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Oracle and Google To Finally Enter Courtroom

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the high-noon dept.

Google 175

Fluffeh writes "After around 900 motions and filings, not to mention a timeline of two years, Google and Oracle are finally putting their case before a jury which will be selected on Monday. While Oracle originally sued for billions, the possible damages have come down to a more reasonable $30-something million (the details vary depending on if you ask Google or Oracle). However, the sides are still far apart. Oracle's proposal was a minimum, not a maximum, and Oracle has asked for a tripling of damages because of the 'willful and deliberate nature of Google's infringement.' For ongoing royalties from future sales, Google has proposed payment of just over one-half of one percent of revenue if patent infringement is proven, but Oracle wants more. Beyond financial damages, Oracle has asked for a permanent order preventing Google from continuing to infringe the patents and copyrights. The case is planned to start on Monday afternoon, after jury selection or Tuesday at the latest."

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175 comments

One trashy company fighting another (1, Interesting)

pitzG (2551988) | about 2 years ago | (#39697669)

One trashy company fighting another, only the lawyers are going to win here.

Even if the companies aren't trashy ... (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39697729)

... the trend now is the lawyers, who invented nothing but hot air, gonna be the ones who rake in the $$$

Re:Even if the companies aren't trashy ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698947)

Suppose a man locks a room full of strangers together for a full year. He waves a gun around and announces that he will be accepting any exclusive privilege to be allowed to speak and write a given word, where the privilege is given in a first come first serve basis. Any that violate this exclusivity will be shot in the head. Some of the strangers might be working closely with this man, or some may be just trying to get on his good side with gifts, but at the end of the day, he has the gun.

It would require extraordinary unity and trust to do anything other than try to grab up as many words as you can. Everyone would be eyeing each other like a mexican stand off, until one person went first to seek privilege from the man with the gun. At that moment, each person would have to rush to this man with the gun to get as much of the language as he can, else be doomed to silence.

This metaphor has to interesting points about companies involved in this patent system and other forms of IP laws. First, focus should be on the gunman; not the victims who play his game. To correct this problem, he must be addressed. Second, even decent people must play this game. They have no other choice if they wish to offer a product we want. Just one single bad guy requires everyone scramble to 'defend' themselves by means of the arbitrary rules of the game. If you do not, you will fade away. That would leave only the ones who eagerly participate, gladly using the rules and often bending them by becoming a favored sycophant and supplicant of the gunman.

How is Google "trashy?" (0)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 2 years ago | (#39699405)

Sorry, but practically all the "trash" about google is nothing but a smear campaign. The smear campaign is just part of the coordinated, under-handed, attacks on Google, but shit companies who don't want fair competition, namely: oracle, microsoft, and apple.

Re:One trashy company fighting another (1, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#39699531)

oh, I don't know. If Oracle manage to kill Java entirely due to this lawsuit then we might all be winners. :-) :-)

Java...Java...Java, java, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697675)

jing jing jing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAX0gJt-aZg

Re:Java...Java...Java, java, (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#39698301)

True as ever! I wonder how many more messy high-profile cases Java will cause before it dies... or if Oracle's schmoozing against Google might end up decimating their platform in industry, thereby preventing such cases.

This really is a bizare course of action for Oracl (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 years ago | (#39697693)

I still have no god damn idea why Oracle is doing this other than amazing short sightedness.

Android is one of the few things left stopping coders fleeing to dot net , its literally a lifeline keeping java alive, and Oracle in their stupidity want to sever that.

*WHY* would they engage on a path so god damn harmful to the health of one of their most important intellectual properties. Its frigging bizare.

I mean ok, sure get a pound of flesh for licencing costs, whatever, billionaires suing billionaires is not my interest. But their "rememdy" seems to effectively involve killing davlik, which would be catastrophic to java coders who have had a huge new source of work from android.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (5, Insightful)

Zapotek (1032314) | about 2 years ago | (#39697747)

Actually no...Android is here to stay and won't move away from Java and Oracle knows that very well. So they're trying to have their cake (Java made more popular by way of Android dev) and eat it too (grab lots of monies from Google for using Java in that manner).

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 years ago | (#39697767)

Seriously dude. Oracles remedy seems to involve killing davlik. That means no java on the android. Its a scorched earth aproach to IP litigation, and you better hope oracle fails on that.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2)

Zapotek (1032314) | about 2 years ago | (#39697857)

They're probably playing hardball...ask for too much in order to receive a lot. Like you said, killing Dalvik would only hurt them, it wouldn't make any sense to actually enforce that even if they get the authority to do so.
Unfortunately, that's business....

Extortion =! Business (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39698757)

Unfortunately, that's business....

