of paid technical support from Sun. Much like Red Hat Linux but without the clones (Centos) and close relatives (Fedora) being available.

        1. Roo

          Re: @James & Shell User

          "Solaris has always struck as Unix clone/derivative with nothing special about it except the availability of paid technical support from Sun."

          In fairness to Solaris it did bring LDoms & ZFS to the table - which were fairly special at the time of their introduction.

        2. Jonathan Knight

          Re: @James & Shell User

          Solaris was built on System V which itself traces its heritage back through to the 1960s. Solaris brought proper shared memory, multiprocessor support, dynamic libraries, some cool thread jumping processors and X windows to mainstream workstation computing. Because they were open and friendly, they were the hackers platform of choice through the 80s and early 90s. We liked Alpha, but Solaris was where you went to build ideas.

  3. Craig 2

    It seems like Oracle is on a mission to make everyone on the planet hate them for one reason or another...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think they succeeded in their goal quite some time ago.

      1. oiseau
        Thumb Down

        "I think they succeeded in their goal quite some time ago."

        Indeed ...

        For example, ask all those who purchased Ultra 24s and a year later needed a BIOS update to fix the original one full of bugs.

    2. Richard 26

      I reckon Oracle is run by hostile alien entities that feed off negative emotions. If we all have a few beers and relax over Christmas, perhaps by the time we sober up they will all have died off.

      It's a longshot, I know. Worth giving it a go though, I reckon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...perhaps by the time we sober up they will all have died off."

        They are already dead! Ever seen the Oracle bio-pic called "Goonies"?

        Ellison is One-Eyed Larry, and just when you think you've made it, BOOM!...a bunch of traps spring and Larry sales off into the sunset with all the loot.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >I reckon Oracle is run by hostile alien entities that feed off negative emotions

        Larry is nicknamed Ming the Merciless for a good reason.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          But Larry isn't even nominally in charge of Oracle anymore?

          Since September 2014 actually.

          He's just Grand Moff now.

      3. elDog

        I know this is a long shot, but can we apply this to the US election also?

        One way or the other we wake up the next day feeling like we've been totally reamed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Java is dead

    or will be when Oracle starts hitting users with Lawsuits.

    Don't Oracle realise that this could be commercial suicide?

    I guess Larry has 'New Island' on his Christmas list.

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Java is dead

      Schools will keep java alive. I would love to purge my sisters computer of flash and Java and install no script but that would break the website my nieces use.

      1. patrickstar

        Re: Java is dead

        Java applets make up a really, really small part of what Java is used for.

        A looot of banking systems and various big enterprise stuff run serverside Java, in case you didn't know... Basically it's commonly used where you would have used COBOL way back.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Java is dead

        Schools will keep java alive. I would love to purge my sisters computer of flash and Java and install no script but that would break the website my nieces use.

        People who can't distinguish between Java, Java Applets and JavaScript are like imperial stormtroopers.

        You fire blasters at 10 of them then 20 more come running through the next comment gate.

        1. Maventi

          Re: Java is dead

          @ Destroy All Monsters: couldn't agree more! The ignorance surrounding the term 'Java' is astonishing.

          Java is a good language, particularly for server apps. That said, the browser plugin (and entire Oracle desktop JRE for that matter) should die in a fire.

      3. elDog

        Re: Java is dead

        Just to be charitable... Did you earn your Sliver Reg token by actually paying for indulgences?

        I'm really surprised you didn't throw the Island (of Java) or the coffee bean into your roaster at the same time.

    2. xylifyx

      Re: Java is dead

      The best way to monetize Java for Oracle and the best for everybody would be to sell it. If not, it is perhaps time for a fork of OpenJDK after JDK9.

      Companies that do aggressive license enforcements should be avoided like the plaque and Oracle is one of the worst.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It sounds as if the boat is taking on water and Larry thinks his shares will do a deep six.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    All very dubious

    Seems like a deliberate ploy to intermingle the free & non free components, so the non free components are inadvertently used without the user being aware of licencing issues.

    Thats why the timescale was long.

    A bit of time to stop the fully free Java stuff being possible to easily obtain as a separate entity.

    A bit of time to create a "contaminated" Java with free & non free stuff inter mingled & make that the only Java download available.

    A bit of time for use of the contaminated Java stuff to rise as people patched / upgraded.

    Fast forward to now, lots of users will by now have inadvertently used a non free component, send in the sharks to fleece them of cash.

    I'm sure some half competent lawyers could mount a robust counter attack based on the inability to easily get an uncontaminated wholly free version.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: All very dubious

      "I'm sure some half competent lawyers could mount a robust counter attack based on the inability to easily get an uncontaminated wholly free version."

