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Open-Source Movements Bicker Over Logo

WebMink Re:Facts From OSI (158 comments)

The only questions remaining - why didn't the OP check with you, why didn't Slashdot editors check with you, and why hasn't there been an article update already?

Actually the IDG journalist involved did contact me; the text I posted above was copied from my reply to him! He even quoted the "build bridges" bullet...

more than 2 years ago
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Open-Source Movements Bicker Over Logo

WebMink Facts From OSI (158 comments)

I'm OSI's current president. Here are the facts that are missing from the OP:

  1. OSI has not sent any legal notice to OSHWA, does not want to and has no plans to do so.
  2. OSHWA approached OSI last year to ask about the relationship between the OSHW and OSI logos, which their internal discussion had identified as a problem.
  3. Since then, there has been an ongoing conversation between OSI & OSHWA. It's not been perfect, but everyone involved is a volunteer doing their best in a complicated situation.
  4. Last week OSHWA decided to consult its members/stakeholders about the matter before next steps with OSI.
  5. The template trademark agreement from OSI that they published was not a proposal or demand, it was just an example document to assist them in making a proposal to OSI. It was requested by OSHWA prior to a meeting between OSI & OSHWA on June 29.
  6. The discussions are ongoing and it's unhelpful to treat this as a conflict; neither OSI's Board nor (as far as I have been told) OSHWA's board do.
  7. OSI is very keen indeed to devise an approach that brings maximum benefit to the whole open source community and which builds bridges to strengthen it.
  8. When OSHWA's data-gathering ends (August 16) OSI will be ready with a strong proposal that fixes things.

more than 2 years ago
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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation

WebMink Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (436 comments)

Still wrong. The JVM Microsoft created for Windows (until they embarked on their fateful "embrace & extend") was a port of the Sun JVM.

about 4 years ago
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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation

WebMink Re:Apple isn't doing Sun's work for them.... (436 comments)

While saying "Apple isn't blocking Sun/Oracle's ability to ship Java for the OS X platform" sounds wonderful, it neglects reality. I'm guessing you should read both Gosling's posting and my article. Gosling explains:

It simply isn't true that “Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms”. IBM supplies Java for IBM's platforms, HP for HP's, even Azul systems does the JVM for their systems (admittedly, these all start with code from Snorcle - but then, so does Apple). In the beginning, Microsoft provided Java for Windows ... Apple was the same ...

and I explain:

Having Oracle take over the development would be hard for several reasons:

  • First, the Java port in use includes a lot of Apple know-how that is not generally available (such as private interfaces) to make Java integrate well rather than using just X11.
  • Second, it belongs to Apple, so Oracle would either have to receive a copy of Apple's implementation or start again with all the UI and platform native code.
  • Third, distribution would move outside Apple's update mechanism so keeping it patched and secure would be difficult - a new installer and update mechanism will be needed.
  • Fourth, the new AppStore rules will make sure there's negligible demand for consumer Java on the Mac.

Your view would make a good Apple PR position but doesn't address the actual complexities of the situation.

about 4 years ago
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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation

WebMink Re:What are the negative consequences? (436 comments)

There are perfectly fine versions of both LibreOffice and indeed OpenOffice.org for the Mac, and many people haven't used NeoOffice in an age (and I don't think it depends on Java anymore anyway). Whatever the consequences of Jobs ditching Java might be (and I assert they are significant) they don't include a threat to open source office productivity apps.

about 4 years ago
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Glibc Is Finally Free Software

WebMink Re:What was the original license? What's the new o (337 comments)

It's not quite a BSD license if they require the source and binaries contain that notice.