I've been in the business field for decades, and I will tell you that 99.9% of business people on this earth do not include extortion as a part of normal business practice.

What Oracle is doing is extortion, pure and simple, and unfortunately, Google isn't their only target.

Hundreds of million Android users will also be affected

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2, Informative)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about 2 years ago | (#39697879)

Seriously dude. Oracles remedy seems to involve killing davlik. That means no java on the android. Its a scorched earth aproach to IP litigation, and you better hope oracle fails on that.

Yes, I noticed the scorched earth approach. However, there may be a ray of hope against that approach. Because Java is a standard [if only de facto], Oracle may be compelled to offer a license under FRAND [fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory] terms. Google's offer of 1/2 of 1% is in the FRAND ballpark for a mass market item.

In the Apple/Moto fight in Germany, Moto got an injunction against Apple for infringing some Moto patents. They got the injunction because Apple had not negotiated in good faith [stalling for five years]. However, latest ruling appears that Apple might reverse this on the FRAND argument.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39698139)

In the Apple/Moto fight in Germany, Moto got an injunction against Apple for infringing some Moto patents. They got the injunction because Apple had not negotiated in good faith [stalling for five years]. However, latest ruling appears that Apple might reverse this on the FRAND argument.

They can argue FRAND in that case because Moto has actually signed a bunch of disclaimers [slashdot.org] when they submit their patents to the standard org. I very much doubt you can argue FRAND on a random technology by claiming that it is a "de facto standard".

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2)

jaseuk (217780) | about 2 years ago | (#39698279)

Does google even have any direct revenue for android?

Jason

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698349)

Google's business model for Android is based on people using Google search from their phone.

In my opinion, this is essentially illegal dumping - Google is using it's search monopoly to undercut competitors in the mobile OS space.

But apparently people only care about these things when MS does it, so...

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698431)

Yeah, how dare Google give away their OS and render Microshit a hasbeen in the mobile space.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697989)

They may be approaching from a scorched earth perspective from spectators viewpoint, but you can bet that is just an opening position from which they can negotiate a settlement. In the end Oracle want a deal that is best for them and a better negotiating position to be in is take what we offer or we will take our bat and ball and go home.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#39699537)

If Dalvik is killed, there is always the option of porting the official Oracle produced Java stack to Android with little or no effort. Personally I think this is what Oracle is after -- they want royalties and for Android to pay for their Java branding, the same as IBM does with their stack and Websphere, or a host of other vendors that use Java.

Where this might be more of an issue is if Oracle continues to demand that only Java ME can be deployed to portable devices like Android. Now that would be short sighted of Oracle.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oracle Java isn't open source.

Nor are the Oracle database, IBM DB/2 UDB, Sybase ASE, and a host of other products that get deployed on Linux stacks. That doesn't stop people from using them; to most potential customers (i.e. Smartphone vendors) having to pay an Oracle fee would just be a cost of doing business, the same as paying for the various wireless patents they use. And the odds are the expense wouldn't be onerous.

Sure there will be much crying and gnashing of teeth, but the vendors will pay rather than give up Android entirely. They have too much invested already.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#39697769)

Actually no...Android is here to stay and won't move away from Java and Oracle knows that very well. So they're trying to have their cake (Java made more popular by way of Android dev) and eat it too (grab lots of monies from Google for using Java in that manner).

This is one of the worst "have your cake and eat it too" uses I've seen - it's equivalent to "make a popular product, and earn money on it too!".

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#39697967)

So they're trying to have their cake (Java made more popular by way of Android dev) and eat it too (grab lots of monies from Google for using Java in that manner).

Are you sure you understand the meaning of that proverb? You usage of it suggests you don't because you most certainly can have a company make your product popular through their use of it and also reap the rewards of that popularity.

It isn't their product, though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699493)

It isn't Java and it isn't Oracle's. The usage is intended to proffer the idea that Oracle want their cake (Java is a portable product, not tied to Oracle) and eat it (tie Android to Oracle).

And in this case, it isn't appropriate to have this as Oracle making Android popular and reap the rewards of that popularity.

Google is making Java popular (according to GP), and Oracle want to reap the rewards of that popularity.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (3, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 2 years ago | (#39698109)

Android is here to stay and won't move away from Java and Oracle knows that very well

Yeah, it's not like Google has made their own language [golang.org] or uses popular, high level language [stackoverflow.com] internally that could replace java.