      My thoughts exactly, but if we are both wrong then the logical consequence still isn't a new yacht for Larry. The first logical consequence is that businesses start asking themselves whether they have any Java-based apps on their systems. The second is that, having developed the tools to answer that question, it starts to be really difficult for third-parties to *sell* such products so they stop making (or even supporting) them. The third is that fairly soon no-one is using Java and it becomes just one of the things that your AV product quarantines on sight.

    2. JLV

      Re: All very dubious

      May "the COBOL of the 21st century" become "the COBOL of the first 20 years of the 21st century".

      Gives clever people 3 years to leave.

      Seriously, using non-free parts intermingled in a free download to gouge? With no way for a good-faith user to tell? Heck, the good faith user wouldn't even know to look. A new low, I couldn't find a slimebag to compare that approach to. Even a pusher's "the first hit is free" is more honest in comparison.

      1. Gwaptiva

        Re: All very dubious

        "Gives clever people 3 years to leave."

        And the very clever ones to smile quietly knowing that their rates are going to rise and rise.

        I mean, COBOL is still around and those that know how to maintain it are making gold money. You all move to your fun languages, and I'll fatten my pension account with the Java left-overs.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: Gwaptiva Re: All very dubious

          ".... You all move to your fun languages, and I'll fatten my pension account with the Java left-overs." er, unlikely. You'll find yourself competing against the Chinese and Indian offshorers, all willing to create reams of (bad) Java code at a fraction of what you'll want to charge for your time. During the Y2K fun I spent a lot of time steering banks away from using such offshorers in preference for actual experienced COBOL coders, not always with success.

          1. karakalWitchOfTheWest

            Re: Gwaptiva All very dubious

            Ah no. I can guarantee you that Java on the server side of things is going to stay.

            The times, where your so called offshorers threatened my lifelyhood are over. They are all into all the new things like node.js and whatever.

            So you are wrong....

        2. JLV

          Re: All very dubious

          >their rates are going to rise

          Maybe or maybe not.

          If folks abandoned Java (which I rather doubt in practice, so much inertia), because of the implications of this article, this would mostly happen on the company/demand side.

          On the programmer/supply side, there is no direct effect from a sudden cost increase on the language. So, demand might fall faster than supply.

          Certainly, an aggressive enforcement of fees on Java itself would not do much for Java use on new projects. Actually, I can't think of any pay-for mainstream language, though there are plenty of pay-for stacks and programming environments. Barring an aggressive enforcement of these licenses, will the extra revenue justify the FUD that's likely to come out of it? So I am unsure why Oracle is pursuing this.

          This muddleness is not entirely Oracle's fault either. Most of the licensing doubts around Java date from Sun. And an incapacity to make $ out of Java is part of what drove Sun into the ground.

  7. HmmmYes

    Always read the license that software comes with.

    Back in the early days - 1998ish - we were considering Java. I had a quick scan of the license it came with and ran away.

    As the article mentions, we had a problem with the meaning of “general purpose computing”'.

    Our software does not run on a general purpose computer. It runs on a dedicated platform. Sure, under the covers it was an x86 PC. But not a 'general purpose computer'

    My interpretation (IANAL) was any closed, turnkey system is not a 'general purpose computer'

    1. Grikath

      "read the license"

      Ermmm... yeeeeessss.......

      You do realise that those things are, quite deliberately, stated in the most obscure lawyerese so that no normal user can even begin to comprehend the implications of what they actually have bought, and how much they open themselves up to the sharks who have written the document to begin with. And even to the sharks themselves there's "a lot of room for interpretation", so that even specialists can get the odd surprise ot two.

      So "Read the License" isn't going to cut it.

      Unless, of course, you've retained a Lawyer..... oh wait...... /facepalm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "read the license"

        Even lawyers will be wary -- there is damn little case-law on these vague things.

      2. HmmmYes

        Re: "read the license"

        You make it sound likes its something obvious. Trust me, even in companies, most people do not read the license. They see stuff being avilable for download to free and think the free continues.

        As far as not being a layer - Im not. But Im a lot better at reading a contract than the corp lawyers are understanding technology terms and licenses - trust me, Ive spent many hours sat with legal dummies.

        But I can scan a contract and anything that jumps out is an immediate red flag. The term 'general purpose computer' is not legal boiler plate. It was put in there for a purpose/trap.

  8. Wensleydale Cheese

    VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

    "Always read the license that software comes with."

    The Oracle VirtualBox Extensions licence changed on 17 November 2016

    One wonders if the VirtualBox Extensions licence will be next in line for auditing.

