back to article Oracle's compliance cops now include Java in license audits

Oracle has begun to include Java in its software licensing audits as part of a classic move set to catch customers on the fringes of non-compliance and beyond. Big Red first introduced two new licensing models for its commercial Java platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), in April 2019 when it began charging license fees for …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge

    Confusing mess

    Java is a nice enough language, but the rest of it is a confusing mess. Lack of compatibility between versions, confusing version numbers and alphabet soup mess of products.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Confusing mess


      20 years ago I was writing Java applets for websites (back when that was an actual thing). Even then I found Java's multiple file I/O handling ridiculously complex compared to plain C. It always seemed that whatever it was that I wanted to do with it was never handled by a single class in a simple manner. I pretty much abandoned the whole mess around 2001. Given the greedy way Oracle acts nowadays I'm glad I have very little to do with anything they make*.

      * The one exception is VirtualBox, which I'd been using before even Sun took it over, but I am prepared to lose that should the need arise.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        I used VirtualBox until it started breaking sound and microphone support *every* *single* release followed by a point release that fixed it then another point release that broke it again, so I switched to QEMU-KVM and haven't looked back since.

        Open source isn't any better with names. OpenJDK became Adoptium then Eclipse Temurin. (whot the f**k is that?)

        1. Speakjava

          Re: Confusing mess

          You're mistaken.

          OpenJDK is the open-source project used to develop the Java SE platform.

          It never became Adoptium, that was AdoptOpenJDK, which was a distribution of OpenJDK (think Linux and Ubuntu). AdoptOpenJDK was moved to the Eclipse Foundation, where it became Adoptium (it had to because of trademark infringement). That is now the overall project, of which Temurin is the name of the distribution.


          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Confusing mess


      2. swm

        Re: Confusing mess

        I like Java but it seems that whenever I want to do something I have to undo the "creature comforts" of the Java library and redo them.

    2. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: Confusing mess

      And that is "entirely as it should be" according to Oracle licensing conditions.

      You are not supposed to understand the scheme. You only need to pay the bill as presented by the Oracle auditors including the usual fine because you surely did not pay enough last time.

      Some advice: do not use Oracle products if you can prevent it in any way. Oracle has even more lawyers than IBM and you will always lose the argument, even when you are within your rights, by shear cost of defending any claim.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        We actively got rid of Oracle everything, including Java, MySQL etc, and a good part of the reason was their extortion. Business software is only of value to a business if it enables more revenue than it costs. Organisations are not operated to feed Larry. We are not using VirtualBox but do miss it and I would love to find an equivalent replacement.

      2. oiseau
        Thumb Up

        Re: Confusing mess

        Some advice: do not use Oracle products if you can prevent it in any way.

        Sound advice.

        Very much so ...


      3. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        > shear cost of defending any claim

        Cost-cutting lawyers?

        1. b0llchit Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Confusing mess

          Do you know what it costs to employ a twisted lawyer?

        2. spireite Silver badge

          Re: Confusing mess

          Most lawyers are shi-ite..

    3. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: Confusing mess

      Agreed. I think they should adopt the Linux method: Ogling Ostrich should be the next version.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        Isn't that the Ubuntu naming method, a sub-set of Linux.

    4. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: Confusing mess

      "Lack of compatibility between versions"

      That's not true. The only changes to the public API that have been made which aren't backwards compatible are:

      - Switching the event model used for GUI programming (back in 1997).

      - Removal of the incomplete CORBA classes and interfaces.

      The only other changes have been to classes in the packages, which were not part of the public API. Java provides abstractions that support cross platform coding, but lazy coders don't learn them - so it's hardly Java at fault when coders do crap like assuming a directory called "C:\temp" exists then wondering why their code fails on non-Windows systems.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        Yeah seen that one enough times

        Using "\" in a file name instead of system.getfileseperator*, then wondering why the code falls over on a linux box.

        Oracle... the worst thing to happen to Java.