Since there's already C++ support for those needing the support, python could easily replace new development. Freeze the java API, only release the goodies in the new python API, and watch as java rides off into the sunset wrt new development.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698231)

python could easily replace new development

you're a bit late for april 1st.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39698511)

they did that research already and came to conclusion that going with something like dalvik(a java ripoff) is the best way for them to take, they didn't want to go with native code for whatever reasons.
besides, mostly the lawsuit is not about the syntax of the written language, but of the bytecode / vm side.

and if they switched away from dalvik they might just as well call the new product cyborgzzz or whatever since it wouldn't be android..

thing is - there were platforms like android developed within and in association with sun in the mid 00's, basically j2me with much wider apis. that's one of the things why oracle would consider android a ripoff of their research, which it is - however in my opinion that research was obvious and shouldn't be under protection.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#39698839)

besides, mostly the lawsuit is not about the syntax of the written language, but of the bytecode / vm side.

Say what now? The Oracle/Google lawsuit is about copyright infringement of the Java library APIs, as thoroughly documented at Groklaw. I don't know which lawsuit you're thinking of.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697801)

Well, at the very least it furthers googles reputation as a company not to screw with.

Even if they lose, the fact that they were willing to go this far is a pretty big message to anyone they threaten in the future.

As to why they did it.. I think this goes way beyond Java. I think they just want to crush google plain and simple. Infact, I think the only reason they bought sun was for the IP to bludgeon google over the head with. I'm not quite clear why though.

*sigh* I remember a simpler time when companies would make a good product and sell it for a profit. Good times..

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697823)

* oracles reputation

.. sigh .. brains not working yet

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about 2 years ago | (#39698135)

I'd say your original wording was correct. After this companies should hesitate in screwing Google. They will fight.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (5, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 2 years ago | (#39698125)

Infact, I think the only reason they bought sun was for the IP to bludgeon google over the head with. I'm not quite clear why though.

Walter Isaacson's bio of Steve Jobs sheds some light on it. Jobs and Larry Ellison were BFFs. Together, they had a long history of conspiring to advance each others' agendas.

Ellison, for instance, was prepared to launch a "hostile" takeover of Apple if they didn't bring Jobs back on board. Even after Jobs's death, rolling boulders downhill at Google just for the lulz would be precisely Ellison's style. He has nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697815)

You have to be kidding. Java is so firmly entrenched in the enterprise application space that Android is a blip on the radar. It could go away tomorrow and people who write real applications - booking engines, investment monitoring, vehicle tracking, stock management, supply line tracking - will never even blink.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39697849)

Yup.

Java is huge in the kind of stuff that doesn't make the news very often.

More importantly, a lot of these systems are so large that "switching to .NET" isn't really a practical option.

Even if all Java development ceased tommorow.. I suspect Java would still be around for a long, long time. Java could become the next COBOL!

Yes, I noticed too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697997)

I noticed too that Java systems tend to be large. Just like Cobol.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698321)

Java - the COBOL of the 90's

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (3, Informative)

rve (4436) | about 2 years ago | (#39698529)

Yup.

Java is huge in the kind of stuff that doesn't make the news very often.

More importantly, a lot of these systems are so large that "switching to .NET" isn't really a practical option.

Even if all Java development ceased tommorow.. I suspect Java would still be around for a long, long time. Java could become the next COBOL!

Java is also huge in the kind of stuff that does make the news. It's either the #1 or #2 most used programming language for applications, depending on what you try to measure.

The reason why switching to .NET isn't practical doesn't have anything to do with size. There is nothing preventing anyone from developing a Java-to-CLR compiler (google says http://www.janetdev.org/ [janetdev.org] but I haven't tried it), and writing any new parts of your application in some other CLR language. I think the biggest hurdle would be switching the IT infrastructure to windows and then being committed to sticking with that choice for ever.

By the way, if you think all COBOL development has ceased, you are wrong.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699193)

"Java is so firmly entrenched in the enterprise application space that Android is a blip on the radar."

Agreed, but Java's problem is that it's usage is not growing as fast as it once was. COBOL faced the exact same problem, it wasn't that it wasn't in use in many places, it's that less and less new dev was being done in it, until it reached the point the only dev being done on it was basically maintenance work.

In contrast, languages like PHP and C# are now growing much more rapidly for new development, they're taking far and away the lion's share of the pie.