    The previous licence hadn't changed since 2010. Notes on its usage from a 2012 blog post

    1. Kobblestown

      Re: VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

      The page at your last link greets me with a cookie acceptance dialog. Sorry, but I'm no longer clicking any "Agree and proceed" button at Oracle's site...

    2. jelabarre59

      Re: VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

      I thought the whole idea of the "Extensions Pack" was that multiple/alternative packs could be developed. In theory we should be seeing OS/2, BSD, and other alternatives (custom hardware emulation or advanced passthrough support for example). Or is Oracle going to claim ownership of the API?

      Were it not for portability (and availability under MSWindows, although that has become much less important) I'd just run KVM or Xen instead.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

      I dropped Virtualbox in favor of qemu-kvm shortly after Oracle acquired Sun and changed the license for that. I did not return, even though the kvm management tools were less attractive and even after they apparently backed off on the license.

      This only reinforces my decision.

    5. joed

      Re: VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

      Exactly the reason I've recently skipped the install for one of my users. At least Oracle was honest here and the restriction was in plain view (next to download link instead of buried in EULA). Not sure what to think about VirtualBox now. On the other hand days of java on PC are numbered, it's installed mostly by inertia and false perception of the need (and Oracle may just help change this).

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: VirtualBox Extensions Pack next?

        Maybe the days of Golang are coming.

  9. Kobblestown


    Just under the article (in the Whitepapers section) the first link is "Understanding the depth of the global ransomware problem". How appropriate.

    Edit: Actually, I now see completely different list of whitepapers. Still, in light of the article, Java SE seems not much different from ransomware.

  10. Tikimon

    Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

    If we're lucky, a significant number of Java users will abandon the platform because of all this. Anything that removes Java from the world is a good thing. Lawsuits. Demons. Flying monkeys. Anything at all.

    Here in our little IT shop, we decided to simply remove Java from our machines, eliminating one of the world's most popular hack targets. Sorry, can't do it! Two administration sites we use require it, and the employee payroll portal. So we're stuck with this abomination. Grrr!

    1. Rolf Howarth

      Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

      Don't be melodramatic. Java is still (by far) the most widely used programming language in the world, with millions of commercial (especially enterprise) applications written in it. It's no more of a security risk than any other programming language.

      What you're talking about is the Java web plugin, and yes, it makes sense to disable that and not run random Java applets on web sites you don't know. But that's just applets, nothing to do with Java as a whole.

      1. David Dawson

        Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

        also, much development and deployment now happens on openjdk, not the oracle jdk.

        This does not have the problem described here.

      2. dajames

        Citation Needed

        ... Java is still (by far) the most widely used programming language in the world, with millions of commercial (especially enterprise) applications written in it.

        Are you sure about that?

        Depending on what you're actually comparing -- and I know Java is big -- I'd have thought it had a way to go to catch C in terms of applications written in it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Citation Needed

          Learn about UICCs (still erroneously called SIM cards) and JVM.

        2. jbx

          Re: Citation Needed

          Seriously? I think you still live in 1999!

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

      Here in our little IT shop, we decided to simply remove Java from our machines, eliminating one of the world's most popular hack targets.

      "In order to be able to speak of not wanting to be a hack target, it is necessary to first know whereof you speak."

    3. aberglas

      Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

      And replace it with what? Junk languages like C/C++, JavaScript and PHP?

      Lisp died. The only real alternative to Java for a vaugely modern memory manged, JIT compiled system is .Net/Mono, which has its own problems.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

        Junk languages like C/C++ as opposed to the even more junk java.

        I got sick of the ugly jellywobbly applications that use Java. and we have banished it and everything associated with it and Oracle. Tomcat, MySQL, we have one legacy Oracle RAC left and its replacement is scheduled.

        Now to erase it out of education and the world will look a lot brighter.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

          Sophomoric "your language a shit" fighting in my comment section?

          It's more likely than you think!

        2. jbx

          Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

          You still haven't proposed anything that comes close to the power and strength of the Java eco system. Of course it is not perfect, it was designed 20 years ago and some of the design philosophy of that time might not fit any more. But surely it is much better than C++ and it's fake oop (overriding that doesn't do polymorphism properly if the base class doesn't declare a method virtual... Good luck with extending a class from another library!) Not to mention the huge amount of libraries and frameworks like spring, akka, hazelcast, hibernate...

        3. happyuk

          Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

          Ha! Since moving jobs 18 months and having to re-train in the .NET world I have to agree that I am not missing C++ at all. There little or nothing in that godforsaken language that you cannot do a lot simpler and cleaner in C# / WPF / XAML...

          That's not all I don't miss. The attitudes and mentalities of some of the C/C++ brigade who think it's clever to write highly obfuscated unreadable code.