        *cant remember the exact command but I'm sure thats close enough

    5. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Confusing mess

      Java is not a nice enough language also you need to pay a license to use it.

      Hopefully Oracle greed will end killing it.

    6. Speakjava

      Re: Confusing mess

      "Lack of compatibility between versions".

      Not sure how you figure that.

      I just ran code compiled on JDK 1.2 on JDK 18 and it runs just fine. How many platforms have that level of backwards compatibility?

      1. Fred Daggy Silver badge

        Re: Confusing mess

        Plenty. Could probably run K&R era C today. Fortran, Pascal, ADA, Cobol and many more.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Hope this kills Java quickly enough...

    ... and its imitations follow....

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Hope this kills Java quickly enough...

      I would LOVE to be rid of Java... except replacements like Kotlin suck even worse.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Hope this kills Java quickly enough...

        replacements like Kotlin suck even worse.

        Kotlin... *urp* whew that was close! (where's that pink liquid at...)

        I've been using OpenJDK and OpenJRE for quite a while now, on FreeBSD. Builds from source, bo problems noted.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

    Before you say I've gone too far, this is a company that enables paid for features out of the box and then expects you to read the manuals to find them and disable them before you get caught. They get one free year of paid up feature usage and then tell you what you accidentally left switched on out of the box.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

      I am not sure who is the bigger threat between Vlad or Larry to humanity. With Vlad it might all be over rather quickly but with Larry starvation is a real threat.

    2. CommonBloke

      Re: Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

      Also, their support is pointing to the manuals.

      Have a problem? Read page 30.

      Want to optimize your database? Read page 52

      Some weird error you couldn't find on google? That's on page 111.

      It makes Stack Overflow seem friendly and caring.

      1. I_am_Chris

        Re: Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

        The manuals, ha!

        I remember the MySQL documentation was great before Oracle took over. Search worked reliably and you could relatively quickly find what you wanted.

        When Oracle took over the searches were random, usually found the wrong version and the wrong language. Accidental? Not by a long way.

        F*cking shysters.

    3. MarcC

      Re: Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

      You do not mean Larry Wall of course. But Larry-the-thief, who stole SQL from IBM

    4. Hi Wreck

      Re: Larry, the Putin of the biz software world!

      If I recall correctly, Larry has his very own MiG 29, so if the shoe fits...

  4. Skoorb

    It's a real shame Oracle are doing this, but I do agree with the approach of some companies mentioned in the article. Go get OpenJDK (essentially the same code, just compiled by someone else), or OpenJ9 (open source clean room implementation from IBM) both of which are free of restrictive licencing. Both are TCK certified, which is important to evidence compatibility with Oracle Java (



    Or one of the many other builds:

    You can also more easily download just the runtime, and not the whole development kit from these places as well if you don't need the whole shebang.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Show Larry the money

      Did you read the Oracle license closely? If you use a competitor's Java, you still owe them for the right to use their API so you need a license per seat. If you ever had an Oracle license, you can't move away from them without better lawyers than they have. I give it about a year before they are going to want a seat license for ever android phone used in a company as well.

  5. osxtra

    And then there were none

    Java -> OpenJDK

    MySQL -> MariaDB

    OpenOffce -> LibreOffice

    Granted, the last one is still theoretically free-as-in-beer, but only because the code base sucks so much hardly anyone uses it anymore.

    Let's have a poll: What will be the next software technology Mr. Ellison purchases, then ruins to the point of losing his customer base?

    A shop I do work for uses a Java app on WinDoze clients for thermal printing via a shipping provider's website. Warned the provider a while back now to stop telling people to just "download the latest java, it's free", and when the shop migrated to Win 10 switched to OpenJDK. Took the time to point to their updated license verbiage. It was duly ignored. They actually replied in email claiming Java SE post 8u202 did not need a paid license.

    Wonder what Snoracle's audit of this provider - and their customers - would find?

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