If you're a Java dev you have plenty of work available for you for decades to come, as those systems wont just dissapear. There is still some new dev too even, so it's not like employment is an issue, but unless Oracle do something soon, Java is going to see continued decline.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699235)

are you insane? what percentage of people have mobile devices? what percentage of those now have smartphones? what smartphone platform... wait no... what mobile phone platform of any variety has the highest market share?

now that you've spent 5 minutes on google tell me whats more relevant vs a blip on the radar, android or "enterprise java applications"?

java is an educational tool that smart people (yes i know some have little choice at work so you get a pass) stop using to make server side apps when they enter the real world (versus the sea of people droning along writing java in the enterprise never questioning anything).
almost any large scale java powered web app i've used is slow and provides generic and largely useless errors (see rackspacecloud.com; sorry rackspace but your mgmt interface is SLOOOW).
all the people rolling their eyes and saying "good luck making any enterprise level apps with a maintainable code base should ask themselves if they've EVER even considered the possibility of using something else.
I've seen some pretty cool stuff done with php, using zend framework, utilizing things like phpdoc and phpunit for documentation and testing.

but i digress...

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (3, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#39697817)

In spite of the sunk cost of Davlik, I think at this point it would be better for Google to simply deprecate Java and tell developers that new development will happen in some other language (like Dart, python, whatever). They could continue to support the Java API indefinitely, but give new apps all the new features and optimisation. Android has had a lot of stick for being a slow, unpolished platform, and this is an opportunity to ditch some of that reputation, at the same time as ditching an unwilling partner (Oracle) who obviously doesn't appreciate what Google have done for Java with Android. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about - constant antagonism with the management of the language standard they are using. If Oracle loses this case they will not take it lying down - expect other moves against Google in the future, hell, even if they win I expect they'd come back for more at some later date. Oracle is obviously in a death spiral and determined to take the rest of the world with it - Apple has also ditched them recently, it seems because of friction with Oracle and new licensing terms, so it's not as if this is going to get better.

Java has caused Google serious issues with performance [android.com] on a mobile platform anyway - they'd be better off with a language and platform that they control entirely. Unfortunately changing the platform like this would be a huge wrench and would have to be managed very carefully over a period of years, but it can be done.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 years ago | (#39697905)

Go would actually be an excellent option. Its a really clever language that solves a whole ton of C related pain-points, and compiles surprisingly snapilly.

I mean google might be concerned that not many people know it, but Apple took the exact same punt with objective C, but ultimately objective C's strengths as a rapid development platform won over a lot of coders who might otherwise be spooked away from it.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#39697921)

Haven't really looked at Go, thanks for the tip.

There are a lot of options, and as you say Apple is a good example here - it is possible to take most of your developers with you, with the right combination of threats, cajoling, and incentives, even through multiple huge transitions, as Apple have managed over the last decade.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697973)

Go is suffering from significant memory leak problems in its garbage collector that makes it problematic to run on less than 64 bit systems.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698385)

That's because it's using the bdw gc 6.8 in the golang 1.0 release. It's not some unfixable design problem - in fact, they have already written a new gc and it's pending inclusion after 1.0.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697993)

Why use an unproven and uncommon language? Qt is already here, and if C++ isn't quite your cup of tea, Qt-Quick [wikipedia.org] gets you pretty far, plus Qt itself already have bindings for most languages.

All in all, a far more sensible approach, that would even bring some sort of compatibility with Symbian and Meego fwiw, besides lightening the load of the device.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#39698429)

Qt is a zombie. Maybe it will survive the death or takeover by MS of Nokia, and the current churn in the codebase which is trying to reposition it for mobile, but I wouldn't like to place bets on it, or bet the future of a healthy platform like android on it. Symbian and meego are never going to go anywhere, as Nokia has made clear, so support for them is totally pointless at this stage. Far more important than a vast catalogue is having a clear and consistent ui on the core apps which people use every day.

If they managed a transition right though, they wouldn't even need to give up the android java apps, they could just let people gradually migrate.

Google would be far better to look at the progress made in mobile uis, the mistakes they've made with android, and try to learn from them to produce something truly new and exciting - if I were them I'd make it web based, but with a nicer language than JavaScript driving interaction, and of course hooks for using c or java libraries. Webos so nearly fot there, and then failed for other reasons, and ios tried to start that way and only changed tack because the tools were not mature enough and they were not eating their own dogfood (if all the native apps had been local webapps on ios, things might have been different). Google have enough momentum and talent to create their own platform and push a lot of developers onto it.

I summary, google needs qt far less than it needs a committed sponsor.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699233)

I knew you'd make that mistake. Qt != Nokia. And it's not a zombie either. Sorry. You fail.

Feel free to educate [wikipedia.org] yourself.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699461)

'Qt is already here...'

"There is no Master but the Master, and QT-1 is his prophet."

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698415)

Yes a statically typed language with no generics. That means type checking at run time. So wont be much speed increase over java unless you wanna copy and paste every container for each of your types...