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

        LISP hasn't died. Still in use in a number of places.

      3. tweakpanda

        Re: Anything that reduces use of Java, no matter how little

        Please be cool ... and do not call C C++ "Junk-Language" - or i have to think you are a 12 year old script-kiddy ;)

  11. Tom 7

    J2C on github

    is about to getting to a hammering!

    Or should I use the eclipse plugin?

    1. razorfishsl

      Re: J2C on github

      you mean some shit half assed C++ translator , that has not been updated for 5 years....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: J2C on github

        Haskell! Translate to Haskell!!!

  12. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Well, speaking as one of the legion of people who have a product running on java

    I am alarmed.

    I checked the most recent download of the JDK ( As far as I can see, the only "chargeable" bit that has been installed is the Java Management Console. I don't see any sign of "Java SE Advanced Desktop, Advanced and Suite". Unless it's hidden so that only the compliance checker can find it...

    So, perhaps that will push developers onto Linux, as then they use can use OpenJDK!

    1. karakalWitchOfTheWest

      Re: Well, speaking as one of the legion of people who have a product running on java

      OpenJDK is available for Windows (just installed it and it everything works fine)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM Java

    There's always the IBM implementation of Java....

    Oh, wait; you'd be better off selling your soul to Oracle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: IBM Java

      That would make IBM a superdevil, possibly something peddling The Yellow Sign. You have to explain this!

      IBM has added quite a bit to the stack of operational open software (including by financing lawyers). Not something one would expect from Larry's Spawn.

  14. thomn8r

    When I was @ HPe, there was a very aggressive effort to eliminate all Sun/Oracle Java products and move to OpenJDK; I assumed it was because of the contentious relationship between HP and Mark Hurd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So something useful came out of Mark's todger after all?

  15. Franco

    Good time to try this, given that as soon as Flash is finally taken out into the desert, shot in the back of the head and buried in an unmarked grave, Java will then become number one on the most hacked list.

    Either that, or Larry has run out of money for his hollowed out volcano lair.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excellent. Good on Oracle.

    It's about time someone stuck the knife into Java, and while limited this should be just about enough to do it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Article perfectly timed for late on a Friday afternoon

    Forward a copy of this to head of S/W Dev, see look of panic on his face and then go home for the weekend leaving him to stew.

  18. druck Silver badge

    Even slurp hasn't

    Not even Microsoft have tried to shake people down for C#.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even slurp hasn't

      ... yet

    2. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Even slurp hasn't

      Leisure Suit Larry has always been too sleazy for even Slurp as hard to believe that is and I despise Slurp. Slurp seems to have a couple of groups that grasp being on good terms with developers and end users is a good idea even if most of the company is run by idiots.

  19. Bryan Hall

    Everyone wants to kill Java. But what do you use for a rich internet client then?

    At one time we thought Silverlight might be a good candidate. Dead now.

    At one time we thought Flex could be a candidate. Dead now.

    So what then to replace Java Web Start apps that download, install, self-update, and run like native installed apps?

    UWP - Too phone centric! Cannot support multiple monitors, etc. Not to mention - windows 10 only...

    HTML5 - You're smoking something. HTML is not a desktop application platform to replace installed apps. Not even close.

    So we are stuck with it. Thankfully, JWS is not "Advanced" deployment (at least yet). Waiting for Larry to make it so... Yeah.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "But what do you use for a rich internet client then?"

      If by "rich internet client" you mean a write-once-run-anywhere platform then the short answer is you don't. Please stop looking. The world has seen repeated attempts over the last two or three decades to create a single platform and every time we end up with something that gives a barely usable experience on at most one of its supposed targets.

      Separate your UI from your back-end. If you can do that properly, the former will be a trivial thin layer and the latter will be portable. Trivial thin layers can be optimised for each platform. Portable code can be recompiled. If you have trouble with either of these operations, find a new career.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        HAHA! You got SERVED, Bryan!



      2. Bryan Hall


        Oh I agree, generic run anywhere platforms are crap. This is only run on windows. Although it could run on other platforms with work, that was not the requirement so we took advantage of some native windows features.

        The UI is very separate from the back-end. It does a lot of the data manipulation/creation with database code. Returned spatial features are also cached on the middle tier to enhance scale-ability. But the brute force editing and rendering of map data for both vector and raster is done on each client. To do that on the middle tier frankly would not work due to bandwidth restrictions and latency. I'm talking max 3G speed network connections (the pathetic DoD NIPRNET), so long-term caching of data on the client is paramount. Not to mention local printing to large format printers (aka plotters), multiple P2P connections from a client to multiple data sources (e.g. WFS, WMS, network shared shapefiles), etc. Just the P2P bit rules our using a browser due to the cross-scrip vulnerability crap, or a mix of HTTP / HTTPS data sources.