That's a pretty vanilla 3-clause BSD licence just like you'd see anywhere else, I don't see a problem with it.

more than 4 years ago
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Glibc Is Finally Free Software

WebMink Re:What was the original license? What's the new o (337 comments)

The original license text was:

/*
* Sun RPC is a product of Sun Microsystems, Inc. and is provided for
* unrestricted use provided that this legend is included on all tape
* media and as a part of the software program in whole or part. Users
* may copy or modify Sun RPC without charge, but are not authorized
* to license or distribute it to anyone else except as part of a product or
* program developed by the user.
*
* SUN RPC IS PROVIDED AS IS WITH NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND INCLUDING THE
* WARRANTIES OF DESIGN, MERCHANTIBILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
* PURPOSE, OR ARISING FROM A COURSE OF DEALING, USAGE OR TRADE PRACTICE.
*
* Sun RPC is provided with no support and without any obligation on the
* part of Sun Microsystems, Inc. to assist in its use, correction,
* modification or enhancement.
*
* SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE
* INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHTS, TRADE SECRETS OR ANY PATENTS BY SUN RPC
* OR ANY PART THEREOF.
*
* In no event will Sun Microsystems, Inc. be liable for any lost revenue
* or profits or other special, indirect and consequential damages, even if
* Sun has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
*
* Sun Microsystems, Inc.
* 2550 Garcia Avenue
* Mountain View, California 94043
*/

The new one is:

/*
* Copyright (c) 2010, Oracle America, Inc.
*
* Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
* modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
* met:
*
*     * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
*       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
*     * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
*       copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
*       disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials
*       provided with the distribution.
*     * Neither the name of the "Oracle America, Inc." nor the names of its
*       contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
*       from this software without specific prior written permission.
*
*   THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS
*   LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS
*   FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
*   COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT,
*   INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
*   DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE
*   GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS
*   INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY,
*   WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING
*   NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
*   OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
*/

more than 4 years ago
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OpenSolaris Governing Board Dissolves Itself

WebMink Re:Question here. (198 comments)

Check out the Illumos announcement. Slides 18 and 19 in the deck about that. The Illumos people have made a bootable system with closed bits of libc (including full locale support) replaced, replacements for the most critical closed source utilities and replacements for some drivers. Still to do:

  • NFS/CIFS lock manager
  • Full kcf module/daemon (crypto framework)
  • Trusted Extensions (labeld)
  • Many more drivers

That's plenty of work but there are people willing and able to get it done and they have a bootable system to evolve. The real question is when someone will kick off a full distro around it (since Illumos is purely a kernel).

more than 4 years ago
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Why We Still Need OSI

WebMink Re:OSI Paperwork Believed Current (108 comments)

Your description does not match any of the facts available to me as a new Board member, so I suggest you contact me via e-mail: webmink (at) opensource (dot) org

more than 4 years ago
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Why We Still Need OSI

WebMink OSI Paperwork Believed Current (108 comments)

We believe everything is now up to date - the IRS filings were part of the same issue we inherited from the early days of OSI. We (mainly OSI's Treasurer Danese Cooper actually) worked on these issues last year with the help of DLA Piper (law firm donating their service) and today we are completely in the good graces of both the IRS and the California State Franchise Tax Board.

If you are aware of other issues that haven't popped up on our radar, please tell osi (at) opensource (dot) org so we can fix them. I realise that's not so much fun as posting them on Slashdot first, but it will help get things fixed faster just like filing a fix on Subversion fixes software faster than writing to The Register about it.

more than 4 years ago
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Why We Still Need OSI

WebMink Re:we need OSI to keep their paperwork current (108 comments)

Note that the story here was that, much to the current Board's surprise, it turned out that accounts for some previous years well in the past had been created but for some unknown reason not filed with the State of California. The first the current Board knew of this was when we heard about the suspension. We immediately located the old accounts and arranged for them to be retrospectively filed, and in response the State lifted its suspension.

Naturally there are people who want to keep the memory of this incident alive and are doing their best to raise it every time OSI is mentioned. While not desirable, we've since heard from many sources that this is an all-too-common event for all-volunteer organisations.

more than 4 years ago
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Oracle/Sun Enforces Pay-For-Security-Updates Plan

WebMink Re:Sidestep? (238 comments)

If you read the WayBack caches you'll see that the license has been the same since at least 2008 apart from the mention of Oracle. The way the licensing works is that you agree to the bulk of the terms in order to download Solaris, and then additionally get a certificate of entitlement to use it beyond the 90 day eval period when you register it. No register - no permanent license.