Go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698433)

Last I heard of it go while good was still incomplete in a lot of ways. Worst of all using a generic conservative garbage collector instead of one that actually frees all unused memory. Go even has a howto for 32 bit programs to "reduce"(not avoid, you can't be sure) the chance of random out of memory crashes, the current GC leaks memory like a sieve. Then there are things like missing basic functionality, from recent reddit posts it seems that it does not even support dynamic linking.

In other words: while nice to look at go still has a long way to go before it can replace something as big and mature as java.

 

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39698143)

I don't know if that's still in the game, but previously Oracle was also claiming patents on JIT that Dalvik was violating (and that, apparently, pretty much any JIT-compiling VM would violate; so MS is paying royalties for .NET, for example). If that's still the case, switching languages won't help.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#39698291)

Not going to happen. Android platform is BIG. And it works quite OK, actually.

Python is not going to cut it. It's interpreted (i.e. 'too slow') and has miserable multithreading. Dalvik VM is by now JIT-compiled with decent multi-threading. Besides, Python is a dynamic language and they are a pain for complex apps.

Go isn't going to cut it either because it's a purely compiled language.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

Maximus633 (1316457) | about 2 years ago | (#39697841)

You asked "WHY"...Contrary to popular belief (sorry Starbucks) money makes the world go round. Not java :-)

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#39697995)

Java constantly is listed among the top three most popular programming languages. It's not because of Android.

Android chose Java because Java was popular, not the other way around. You must be unaware of the other uses of Java in this world.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (2)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#39698317)

Android chose Java because Java was popular, not the other way around. You must be unaware of the other uses of Java in this world.

Exactly. Java's got a huge number of server-side programs written for it, and it mostly gets on and supports those pretty well. Its somewhat chunky startup costs aren't a big problem in that situation (you don't need to start processes very often and you can usefully throw hardware at it) and its both fast and safe; fast because this is the case that JITting does best with, and safe because there's no loading of strange native code or user-supplied classes. The only real competitor in this space is .Net (yes, I know its not a language but a group of them targeting a single runtime, but then again what I say about Java really applies to a suite of languages too) and that only really has traction on Windows; Mono isn't very trusted yet, and most of the organizations with these sorts of code bases are very conservative (the only reason that Java and C# have had real traction into this space is because a lot of effort was made by Sun and Microsoft to enable relatively low-skilled programmers to work on connecting nasty legacy databases with relatively modern front-ends; that finally displaced a lot of companies away from COBOL and MUMPS).

The amazing thing is that people still write new desktop apps in Java...

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (3, Informative)

Traiano (1044954) | about 2 years ago | (#39698015)

Android is ... literally a lifeline keeping java alive

As an enterprise infrastructure technologist, I can tell you that Java is very much alive. With or without Android, it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (4, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#39698033)

> have no god damn idea why Oracle is doing this

Because Google can't axe Java now, they in their infinite wisdom allowed it to proliferate. If only they have kept C and let developers to add Java, Python, Go, Haskell runtimes (all derived and compiled from C) they would have a great and truly free&open platform, the whole Java thing would get offloaded to third parties, something that smart companies do. Now Java is mandated, and of course you can't compile Go from Java nor Python from Java etc. as it all requires C to be the default underlaying SDK, which for some uniquely flawed executive reasoning is not. So Java is now the huge drag anchor of Android development, not only creating nightmares to developers, but also this patent/copyright Oracle stink.

That is what you get with fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698227)

Somewhere at Google is a Java fanboy, they do far to much mission critical stuff in it (while still developing their stuff) for it to be anything but a fanboy reasoning. They even generate their javascript by writing java instead. No people, javascript is NOT a bad language, it is just a different one that requires a different mindset. Writing a program to be able to generate code for one language in another SCRIPTING language... that is just insanity.

And as has been pointed out, turning Linux into a java only platform is just insane as well. One of the major strengths of Linux is it wide coding support, why on earth would you limit it to just Java a language owned by a rather dubious company before and after (Sun's handling was just as insane) over the countless truly free alternatives? By all means let developers develop in it if they want to but keep your options open.

No, a fanboy exec has declared Java to be the way and business logic be damned.

Meanwhile Apple has forced developers to learn their own language and has the more healthy market. Go figure. Where is the java advantage?

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698305)

Yet somehow with necessitas (http://necessitas.sf.net/) people manage to run Qt-applications written in C++ on Android without much problems.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39699085)

Google thought they were in the clear using Java in the grounds that they re-implemented, similar to how many compatible products have been created in the past using publicly available specifications. I am somewhat surprised the even offered 0.5% to Oracle, but I suppose if it makes them go away it might be worth it.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698043)

Steve jobs was great friends with Larry Ellison (CEO of oracle) Steve wanted nothing more than to kill/destroy/wipe android off the face of the earth. Maybe Larry is helping him fulfil a dying wish.