        But back to "app" platforms for desktop / tablet OS's - the choice now is essentially compiled, locally installed and updated .net apps or whatever - or - Java, with JWS as a sort of hybrid between that locked-down environment and thin HTML apps.If there was a better, well supported hybrid environment, we'd be on it.

      3. a_yank_lurker

        @Ken Hagan

        Essentially use MVC on all code with each part taking care of only one important segment. Done right one might only need one part to change much from OS to OS with the rest being almost totally platform independent.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Jonathan 27

      That's a pretty limited use case. There isn't really much case for a rich browser-based internet client that can't be filled by standardized HTML and Javascript. The reason everyone is moving away from 3rd party browser plugins is primarily compatibility, with a side of security and reliability. Frankly, for anything I'm working on Java is never an option because everything has to be compatible with phones and tablets.

      The only places you can still use Java on web applications is for internal company applications at a company that mandates the client configuration and with bring your own device very popular these days those places are a dying breed. And as for desktop applications those Applet in a window apps were always awful, regardless of if they were Java, Flash or Sliverlight.

  20. John G Imrie

    UK law

    I thought under UK law if someone gives you something for free they couldn't later demand money for it.

    1. John McCallum

      Re: UK law

      Ah, but this is Californication Law

      1. a_yank_lurker

        Re: UK law

        Point is the jurisdiction will matter. Outside of the US, US court civil judgements would not prevail. Leisure Suit's minions would need to sue in the appropriate country which means that country's laws could play havoc with the shakedown. In the US, depending on the precise circumstances one might force the suit into federal court not state (CA) court.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK law

      I thought that was also EU anti-dumping law? As I recall it started when some milk company had the idea of leaving yoghurt pots on people's doorsteps then trying to charge them for it, leading to rapid protests and a quick law change/clarification.

      Not that I would suggest in any way that Larry Ellison's fine company would behave like some half-assed vendor of rancid cow secretions.

    3. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: UK law

      Yeah, its basically bait and switch. Wouldn't last long in a court in the UK, or the EU for that matter.

      Though, that doesn't mean smaller companies won't pay up - defending against a behemoth like Oracle is *expensive*.

      I'll be using this as a reason to remove Java from as many of our PCs as possible at work. Just not worth the risk.

  21. Jim-234

    True Evil that makes even Microsoft look good

    Oracle's whole business of forcing you to install this whole package of Garbage when you just wanted a simple runtime, then leaving it lurking there and if you ever accidentally use it... you owe us $$$$$$ is a prime example of why sometimes you NEED strong government regulation on contracts, otherwise evil like this gets foisted on people. (Of course when $$$$$ writes the laws, well you are totally out of luck).

    The sooner Java dies the better, it can go join Flash in the abyss.

    Oracle's primary business seems to be writing software & licensing designed to make you accidentally trip hidden landmines so then they can demand $$$$$ I guess their products are such junk they figure nobody would pay them if they honestly and clearly laid things out.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: True Evil that makes even Microsoft look good

      "The sooner Java dies the better,"

      It can die tomorrow, for you, if you want. Take a look around your business and identify all the Java apps that you still use. Then, for each one, inform your company's legal department that from next year they will *need* something *in writing* from each of the relevant vendors *indemnifying* you against any legal action by Oracle on licensing. Separately, make estimates of the cost of non-compliance and tell the accounts department that this money needs to be set aside "just in case" and should therefore be factored into the operating costs of continuing to use these applications.

      Your company's legal and accounting brains should be able to sort out the rest.

      1. Aitor 1

        Re: True Evil that makes even Microsoft look good

        I was a solaris admin. Moved to oracle admin. Then back to dev...used we have set a shop that uses both java and python...I hate larry for destroying my source of income repeatedly...

  22. Mikel

    My comment from the Sun acquisition

    Uncle Larry is not in the "giving stuff away" business.

    You should've started migrating then, not now.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Rich *rse Called.....

    I wish Sun had done this.. then perhaps we would still be in existence.

    Resistance is futile.. unfortunately.

  24. John Geek

    so what exactly are the files we're supposed to remove from JRE installs?

    1. thomn8r

      This should do it:

      find / -name "*java*" -o -name "*jre*" -o -name "*jdk*" -exec rm {} \;

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The are named "stardust" ..

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad I'm a perl / python / javascript programmer ...

    I never did get on well with Java. Much too verbose for me. An IDE is almost compulsory to be productive.

    Now Lucky Larry's gangster protection racket lawyers are on the war path its not even "free", so one more reason to not bother ...

