Feeds

back to article Oracle, Google, and the survival of the fittest Java

Sun Microsystems regularly boasted that Java ran on the most ubiquitous and the fastest growing of computing platforms: two billion cell phones. But behind these boasts lay a chronic contradiction: the market was hopelessly fragmented, killing cross-platform application development, and Sun could do noting. We had Java ME, MIDP …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

misleading

The article is a bit misleading. It implies that Java ME , MIDP and CLDC were different attempts at fixing fragmentation, that's all wrong. Java ME is just a brand name for everything other than EE and SE. And MIPD and CLDC go hand it hand. You can't have MIDP without CLDC.

the attempts at reducing fragmentation where JTWI, MSA and MSA2

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

err, can you repeat that more slowly?

One of Sun/Java's many attractions is its admirable tendency for alphabet-souping. Above and beyond the already heroic efforts of the general IT industry.

0
0
Flame

Not fully correct, IMO

The situation until ca. June 2009 was this: All the major phone companies had a crappy version of J2ME (something conceptually crappy to start) in their phones. SUN got a z % cut of each and every of those phones. Nearly Nobody used J2ME, for lots of reasons, including horrible quality issues.

But SUN got their nice revenue stream !

Now everybody can see that the Android phones will eat the J2ME lunch and Oracle J2ME revenue will soon dry up completely. No handset maker in their clear minds will want J2ME.

So Oracle thinks they need to suck money out of the handset makers via the Android route.

The outrageous issue here is that SUN successfully duped World&Dog into the belief that Java was a kind of "Common Good" and you could use it for free. Thereby, they infected a lot of companie's technologies (including Google's, HTC's, Motorola's, IBM's, SAP's etc) and now the Virus is activated and the Big Legal Guns Deployed.

A GPLed product which has Patents Attached is actually a poison pill that can be used by the Issuer Any Time. MS is much less a nasty guy because they charge you upfront and most judges will see this as an implicit patent royalty payment. Good luck to Google, IBM, SAP, Motorola for negotiating the price of something they have already "consumed".

The only route of Action is to avoid Java, OpenOffice and MySQL at all cost. I just found out AbiWord is working very well.

3
2

Please stop FUDing

OpenOffice, MySQL and Java are exactly the techs Oracle can't kill. Other Sun projects are in danger, but those 3 are very stable due to strong communities.

OpenJDK is GPLv2, and it has patent grant for all users of the OpenJDK and derivatives. Problem with Dalvik is that it is not derivative, and it is not under GPL. It is under Apache license. So the patent grant from GPL'd Java doesn't apply on Google's Dalvik. OpenJDK is real Java and it is certified with TCK. It is in no danger at all. It has claspath exception, so you don't need to have anything with Oracle if you want to use it for writing proprietary programs. Red Hat distributes OpenJDK with RHEL and Fedora and has no problems, so no need to worry.

OpenOffice is in no danger, it is under LGPLv3, which offers even stronger patent grant that apply to even future patents that Oracle didn't even acquire yet. So there is no chance in hell that OpenOffice can be killed by lawsuit. If Oracle abandons OpenOffice, lots of people outside of Oracle are familiar with the code, so forking would be easy.

MySQL has most problems of those 3. Because of dual-licensing policy it uses, you need to buy proprietary license from Oracle to be able to write proprietary apps using MySQL. But that is not problem for FOSS. MySQL- Oracle situation is carefully watched by antitrust regulatory and hopefully, it will be striped from Oracle if something bad happens.

2
1

@gnufreextard

Since when was having grounds for suing someone a prerequisite to doing it?

Oracle have made the decision to go down the patent troll route, so I think we'll find that tiresome details like licenses or what SUN may or may not have pledged is SCOing to become pretty irrelevant.

When they come for you, your choice will be to pay the tithe to them, or pay it to a lawyer. You lose either way. Since they've become patent trolls, they win either way.

0
0

Rogerborg

It doesn't, you can sue anyone for anything, even without legal standing. Unfortunately, this suit by Oracle has legal standing since code is not derived from Oracle's GPL'd OpenJDK, hence it doesn't get broad patent grant that GPL gives. So there is nothing defense can do other than try to invalidate alleged patents. Which can be time consuming and very expensive.

If Google used OpenJDK, only thing that have to be proven in court is that Sun distributed OpenJDK under GPL (which is easy, OpenJDK source code is still on site). Therefore, GPL patent grant for all users of that code have been given out and that is perpetual. If Oracle tries to invalidate GPL, they will fail. SFLC will help with that, they are always helping to defend GPL.

Oracle would be totally humiliated in such lawsuit against OpenJDK, because they distributed it under GPL. It would be a lot faster than SCO, because all facts are clear and code is open unlike UNIX that SCO claimed it owns.

This way against clean room-ed Dalvik, it is very uncertain how it will turn out in the end. I hope Google invalidates those patents, that is their only defense.

Btw, Nokia N900 is using OpenJDK. Oracle is not stupid, they know they can't close down OpenJDK, they only go after dalvik which is outside of GPL patent grant.

0
0
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Agreed, J2ME is a joke.

Fragmentation concerns? stupid J2ME doesn't let you do anything, not even look up the phone's address book. So anything you do has to be done to that phone's APIs.

Can't say I know that much about J2ME, took a class on it and came away very disappointed. Instructor pretty much told me that all the successful apps were written as games, 'cuz the only thing you needed for that was to access the buttons and the screen.

GUI? Based on AWT, the abortion preceding Swing. Internet? Well, yah know low-level sockets, nah?

From working on the iPhone, J2ME's APIs seems very 1995. And I expect Android to be similar, so no surprise that Oracle has to resort to trolling to keep their customer and developer base corralled.

Paris, 'cause she is as clueful as J2ME.

Evil Larry icon? Note: we don't really need a matching nice Larry icon.

0
0
c 1
FAIL

JavaFX

JavaFX. You have to be kidding. JavaFX will never happen - it is stillborn.

1
1

Fragmented

Gosling says:

"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."

Is this really true? Sure, there's fragmentation in terms of what skin the manufacturer sticks on their phone, but for application development, it's not that different from iOS, and far, far better than what j2me ever was.

The market has changed since the j2me days, where the developer would jump through hoops to try to make their app compatible with as many handsets as possible. Now, apps are King and it's not in device makers' interests to make their handset incompatible with a whole host of existing apps. This tends to minimise fragmentation.

1
0

RE; Fragmented

Gosling probably meant fragmentation of whole mobile Java. You can't make an app that works both on Android and Blackberry (Dalvik doesn't run on Blackberry). And that is the point of JavaME.

0
0

Gotcha

I think you're right.

0
0
Linux

KDE Office Suite also a solution

Don't forget that the KDE Office suite is also an option, for those who don't want to bother with OpenOffice anymore.

0
0

JavaFX ?

Ya, SUN try to push JavaFX to mobile, set top TV and desktop but what about Java ?! Well, at least what Google did is.... they successfully bring Java language to mobile and web platform. and everyone love it. GWT and Android really bring Java back to the surface. Nobody can denied that. Am I right ? Now Java and C++ are the most people used languages. If not Gogole I think that will replace by C#

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.