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698055)

There ARE alternatives to Java on android - BUT if Oracle wins on copyrighting APIs their name will be more mud than it is now....
      I have friends that work there now and they are already on the defensive when they admit they work there - it will only get worse....
People who have a choice will not work there - and over time - that WILL hurt oracle...

Re:This really is a bizare course of action for Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698949)

I hope Oracle wins and forces people off their product the same way Novell shot themselves in the foot.

People who haven't tried many languages check some benchmarks and say - well, Java is almost half the speed of C++ on many tasks so it's not so bad.

What people don't realize is most non-trivial implimentations bog down when they run out of RAM and page to disk. The difference in execution speed is dwarfed by the orders of magnitude slower swap to disk.

You need to see the benchmarks to believe them. Maybe you need to run them yourself to be sure.

For many benchmarks Java took over 50x as much RAM as C and over 2000x as much RAM as Pascal.

Yes, check that again. Your hardware could support 50x as many users in C and 2000x as many with Pascal before running out of RAM.

Java is slower than FORTRAN and uses more RAM than LISP.

Where's the progress?

At least all of the jurors... (4, Funny)

bdabautcb (1040566) | about 2 years ago | (#39697779)

will be well enough educated in technology to make a reasonable decision based on evidence. The last time I had jury duty on a first degree murder case, the person selected from my pool brought a herd of ants into the jury room with his lunch bag (plastic bag from store checkout) and kept going on about how special he was because he and his wife had the only set of twins in the world with identical fingerprints. I am a biologist and was strucken from further review by the defense because I answered the question "Do you believe that DNA technology is accurate?" with "Yes sir, I believe it is accurate." It must be great to be a lawyer.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697829)

The problem with your answer is DNA technology can be accurate. That doesn't mean it is.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697869)

Why do you assume all the jurors will be tach savvy. It's like saying why are you mad that you were dismissed for not being a murder.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (1)

Troed (102527) | about 2 years ago | (#39698239)

Did you at least qualify your answer with "That depends on if you're searching for someone specific or if you're just matching collected DNA to as a large as database as possible. Oh, and how many unique markers are used in the search."?

Else I'm not sure I'd answer that it _is_ accurate.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | about 2 years ago | (#39698323)

I probably would have been more specific, except that as the lawyers cannot actually discuss anything involving the process regarding collection or analysis of evidence, the question was more along the lines of "do you think that DNA evidence can assist a jury in making a decision." I would have been more literal if I actually thought people could so pedantic about a somewhat sarcastic antecdote.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (1)

Troed (102527) | about 2 years ago | (#39698351)

Well I wasn't sarcastic, sorry. If the prosecutor planned on using the "wide database fishing search" defense it would be problematic if he/she thought you had an opposite view of how many faulty hits that generates.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | about 2 years ago | (#39698439)

Because the defense gets to question jurors first, the prosecutor did not even get a chance to talk to me. I was called in to the court room with the defense and the defendant, and the prosecutors (also of course the judge). After cursory introductions, the defense asked me one question about my level of education and one very broad question about DNA evidence in trials. The defense struck me immediatley, and the judge sent me on my way.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (2)

bdabautcb (1040566) | about 2 years ago | (#39698453)

I don't think it was about looking for knowledgeable people, it was about finding a jury that would be most easy to sway from making informed opinions on the evidence presented. My background would probably lead people to think that I am competent in (or at least believe in) forming opinions based on presented evidence. Therefore, struck from jury.

Re:At least all of the jurors... (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 2 years ago | (#39698561)

I am competent in (or at least believe in) forming opinions based on presented evidence

Unfortunately that will disqualify you from many other positions as well.

Nothing will come of this (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 2 years ago | (#39697827)

Except of course a bunch of lawyers getting wealthy off these two companies. Case in point: The SCO debacle is still ongoing. There are lawyers still wringing cash out of that mess and it's been nearly a decade. And that is some dinky shell company versus IBM. Two giants with deep pockets slugging it out? It will never end. And why should it? Lawyers get paid by the hour.

Ten years from now when this mess is still ongoing it will be a shining example of why our patent system is broken. It protects nothing, can come to no resolutions, stifles innovation and is really nothing more than a toll booth manned by lawyers.

Gone into mourning for the death of the sun (3, Informative)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#39697901)

To be fair, I'm not sure this sort of endless litigation is necessarily caused by patents, it's more a result of the legal system we have, and the perverse incentives for lawyers to keep themselves in work. Jarndyce v Jarndyce [gutenberg.org] is a good place to start for an example of this which doesn't involve patents.