    Didn't James Gosling say "Java is like C++ without the guns, clubs and knives" ? I guess they're now reserved for the protection racket lawyers.

    1. rvt

      Re: I'm glad I'm a perl / python / javascript programmer ...

      Everytime I read that a JavaScript programmer saying that java is to verbose I have the laugh. Everytime I write JavaScript I find that JavaScript and the frameworks I have e to use are making everything way more verbose. Not to mention that about nothing in JavaScript works well together....

  26. Hot Diggity

    It doesn't help that Sun started adding the name Java to almost all of its products to spice up their name (remember Java Desktop System anyone?)

    Getting asked to install Java on a server is always a pain as I go through the available downloads on Oracle's website wondering which of the myriad of Java software the client wants me to install. Hopefully this will put a stop to these requests.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      > which of the myriad of Java software the client wants me to install

      LOL what? Use the latest JDK of course.

    2. Maventi

      "Getting asked to install Java on a server is always a pain..."

      Say what?

      apt-get install -y openjdk-8-jre-headless or yum -y install java-1.8.0-openjdk-headless

      Job done, and patched for the rest of the life of the server. Plus no Oracle licensing to fear.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

    So Java is a Trojan. Then fork it. And call it Vaja.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: AC Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

      "..... And call it Vaja." No, that would make me think of "vagina". Then again, that might be more appropriate!

    2. Vincent Ballard

      Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

      There's no need to fork it: Sun did that before they were sold to Oracle. OpenJDK is safe from Oracle shakedowns.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

        Yep, been using OpenJDK for a while on Linux without issues. It's nice to not have to manually go to Sun/Oracle's website to separately download it. (Gentoo's Portage system could install it, but it still required you to manually download it as Gentoo were not permitted to host mirrors of Java binaries.)

        I do need it as I have 5 machines that use a JavaWebStart applet for the IPMI/KVM solution built into them. At work, there's some Dell machines with iDRAC that needs the same solution too. Both these work fine with OpenJDK.

        I was curious though, what to the Apple and Microsoft users do? Turns out, there are some unofficial builds:

        Use at your own risk of course, but sounds like it'll be less legal risk than JavaSE.

        1. stephanh

          Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

          If you don't like to trust J. Random Developer's unofficial builds, you may want to learn that Red Hat has quite recently (coincidence?) started providing OpenJDK binaries for Windows:

          You can of course also build them yourself, but I understand that it is less fun than poking yourself with a rusty knife.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.


            Brilliant, from a trustworthy vendor… that's even better!

            I'll keep that link in mind.

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

        That didn't work for Google... Even though Sun released it.

        Oracle still sued.

        So use it at your own risk - Oracle will eventually take your money, or force you to give it to lawyers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mmmmmmm, horse meat.

      "So Java is a Trojan. Then fork it. And call it Vaja."

      OK, so it's already been forked into a delicious morsel. And the fork contains whatever tasty non-proprietary post-fork bits that are appropriate. Yes, I was aware of the Vaja anatomical reference, and the trick of java backwards, and even that it sounds a bit like cow in Spanish (la vaca, la BA-ca) or French (la vache, la VASH). Here's a subtler name: Yovaka or Yobaka. It's the sounds from Horse in Spanish (el caballo) in reverse order. So it's taking the Trojan Horse that is Oracle Java and turning it around. Without looking so much like cow. On the downside, I suppose that enthusiasts of a certain age might go around saying "YO, my cow" or dressing up like the character from Star Wars who was often with Harrison Ford. Could it be worse than quips about "How's your code perc'ing over?"

  28. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Way to go and kill Java development, asshats

    What they do not understand is that Java is not "the end all" for cross-platform software development, and doing things like _THIS_ is going to cause some "pause for thought" in the planning meetings, such that development in Java may no longer make sense.

    This includes ANDROID PHONES. It's currently *FREE* to develop for android phones. Anger the developers (and Google), and Java might end up becoming as *INSIGNIFICANT* as C-pound.

    (latest TIOBE index was showing Java being #1 for a very long time, and C-pound sucking along in the 4% range)

    There was a "chilling effect" from Micro-shaft's aggressive "compliance" programs a decade or so ago. It resulted in THIS:

    Web Archive - Rockin' on Without Microsoft

    And *squeezing* revenue out of everyone, *YEARS* after the fact, is likely to wind you up on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Way to go and kill Java development, asshats

      "There is no law against auto-FUD except the laws of economics"

  29. Len Goddard

    The only device I run java on is my bluray player.

    The fact that my bluray player runs java is the reason I rip all my blurays to .MKV files and play them back with kodi.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      > The fact that my bluray player runs java is the reason I rip all my blurays

      WTF does that even mean??