Messy but not a problem. And if it is a problem, there's always OpenSolaris.

more than 4 years ago
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Sparc Sends SparkFun Electronics C&D Letter

WebMink Unrelated to Sun (219 comments)

To be clear, SPARC International is an independent trade association. You should not be blaming Sun, Hitachi, Fujitsu or any other SPARC licensee for this.

S.

about 5 years ago
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Sparc Sends SparkFun Electronics C&D Letter

WebMink Nothing to do with Sun (219 comments)

I just want to make it clear, on Sun's behalf, that this trademark action was not initiated by Sun and that all the hatred expressed towards Sun on this issue is misplaced. SPARC International is an independent trade association (it has been for a very long time) and makes its own decisions about trademark enforcement. I wouldn't have acted the way they are, and I have asked Sun's representative to SPARC International to investigate the issue, but beyond using its status as one of many licensees and members, I'm not aware of anything more that Sun can do.

S.
(speaking officially for once)

about 5 years ago
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Sun's Phipps Slams App Engine's Java Support

WebMink Re:Sauce for the goose... (186 comments)

Because the subset that every other cloud provider makes will be different, and then you'll need to refactor to run on other clouds. That extra friction will lead to you finding it hard to move between providers, and that's called "lock-in". What we need is an agreed "Java Web Edition" profile from the JCP. Maybe Google could contribute their work?

more than 5 years ago
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OpenOffice.Org Now Under LGPLv3

WebMink Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (107 comments)

Letting people add anything they want works fine with software. Why not for specifications, too?

Indeed. Any addition can be made freely, and that addition will be the sole responsibility of those making it. Just like with software.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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OpenStack Was Denied Non-Profit Status

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about 4 months ago

WebMink (258041) writes "Seems no-one noticed back in May, but it's not just Yorba that has fallen foul of the changing outlook of the IRS concerning open source foundations. The huge OpenStack Foundation has also been denied non-profit status by the IRS. They had applied for 501(c)(6) (trade association) status like Eclipse and Linux Foundation before them, so this is all the more surprising. Has the IRS decided the expected philanthropy of open source is being gamed by corporate abusers?"
Link to Original Source
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Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation unite against software patents

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about 8 months ago

WebMink (258041) writes "In rare joint move, the OSI and FSF have joined with Eben Moglen's Software Freedom Law Center to file a U.S. Supreme Court briefing in the CLS vs Alice case. The brief asserts the basic arguments that processes are not patentable if they are implemented solely through computer software, and that the best test for whether a software-implemented invention is solely implemented through software is whether special apparatus or the transformation of matter have been presented as part of the claims (the "machine or transformation" test). They assert that finding software-only inventions unpatentable will not imperil the pace of software innovation, citing the overwhelming success of open source in the software industry as proof."
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Will Nokia Turn Smartphone Troll?

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink (258041) writes "While the focus of the news of Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices businesses is the future of Microsoft as an Apple clone, there's another story too. What will become Nokia? Microsoft has left them with all the device & smartphone patents, plus a huge pile of cash to spend. Nokia is already aggressive with patents, but with no smartphones to sell (and thus no target for counter-suits) they have every incentive to follow the trail of others (like Kodak) before them and become a massive mobile troll."
Link to Original Source
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Shuttleworth Agrees To FSF Demands For Edge Phone

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink (258041) writes "In an interview at OSCON, Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical spoke about the vision behind the Ubuntu Edge phone as a concept device to test features the mobile industry is too conservative to try. Notably, he agreed with the Free Software Foundation's demands that the device should carry no proprietary software and have Free drivers (transcript):

So what’s going to be in there? That’s all going to be free software?
Yes, we’ll ship this with Android and Ubuntu, no plans to put proprietary applications on it. We haven’t finalised the silicon selection so we’re looking at the next generation silicon from all major vendors. I would like to ship it with all Free drivers.

"

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Github Finally Agrees Public Repos Should Have Open Source Licenses

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink (258041) writes "After strong criticism last year, Github has finally accepted the view that public repositories with no open source license are a bad thing. Self-described as the "world's largest open source community," a significant number of GitHub projects come with no rights whatsoever for you to use their code in an open source project.

But from now on, creators of new repositories will have to pick from a small selection of OSI-approved licenses or explicitly opt for "no license". In Github's words, "please note that opting out of open source licenses doesn't mean you're opting out of copyright law.""

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Oracle Quietly Switches BerkeleyDB To AGPL

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink (258041) writes "A discussion in the Debian community reveals that last month Oracle quietly disclosed a change for the embedded BerkeleyDB database from the quirky Sleepycat License to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) in future versions. AGPL is only compatible with GPLv3 and treats web deployment as a trigger to license compliance, so developers using BerkeleyDB will need to check their code is still legally licensed.

Even if they had made the switch in the interests of advancing software freedom it would be questionable to force so many developers into a new license compatibility crisis. But it seems likely their only motivation is to scare more people into buying proprietary licenses. Oracle are well within their rights, but developers are likely to treat this as a betrayal. As a poster in the Debian thread says, "Oracle move just sent the Berkeley DB to oblivion" because there are some great alternatives, like OpenLDAP's LMDB."

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Do Open Source Projects Really Need Tax-Exempt Status?

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink (258041) writes "Turns out the IRS is lumping open source projects with Tea Party organizations as possible tax scams. While the most likely explanation is they just don't understand open source (maybe having had it conveniently mis-explained to them), it raises the question: do open source projects really need tax-exempt status anyway? Are people who support their mission really incented by the chance to save on income tax? Or are we mistaking IRS endorsement of accounting practices for validation that a community is really doing the right things?"
Link to Original Source
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Python Trademark Filer Ignorant Of Python?

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year and a half ago

WebMink writes "Is it possible that the CEO of the company that's trying to file a trademark on "Python" was unaware of Python's importance as a programming technology? That's what he claims — despite running a hosting company that's trying to break into cloud computing, where Python is used extensively. Still, he also regards the Python Software Foundation as a hostile American company and thinks that getting attention from half the world's geeks is a DDoS..."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Shipping GPLv2 Code

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink writes "It was remarkable enough that Microsoft chose to implement Git rather than inventing its own DVCS in Visual Studio this week. But they have done so using libgit2, which is licensed under GPLv2 and developed by GitHub. Microsoft are not only shipping it; they are also contributing to the project. Remember, the GPL was what made Steve Ballmer call Linux a "cancer" and has been the focus of Microsoft's fear of FOSS for a decade. Has hell frozen over?"
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Does Microsoft have the best app store for open source developers?

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about 2 years ago

WebMink writes "Microsoft seems to have been in combat against the GNU GPL throughout the history of free and open source software. But that may be changing. They have recently updated the terms of use for software developers in their Windows Phone app store to allow any OSI-approved open source license — even the GPL. They include extraordinarily broad language that gives the open source license priority over their own license terms, saying:

if your Application or In-App Product includes FOSS, your license terms may conflict with the limitations set forth in Section 3 of the Standard Application License Terms, but only to the extent required by the FOSS that you use

Could it be that the most open source friendly app stores will be the ones run my Microsoft?"
Link to Original Source

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Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about a year ago

WebMink writes "GitHub is a great open source hosting site, right? Wrong. There's no requirement that projects on GitHub provide any copyright license, let alone an open source one, so roughly half the projects on GitHub are "all rights reserved" — meaning you could well be violating copyright if you make any use of the code in them. And GitHub management seem just fine with this state of affairs, saying picking a license is too hard for ordinary developers. But if you're not going to give anyone permission to use your code, why post it on GitHub in the first place?"
Link to Original Source
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Research Proves Patent Trolls Harming The Economy

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about 2 years ago

WebMink writes "It used to just be speculation, but the numbers are now in — patent trolls are costing America jobs and economic growth. Newly-published research using data commissioned by Congress shows big rises in patent troll activity over the last five years — from 22% to 40% of all patent suits filed, with 4 out of five litigants being patent trolls. Other papers show that jobs are being lost and startups threatened, while VC money is just making things worse by making startups waste money filing more patents. Worst of all, it's clear this is just the tip of the iceburg; there's evidence that unseen pre-lawsuit settlements with patent trolls represent a much larger threat than anything the research can easily measure.

At least there is a little good news though; the fact Congress commissioned research on patent trolls means there are legislators taking the problem seriously at last,"

Link to Original Source
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"New Statesman" Pirates Its Own Magazine

WebMink WebMink writes  |  about 2 years ago

WebMink writes "Knowing that its explosive special edition on China this week will be blocked by censorship, UK political magazine "New Statesmen" has taken the unusual step of posting its own torrents of the PDF of the Mandarin edition on the magazine. Looking at the content of the issue they are probably right to expect censorship — there's an article from the former newspaper editor Cheng Yizhong about media censorship, and Ai Weiwei interviews a member of the "50 cent party" — a commenter paid half a dollar every time he derails an online debate in China. "Essentially, these people are paid internet trolls; their job is to stop any meaningful discussion online about the government." The magazine asks us to share the PDF, .torrent file and magnet link widely, so where better than Slashdot?"
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Calling Time on Oracle's Claims of MySQL FUD

WebMink WebMink writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WebMink writes "Last month, the wider MySQL community called foul on Oracle's failure to publish test cases with the most recent MySQL release. But Oracle claimed this week at a conference in Brussels that talk of it winding in control of MySQL is "just FUD".

An insider to Oracle's thinking suggests that the community's grievances are indeed real but Oracle's motivation is internal politics and not malice towards the community. Could the hurt be healed by taking an idea from Apache?"

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Gates and others offer $150,000 to start open source community

WebMink WebMink writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WebMink writes "With an impending deadline for America's schools to satisfy new federal reporting requirements on academic achievement, a new alliance of state educators is creating a system of open source software to help schools gather and submit the data that the rules require. To get the whole thing started, the Gates Foundation and Carnegie are funding two $75,000 awards for the open source developers who create the in-school software. The winners could also become the lynchpins of a new industry in academic software."
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iPhone 5 Scorns Standards Promise To European Commission

WebMink WebMink writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WebMink writes "Back in 2009, Apple signed an agreement aimed at reducing electronic waste resulting from mobile phone accessories. But this week's launch of the iPhone 5 shows them reneging on that commitment. Instead of including a micro-USB connector on the iPhone, as they agreed to do along with the rest of the phone industry, they created yet another proprietary connector. At a stroke, they have junked earlier iPhone accessories, forced a new industry in Apple-only accessories to arise and broken their promise to the EC. It's a huge missed opportunity both for their customers and for the environment."
Link to Original Source
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Easy Fix For Software Patents Found In US Patent Act

WebMink WebMink writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WebMink writes "What if there was an easy, inexpensive way to bring software patents under control, that did not involve Congress, which applied retrospectively to all patents and which was already part of the US Patent Act? Stanford law professor Mark Lemley thinks he's found it. He asserts that the current runaway destruction being caused by software patents is just like previous problems with US patent law, and that Congress included language in the Patent Act of 1952 that can be invoked over software patents just like it fixed the earlier problems. All it will take is a future defendant in a patent trial using his read of a crucial section of the Patent Act in their defence to establish case law. Can it really be that easy?"
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Sun Admitted JavaME Was Fragmented Without Any Help From Android

WebMink WebMink writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WebMink (258041) writes "The heart of Oracle's case against Google was that Android was fragmenting Java. But as Sun admitted repeatedly — notably at JavaOne in 2009, as the video linked from this article shows — Java ME was already a thoroughly fragmented platform in need of remediation. Has Oracle's decision to fire its one-shot Java defences at the wrong target cost it the ability to "defend" Java again?"
Link to Original Source

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