One thing for certain - Patent system stays broken (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39697933)

.... years from now when this mess is still ongoing it will be a shining example of why our patent system is broken. It protects nothing, ....

Maybe you've overlooked something

The broken patent system has made a lot of lawyers very very rich

And rich lawyers will see that the broken patent system stays broken

But Oracle put so much effort into inventing Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697845)

Oh.. I must be in the wrong thread. Sorry, carry on.
Captcha: laughed

How might Google try to get around the patents? (2)

Qwavel (733416) | about 2 years ago | (#39697887)

Clearly, Google having to pay Oracle millions of dollars is no big deal - chump change to them.

But Oracle has asked for a permanent order preventing Google from continuing to infringe the patents and copyrights. Clearly Oracle is willing to go to the wall to get its way. It would certainly appear that the future of Java is of little import to Oracle compared to winning this battle and getting as much compensation from Google as they can.

If Oracle wins, what they demand will only be limited by the importance of the patents and copyright in question. Leaving the copyright issue aside for now (since it is less clear), how important are the patents? Can Google work around them?

It is my understanding that the principle concern is this patent:
Method and system for performing static initialization.
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=18&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=6061520&OS=6061520&RS=6061520 [uspto.gov]

How significantly would Davlik be affected if they had to work around this patent?

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697957)

Put it like this 'C' has been initializing statics for man many years without problems.

The patent is a workround for a Java footgun and probably doesn't affect Dalvik anyway.

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39697977)

My guess is that Oracle doesn't plan on winning the copyright issues at all. As has been pointed out in previous articles, if they win they will have, as a consequence, turned Java into a derivative work of the pre-existing languages it borrowed from. They will be sued for -- and lose -- much more than they could possibly hope to win here now. If they win on copyright, they lose big time.
 
Although they probably hope they can win on the patent issues, considering their damages have come down so much (from they probably thought were uninflated numbers) some of the execs and lawyers probably see that even if they win, they're not going to get what they want. Essentially, what started off as a hopeful money grab is now them most likely just going through the motions in order to save face. Though perhaps they are delusional enough to think otherwise.
 
As others have pointed out, if they actually do stop Davlik entirely, then their "win" is to have less people interested in Java. From what I hear about Java for the past couple of years, though, they seem to be willfully killing it off through mismanagement anyway. So perhaps they really don't give a shit about it at all. What kind of revenues they get due to Java?

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39698147)

As others have pointed out, if they actually do stop Davlik entirely, then their "win" is to have less people interested in Java. From what I hear about Java for the past couple of years, though, they seem to be willfully killing it off through mismanagement anyway. So perhaps they really don't give a shit about it at all. What kind of revenues they get due to Java?

They're not killing it, they're turning it into COBOL 2.0 - a realm of humongous "enterprise" solutions chock full of incomprehensible code that requires very expensive consultants to maintain, much less update. In other words, the kind of turf on which Oracle knows how to play very well.

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698173)

So perhaps they really don't give a shit about it at all.

Why would they? They're Oracle, Inc., not Java, Inc.

Darkness is the result of the Sun being consumed by a giant Space Douche, after all.

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 2 years ago | (#39698811)

The patent in question should never have been issued in the first place... Software should NOT be patentable subject matter as it is purely mathematical expressions and statements.

Re:How might Google try to get around the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39699485)

The patent talks about a way to startup an interpreted program faster.
      Not really a Java specific issue, more interpreter/compiler tool chain for a language with classes.
      Since interpreted programs waaaay predate this patent,
                one could resort to the old unoptimized method, or figure out a better, more optimized method to start.
      Either way, the user and application programmers would not be affected.

If Oracle and Google end up removing Java from Android,
        then it might slow Android acceptance a bit, but it will recover and maybe be better.

On the other hand, it might kill Java as a language that anybody not wed to Oracle uses.
      In other words, Apple, .NET and Android might be the main winners if Oracle gets what it is asking for.
          (Perhaps a case of lawyer induced bullet in footitis.)

900 motions and filings == how many lines of code? (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#39697911)

I'm just trying to imagine what both companies could have done, if the money for this had been spent on R&D projects. Probably both companies and their ecosystems would have been better off. Conflict between two titans rattles the earth, and shakes and frightens smaller beings.

Two years of hard core litigation? Which small companies can afford that? Even if a small company is clearly in the right, a giant can litigate them out of existence, before the truth comes to light.

'tis uneasy waters, in which we tread today, my fellows.

Re:900 motions and filings == how many lines of co (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#39698035)

I'm just trying to imagine what both companies could have done, if the money for this had been spent on R&D projects

Good question maybe.....