  30. g00se

    'Open Source'

    They think Java is free - because it’s open source so you can use it.

    Really? Ever tried to get hold of all the source of the native calls into (say) Windows? i.e. the interesting stuff.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: 'Open Source'

      Uhh... yeah? OpenJDK availability for Windows OS.

      Is OpenJDK open or not?

  31. RLWatkins

    Does Java belong to Oracle?

    I distinctly recall Sun Microsystems announcing that they were placing Java in the public domain prior to their purchase by Oracle.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Does Java belong to Oracle?

      No public domain (that would be silly) but GPL2. Pretty much 10 years ago.

      See also: Free and Open Source Java

      The JDK+libraries affected are apparently those of Java 7. (See Java Version History and OpenJDK)

      However, since the Sun collapse, Java (the language) has evolved and the Sun/Oracle implementation of the JVM and the accompanying libraries has evolved and seen proprietary patching, and Oracle has added some thickening sauce to poison the system and soften it up for a licensing move.

      OTOH, a large part of the Java momentum is in the "ecosystem": libraries, docs, IDEs, Java EE3+, ORM framework (much as I hate these) and developer brains. The Oracle JVM is in the end not really that important.

      Now, I'm sure there is the patents angle, and the angle of of "the language itself".

      OTOH, nowadays Java the language falls under "heavy & verbose", so maybe dropping it for something else while retaining the JVM would not be a bad move.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't help wonder how much Microsoft and/or Mojang are going to get involved with this. Also considering how Minecraft, one of their main products, is totally build on Java.

  33. Chris 155
    Paris Hilton

    And we now live in a world where .Net is cross platform and free both savings speech and as in beer and the use of standard edition Java will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Millions of devices run Java and they're all going to pay.

  34. Richard Tobin


    "Java SE is free for what Oracle defines as “general purpose computing” – devices that in the words of its licence cover desktops, notebooks, smartphones and tablets. It is not free for what Oracle’s licence defines as “specialized embedded computers used in intelligent systems”, which Oracle further defines as - among other things - mobile phones, hand-held devices, networking switches and Blu-Ray players."

    So Java is free for smartphones and tablets but not free for mobile phones and hand-held devices. Surely some mistake?

    1. Gerhard Mack

      Re: Phones?

      That would be why Oracle is suing Google.

  35. regadpellagru

    ransomware model

    "Why is Oracle acting now, six years into owning Java through the Sun acquisition?

    It is believed to have taken that long for LMS to devise audit methodologies and to build a detailed knowledge of customers’ Java estates on which to proceed."

    This is called drug vendor business model: get your customer addicted for free, then force them to pay the bills ....

    Everyone should have learnt to RMS rants about licences. He warned everyone about this ...

    As for Java, sorry, but this has always been a retarded language, that never coud decide if it was compiled or interpreted, bearing the cons of both worlds ...

    C and many other languages (Ada, yes !) have always been a lot better. I never could fathom the hype on Java ...

    1. jbx

      Re: ransomware model

      Maybe because you never had to do any serious enterprise development that needed to have proper concurrency, possibly distributed (Akka), advanced database access and transaction handling (hibernate etc), caching (hazelcast, ignite). People like you who criticise the language in that way, do it because they don't have any idea of the eco system, which is the main reason it is used so much in industry.

      1. HmmmYes

        Re: ransomware model

        I select Erlang/OTP over Java for all of those requirements.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Oracle finally targets Java non-payers

    Does this apply to users of OpenJDK. Or the hardware manufactures that are currently paying the Microsoft Android tax?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Oracle finally targets Java non-payers

      OpenJDK: Probably no

      Microsoft Andorid Tax: Probably yes

      But you never know until a lawyer rings....

  37. oiseau

    What you get ...

    “If you download Java, you get ... "


    Thoroughly, Oracle style.

    I'd say Java should, once and for all, be put away in a sealed box and buried deep.

    Very deep.

  38. Joe Cincotta

    TWO WORDS...

    Well, one word and three letters... Open JDK

  39. mhilarius

    Prenda law for software?

    Did we not just see the prosecution of 2 lawyers for trying this stuff with porn movies?

  40. abedegno

    Guess Oracle are expecting flat revenues again next year...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for more Oracle memes

    I think this is fitting...

  42. YoYoYoYo

    OpenJDK free?

    Is OpenJDK free to use in a commercial application?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: OpenJDK free?

      As I can see, yes, it's licensed under GPL + linking exception.

      Of course, consult company lawyers before goinf into production etc.

  43. Mike 'H'

    If only it goes the way of the dodo...

