back to article Oracle sets its own JDK free, sort of, for a while

Oracle this week made Oracle JDK "available for free," for personal, commercial and production use, including quarterly security updates, for a limited time. "Free" in this context means the software is now licensed under the Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) license, having been previously under the Oracle Technology …

  1. Mishak Silver badge

    What a pain!

    So, you can starting using it "for free", but an update will mean it is no longer free.

    Why would I switch from OpenJDK when all I need is a hassle-free runtime?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a pain!

      Smacks of a typical introductory offer which automatically renews at the full rate.

  2. m4r35n357

    Only an idiot . . .

    Would fall for this. Come on, how stupid are _you_?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Only an idiot . . .

      Can the last person who trusts Oracle, please be ready to sign a very big cheque.

      1. TVU Silver badge

        Re: Only an idiot . . .

        ^ Exactly this, and you could write the script.

        When Oracle starts charging for their own JDK again, they will harvest and examine all the contact details of everyone who downloaded when free and then they will set their license compliance officers on all those people and businesses.

        End result: More $$$$ cheques for Oracle to fund Larry's next super yacht. Oracle effectively runs an extortion racket writ large.

    2. DamienH

      Re: Only an idiot . . .

      The first three letters of the licence acronym are NFT. Of course people are going to fall for it....

  3. DrXym

    Confidence implosion

    I've never seen such a chilling effect on a platform as when Oracle did a licensing switcharoo on the JDK/JRE. Yes there are alternative builds of the Java runtime, built through necessity by other stakeholders. But when the one you most depend on starts demanding money it's time think about changing technology.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Confidence implosion

      That was when the fun went out of Java.

      If Google can persuade Android devs to write Kotlin, Deno can free us from the tyranny of npm, and Rust can answer that "how do we trap out of memory" question.

      Java might just die.

      From my perspective there has been nothing between 8 and 17 of any compelling interest by Oracle, Jakarta, Eclipse, VMware or any OS project.

      Corps change slowly but Java is not the only language that runs on a JVM. That's going to be a problem for Oracle's Java.

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: Confidence implosion

        We can't work with just the good languages. Kotlin and Java observe features in trendy new languages then re-implement them in a way that actually works correctly. If you were shown side-by-side comparisons of Scala and Java, you might think that Scala is far more elegant. When you look at the language-level bugs in each, suddenly Scala is terrifying.

  4. trevorde Silver badge

    Meanwhile at Oracle...

    Larry Ellison: Is the new licenee as confusing as it can be?

    Lawyers: Yes! Even we can't understand it!

    Larry Ellison: Iiiiiiit's ... licence audit time!

    [goes back to stroking white cat]

  5. Plest Silver badge

    Shame but that's progress

    I loved learning Java about 15 years ago. I'd always found it hard to get my head around learning languages, they always seemed to glib and vague and then here was a language that demanded I do things a certain way, if I made mistakes it would admonish me and refused to play with me. Kind of like like learning to program with a dominatrix! Ha ha! Did some really nice little projects with it and enjoyed it.

    Then Oracle started putting their foot down and it felt like it wasn't worth sticking with Java any longer, I moved on, first to Python and dabbled in C++ but I've now settled on Go. Sure it's backed by another nasty huge mega-corp and it's got a lot things missing and "real developers" hate Go but as a sysadmin who just codes utiltiies it suits me and after such a long time I'm finally having fun coding again.

    So I know Java is going nowhere soon and it taught me some solid OOP fundamentals ( as in putting the fun back into fundalmentalism! ) I think it's deathrow is in sight on the horizon.

  6. Peter D

    You learn something new every day

    I had no idea such an appalling word as "incented" exists. It certainly shouldn't. To whom should I complain?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: To whom should I complain?

      I think a missive to your local council is in order. They will read it and then file it away in a locked filing cabinet in some random building's basement toilet upon whose door will be a sign that states "Beware of the Leopard."

  7. Andy 73 Silver badge

    About turn

    Oracle originally inherited Sun's approach to Java, then went hard on the attempt to commercialise it by not allowing "free" use of the JDK.

    Unsurprisingly, given that there are solid alternatives, not only to Java itself, but also to Java running under the JDK, they've had to do an about turn and accept that demanding money with menaces doesn't make for good business.

    Perhaps there's a lesson in there for them...

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: demanding money with menaces

      I thought that was the only sales pitch Oracle used...

  8. Short Fat Bald Hairy Man

    Avoid it like the plague

    I try to avoid anything which has even a faint odour of this company,

    Luckily for me, I have not worked in environments where I had to adjust.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Java as a language was put on backfoot thanks to mismanagement

    I say this as somebody who programmed it for 20+ years.

    The language features are overly verbose and Oracle's management, licencing and versioning (which was already all over the place) has butchered and fragmented it more than MS attempted in its J++ heyday.

    Kotlin is the new cool, Android is the new Personal Java (or if you like "J2ME"), OpenJDK and Correto compete for hearts. Scala is the black sheep that no Java purist wants to touch (owing to it's age and competing directly with Java back in the day, also cf. Kotlin) and that's the complexity before we drag in all the different javax.* packages that are optional (not optional really) that you need to get real Enterprise stuff done - email, servlet standards, various other JSR annotation implementations...

    The writing was on the wall when every Java dev had to learn Apache Commons and use Spring (+Boot) to make up for the lack of basic language features (like string functions, high level database work like ORM/repos, MVC, dependency injection etc etc) and to avoid the sh*tshow that was EJB <=v2.

    Who the f. would touch this stuff as a newbie these days?

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