Google oceanSpray! a new product that twists the web, attracts millions of users, but never leaves beta and is closed after a few years to the protests of the small but devoted community that stuck around.

or

Oracle Cloudsense Exalogic. A new database that analyzes the cloud, provides a solid support package, but uses an obscure syntax that mostly annoys the programmers who need to work with it, and costs $3million a seat.

who is Oracle? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39697925)

oh that's right, the company who squanders and kills anything decent they might have acquired (cause sure as fuck they haven't developed anything in the last decade +) for a quick buck

Not that I feel anything for google, but its fun watching Oracle piss on their 50$ shoe to win a 3$ bet

Compulsory Licensing (1)

mcelrath (8027) | about 2 years ago | (#39698057)

These "permanent injunctions" are rather stupid. They do no one any good. The only question in cases like these is: "how much does the infringer owe?" If someone figures out how to make more money with your patent than you do, then they should be allowed to do it, but they should have to pay for it. Presumably they'd pay less if they got a license first rather than going to court. Never, ever, should a court grant a permanent injunction, or stop the sale of anything. It harms the market, harms innovation, harms the free flow of ideas.

We need compulsory licensing of patents. (And copyrighted material too, for that matter, now that the marginal cost of distribution is zero)

Perspective, please? (1)

Gimbal (2474818) | about 2 years ago | (#39698149)

IANAL, but I'm not completely unfamiliar with concepts involved in litigation. "900 motions and filings" makes it sound, to me, like rather a complex case. Reading the first article linked, then, it looks like the case will boil down to some analyses of patent claims, on one hand, and secondly, the question of whether a programming language can be a copywritten work. I would wager that the court's decision in the second matter of those, that it may ultimately have the widest affect on the industry, overall, in any eventual repurcussions of the case. (At the least, it's the matter I find myself most intersted about, so maybe that's just my bias speaking.)

As far as trying to guess out Oracle's strategy, I don't know if we really can, this far along in the process. My own guess is that they just want some money out of Google, plain and simple - but certainly, there must be more details to their strategy.

2 men enter, 1 man leaves! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39698337)

Ellison or Brin? If I was a betting man, well, I am not, so Ellison it is...

Jury selection (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | about 2 years ago | (#39698343)

I wonder how the jury will be selected: will owning an Android phone be considered a factor for disqualification? And what about owning an iPhone (apple fan => android hater => oracle sympathizer)?

Re:Jury selection (1)

ioncann0ns (2540904) | about 2 years ago | (#39698413)

I was wondering the same thing but from a different angle. Anyone with enough tech sense to understand the trial is going to have bias. Anyone without enough tech sense to understand it is still likely to be biased, but also clueless.

Re:Jury selection (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#39699467)

I wonder how the jury will be selected: will owning an Android phone be considered a factor for disqualification?

Owning an iPad might. Allegedly they look identical from six feet away.

Need to enter steel cage, not courtroom (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#39698643)

Instead of fighting it out in the courtroom, at this point the computer wars have gotten so personal we really need a steel cage match between Google and Oracle...

Now you might think Google would have the advantage, what with Larry & Sergey tag-teaming against Ellison.

But if you ever look deep into the eyes of Ellison, you will have strong reason to think even the Datariffic Duo will have trouble indeed bringing down the mighty L.

Jury Nullification (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | about 2 years ago | (#39699457)

I'm hoping we start to see some jury's just watch the show and return the nope verdict. Of course, if juries do get smarter and start voiding these suits, the lawyers will scramble to east texas.

Oracle is trying to generate revenue from Java (2)

stm12 (2582903) | about 2 years ago | (#39699511)

Do you think Google didn't know exactly what they were doing when the developed Dalvik? The company is awash with ex-Sun execs.

There are already companies licensing Java on mobile who are at a distinct competitive disadvantage because they have to pay a licensing fee to Oracle for the use of Java, whereas Google (and its partner manufacturers) do not license Java on Android. If Oracle wins my guess is Android will die slowly because whatever the PR may be, Android is successful because the cell carriers make more money from the devices than any other.

Sun knew exactly what is was doing when it opened up the non-mobile Java SDK but failed to do the same with Java ME.

Oracle is in an all or nothing move to either generate revenue from Java on mobile or kill it off. Whatever the damages they're claiming, the real cost will be in the massive license fees they negotiate if they win.

RIM's Playbook device is the first example of what is happening. The device has no Java unless you use Android apps. Despite the fact RIM's entire app catalog on App World for its earlier OS was Java based. Whatever their public statements on the subject, the truth is this is about licensing and competition (otherwise why didn't RIM release the Java VM already available on the new OS they bought).
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