    Now if this only has the super-duper effect of ERADICATING THE SCOURGE THAT IS JAVA FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH, I'll be happy.

    As will a million BOFHs and PFYs who have to f@%@## keep fixing legacy systems to work with BS security fixes in Java which never actually fix the problem, that is Java itself.

    Good riddance!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: If only it goes the way of the dodo...

      What's your problem?

      You seem bereft of any actual knowledge, but have major anger issues, why are you posting (instead of taking your pills for example)?

  44. HmmmYes

    Thought about this over the weekend.

    The only places I come across Java these are 1) Kids running minecraft. 2) Server side stuff.

    If you are embedding Java in a product, be it a Bluray player or a supercomputer then you pay Oracle.

    If you are running your web/services backend stuff with Java then you have to either pay Oracle or move to Linux and OpenJDK.

    If you are consumer who installs a JDK on a product, be it a PC or a tablet, then you should be OK.

    If you are a company shipping JDK on a product then Oracle have you over a barrel.

  45. cortland

    Doing without caffeine?

  46. boatsman

    end of java from larry. openJDK taking over. which it already did, sort off...

    obviously, no one is going to accept this crap:

    "cannot install separately, have to remove bits and parts manually."

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The golden goose isn't laying enough eggs, threaten it with a carving knife - and shakedown our customers while you're at it. --King Larry

  48. Armitxes

    You know

    Then don't use "-XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures" ?

    Quote from 2011: "In the standard JDK 7 GA binaries, there are no commercial features so there is no risk that you use them by mistake. As we move such features to JDK 7 in a future update, our plan is to require an explicit flag to enable them. Note that these features are only restricted "for any commercial or production purpose" so individual developers need not worry."

    - Source:

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: You know

      But hasn't everybody moved to Java 8 now?

  49. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    El Reg article declared as #FakeNews

    What we Need is Standardised Non-OSS Licenses

    If you’ve followed the recent (fake) news, you’ve probably already heard it. Oracle is “massively ramping up audits of Java customers it claims are in breach of its licences”

    After a quick check on the source (The Register), here’s a more realistic, probably more accurate version of that headline:

    "Oracle is thinking about auditing 1-2 companies that massively ran the commercial Java extensions in production without paying"

    There, fixed. Also:

    "@timbray @AmbientLion Public Service Announcement: Don't believe everything you read in the Register.

    — Brian Goetz (@BrianGoetz) December 17, 2016"

    So who's right?

    (And BTW, this thread seems to be full of wannabe sysop of the Entirely Clueless But Verily Opinionated Variety, no wonder IT Ops are despised so much).

  50. Paul Murray


    Bummer. Java is over. It was a good run - 25 years or so. Time to learn Haskel or some shit like that.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Bummer

      Haskell is pretty good. Just going through the phonebook "Real World Haskell" now. Really slowly. Hell yeah. But theorem provers like λProlog (or even bog-standard Prolog) attract me too....

      Haskell is like "that girl." You know the one...

      You never really went steady, but you'd run into her from time to time while knocking around in disreputable joints, usually late at night, every several months or so. She looked so hot, so sleek, so sexy, so expressive, so exotic. You'd end up back at her place and the night would just... take off. A complete blur of hot, sweaty, feverish, delirious, fumbling passion. You'd do things to each other... you'd do things to her, she'd do things to you... things that you're not even sure have names, that you're pretty sure are illegal almost anywhere. Even her kinks have kinks --- and after one of these nights, you'd realize that you yourself had a lot more kinks than you. And it wasn't just physical, it was --- cerebral. Ethereal. Transcendent. But it would all whiz by in a blur, and by morning you'd find yourself lightheaded, a bit confused, and stumbling homeward to your regular gal....

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uncle Larry

    Uncle Larry doing what Uncle Larry does. Will the last swimmer out of the Java pool please open the drain?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So who here works for free or promotes stealing software?

    Why is it that everyone expects everything to be free from Oracle? Oracle engineers work for a living and have families to feed just like some of you here.

    I just find it amazing that everyone automatically faults Oracle for trying to collect its licensing fees to be able to pay its engineers. When was the last time you worked for free?

    Oracle has paid its engineers to develop Oracle Java SE Advanced, Java

    SE Advanced Desktop, Java SE Suite advanced tools and features that are for

    enterprise users- These commercial features are provided as separate downloads and to

    the degree they need to interact with the Oracle JRE, they are turned off by

    default in that product, and must be enabled using the "-XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures". So customers are not mistakenly installing these licensed products. They had to un-lock them and therefore should be paying for using these advanced tools and features.

    So stop whining and go back to being volunteers cause clearly few hear actually work for money!

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