Saturday, 14 August 2010


Well being into Java lately I can't not comment on the Oracle/Google lawsuit. Which to me is just another lawsuit between a couple of big companies who made the laws for themselves anyway.

I find it most disingenuous that Google are mounting an obvious PR campaign to somehow turn this into an anti `open sauce' crusade by Oracle. We all know Android is a non-standard knock-off of Java and that Sun always took a very dim view of the whole thing. And Android is not really about 'open sauce' in terms of an open hand-held computing platform that we all hope for, but is really just a way for handset vendors to get a free operating system.

Google know they had to either make a complete JavaSE based system which allows them to take advantage of the classpath exception, or (as I understand it from a few news reports ...) abide by the GPL and make a complete JavaME based system where all software it uses must also be GPL compatible, or license a complete JavaME based system. But no they wanted to go their own route and make a gimped version of Java (JavaGE - Gimped Edition) to lock people into their platform whilst biting their thumb at Sun to their face. It's pretty much what Microsoft tried but without any licence to start with.

Maybe the Oracle case has no merit, but that's for the courts to decide now. It's a pity lawyers had to get involved at all - they simply represent a wealth transfer from all of us to a few of them - since it is we who ultimately have to pay for all these shenanigans.

But regardless of the merits of the case, this has absolutely nothing to do with 'open sauce' or free software. That Google (and their hangers on - many no doubt with a financial interest) are pushing this line when they are most definitely not a free software or 'open sauce' company by any moderate measure is a little offensive. Oracle are greedy money-grabbing cunts too, but at least they're proud of it and don't try to hide the fact that they are.

No comments: