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Author Topic:   Oracle Wins Ruling Against Google Over Java APIs
PaulK
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(1)
Message 2 of 62 (830384)
03-28-2018 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
03-28-2018 8:44 AM


I am going to disagree with a couple of things.

First, Free and Open Source software often relies on copyright law. The whole idea of “Copyleft” would fall apart without is since the license would be unenforceable.

Second Java is a trademark and it is not unreasonable that Sun - and now Oracle -should put restrictions on the use of it. That is the way that Sun fought off Microsoft’s “embrace and extend” attempt to take over Java.

Third, the claims that Java is free and open are not really true. Neither Sun nor Oracle were really open to alternative implementations, excepting the OpenJDK Group. Sun never made good on that part of the original promise.

That said, I do have difficulty with claims of copyright over the API. I have an O’Reiily Java manual which documents the API and I haven’t seen a copyright notice in it. The API is a tiny fraction of the software. And there are benefits to standard interfaces.


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PaulK
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Message 4 of 62 (830415)
03-28-2018 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Modulous
03-28-2018 4:37 PM


That’s a bit of a dodgy argument, I think. As I remember it Sun didn’t want to put Java SE on mobile devices at the time. They were still plugging at Java ME. I don’t think there would ever have been a market for Java SE on smartphones because of that. Nobody who could have moved in time to beat Google would have been using Java SE.

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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
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Member Rating: 2.9


Message 7 of 62 (830424)
03-29-2018 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Percy
03-28-2018 8:12 PM


quote:

Rather than "trademark" did you mean the Java license, which checking at Wikipedia I see is now the GNU General Public License? Would Google really care whether they could use the Java trademark?

Google wasn’t involved. Microsoft - following the same strategy they were using to try to take control of the web browser market tried to take control of Java.

Wikipedia describes the events. As I remember it the trademark side of the lawsuit was more important than the copyright side.

quote:

So if Google could get the Java ME reference implementation under the GNU General Public License for free, then am I right that using that wouldn't have cost them a cent? If that's true, then how does implementing their own version mean they owe Oracle $8.8 billion?

The Mobile Edition was too limited for a modern smartphone (in those days the dominant platform was Windows Mobile - which rather quickly disappeared once the iPhone and imitators came along)

Intellectual Property is a bit of a minefield. With odd corner cases. Trademarks are probably the most straightforward, and even those have subjective elements (how close does it have to be to be “likely to cause confusion”?)


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
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Message 21 of 62 (831102)
04-12-2018 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
04-11-2018 9:33 PM


The only use of “general purpose” I can find in the license refers to computers, not to applications. So I don’t see how it justifies your example.

The example you quoted earlier involved using software distributed in the same package as the Java SDK - but wasn’t covered by the license, which is a different issue.

Oracle is, I think, being a bit less clear than they should be about what is covered but that isn’t the same as your complaint.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
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Member Rating: 2.9


Message 23 of 62 (831114)
04-12-2018 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Percy
04-12-2018 7:57 AM


The article is a bit vague, but it seems to agree with what I said, although perhaps it, too is less clear than it should be.


Java SE is free for what Oracle defines as “general purpose computing” – devices that in the words of its licence cover desktops, notebooks, smartphones and tablets. It is not free for what Oracle’s licence defines as “specialized embedded computers used in intelligent systems”, which Oracle further defines as – among other things – mobile phones, handheld devices, networking switches and Blu-Ray players.

And


You only become a designated user of, say, Java SE Suite, when you enable the necessary bits associated with that package – and then you pay accordingly. If you switch on features, deliberately or accidentally, and then forget about them or no longer need them, you may end up with a bill from Oracle you didn't expect.

For example, if you want to roll out Java SE in a big deployment, as you would following the development of your app, you’ll need Microsoft Windows Installer Enterprise JRE Installer – and that’s not part of the free Java SE.

It does make the assertion that selling extra services through a Java application is somehow charged for, but the justification isn’t clearly explained. It surely doesn’t turn an ordinary desktop PC into any of the dedicated devices they describe.


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PaulK
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(1)
Message 26 of 62 (831129)
04-12-2018 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
04-12-2018 9:03 AM


The problem is that so far as I can see adding the option to buy more services doesn’t in itself trigger the “general purpose” clause. That applies to the computer, not the application. The assertion that Oracle is asserting otherwise - even though it is Oracle - looks rather questionable in that light. Which is why I’d like to see the reasoning behind the argument.

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PaulK
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Message 28 of 62 (849330)
03-06-2019 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
03-06-2019 9:03 AM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
I think that a lot of developers will use the free OpenJDK instead of Oracle’s version.

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PaulK
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Message 30 of 62 (849359)
03-07-2019 12:20 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Percy
03-06-2019 7:58 PM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
That’s Oracle being Oracle. They don’t exactly have a great reputation.

I’m only on the fringes of the Java community but I really haven’t seen a lot of fuss about this. Just occasional reminders that Oracle’s charges are coming. I think that there would be more fuss if OpenJDK wasn’t seen as a viable alternative.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
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Message 31 of 62 (849387)
03-07-2019 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by PaulK
03-07-2019 12:20 AM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
The Register has a relevant article - mainly focussed on the continued use of Java 8.

The CEO of JClarity argued:


"Java is actually more free," said Verburg. The reason is that Oracle officially supports the OpenJDK and works with OpenJDK providers to share security fixes. "But if you just go to the Oracle download site, you have to make a decision. Do you want commercial Java, or Oracle's OpenJDK build, or OpenJDK from somewhere else? You have to make a choice. That's the confusion in the marketplace."

Oracle’s product manager for Java SE apparently agreed.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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PaulK
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Member Rating: 2.9


Message 33 of 62 (849391)
03-07-2019 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Percy
03-07-2019 4:20 PM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
There were some major revisions with Java 9 that required some code rewrites.

OpenJDK is currently supported up to Java 11 and Java 12 is coming (9 and 10 are out of support). The Azul page you link to mentions OpenJDK Java 11, too.

There is no need to buy OpenJDK - it’s a free download. Even the OpenJDK builds from Azul are advertised as free with no restrictions, and I don’t see any reason to disbelieve them.

The Azul counter is not just a scare tactic. Oracle ended free support for commercial users of Java 8 in January (personal users still get support until the end of next year). Since Azul make money from selling support to commercial users Zulu Enterprise it is advertising, but it isn’t false.


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PaulK
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Message 35 of 62 (849401)
03-08-2019 12:12 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Percy
03-07-2019 5:22 PM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
quote:

I don't disbelieve them. My concern is that they can't make enough money selling enterprise versions to stay in business. If they and Oracle are both charging for basically the same thing, how will they outcompete Oracle?

They are still supporting Java 8. They aren’t charging for the JDK - and they are supporting that one, not Oracle’s. They aren’t Oracle. They have other products (e.g. the Zing JVM) that they do charge for.

quote:

For me this is just more confusion. That part of the page doesn't actually say OpenJDK but OpenJFX, and I don't know what OpenJFX is. Following the link took me to a page that assumes you already know what OpenJFX is. I could look it up further, but I've had my fill of unfulfilling research into Java today

That certainly isn’t what I see. I see the home page for OpenJDK, with OpenJFX only one link near the bottom of a very long list of links.

quote:

I didn't think it was false, but look at the wording: "Days since the last free Oracle Java 8 update - what's your plan?" It implies some urgency. I'd translate it as, "Oracle isn't providing free Java 8 updates anymore, so you better figure out what you're going to do."

Why would the lack of free updates push Azul Systems customers toward their enterprise edition?


Because OpenJDK Java 8 is still supported, and Azul’s Enterprise support packages provide even stronger support. Including out-of-band updates.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 39 of 62 (849416)
03-08-2019 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
03-08-2019 9:49 AM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
quote:

But it's all still frameworks for getting your Java-based product out to customers. I'm wondering why, if you're going to pay for something, you would buy it from Azul instead of Oracle? Is there some value added that Azul provides that Oracle doesn't? Is their price significantly lower (in which case can they still make a profit?)?

Likely they are cheaper - especially for those still sticking to Java 8. Oracle is not known for low prices.

quote:

I don't know what "Zing JVM" is, but why would someone buy it from Azul instead of the equivalent from Oracle?

Given that Oracle’s JVM used to be free, I’m sure they have some selling points.

quote:

You must be looking at a different webpage. Click on the link in the nested quotes above. Search for the string "11", which occurs in just one place and only in reference to the OpenJFX builds for OpenJDK 8 and 11. I don't know what OpenJFX is.

That isn’t the same link.

But the title of the page is:


Download Zulu® tested, certified builds of OpenJDK

And I don’t understand how you could miss the fact that “OpenJFX for OpenJDK 8 and 11” explicitly refers to OpenJDK 11.

(And if you actually click on the links you can see that OpenJDK 11 and 8 are available for download.)

quote:

This is a prime example of why I find this so confusing, because another webpage talks about how JDK had to be reconfigured going forward to Java 9 but that they broke some things, implying (but not explicitly stating) that others (like Azul) wouldn't be able to implement their own versions beyond 8

But that doesn’t imply any such thing. OpenJDK is supported by Oracle and has the right to make the same changes.

quote:

If there are non-Oracle OpenJDK builds of Java 9 and up that are just fine, then why does a good portion of the Java community feel it imprudent to go beyond Java 8? It feels to me that it must have something to do with the things that Oracle admits they broke in the JDK at Java 9.

Oracle broke things, therefore code written for Java 8 is not guaranteed to work with Java 9 or later. In addition Java 9 and 10 were only supported for a short time. Some institutions are conservative and like to stick with what works. (Some of our customers stuck on Java 4 for years). Sticking with Java 8 made sense until it ran out of support - and it didn’t make sense for customers who require long support lives to move to Java 9 or 10.

quote:

I don't know what "out-of-band updates" and hence also don't understand why they'd be an incentive to purchase Azul's enterprise products.

It means that updates will be shipped as soon as they are ready, instead of waiting on a regular release cycle.

quote:

Interestingly, it is Java 8 from Oracle installed on my Windows machine. Updates occur automatically, the most recent earlier this week. If Oracle is up to Java 11, why is the default for Windows to install Java 8? Is it because most Java software out there isn't compatible with Java 9 and above? I see problems down the road.

I can’t answer that. It could be the reasons above, or it could be that you have Java 8 so that it will update that for as long as possible until you choose to go for a newer version. Or it could be something else.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 41 of 62 (849424)
03-09-2019 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Percy
03-08-2019 6:07 PM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
Percy, I will grant that you are confused, but I don’t think that conflicting web pages are the main problem.

If you are looking at a page titled:


Download Zulu® tested, certified builds of OpenJDK

and fail to find the links to download the OpenJDK builds you have a problem.

How about Zulu for Windows ?

If you can say


That part of the page doesn't actually say OpenJDK but OpenJFX,

while noticing that it explicitly mentions “OpenJDK 8 and 11” you have a problem (especially as the existence of OpenJDK 11 was the point in question)

Now while I had heard the name I don’t have any special knowledge of Azul.

However, you do need to know that OpenJDK is an open source project. Azul is providing builds of it and selling support - which is a model other open source companies have followed. They don’t need the resources to write a complete JDK because they don’t do that.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15440
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Member Rating: 2.9


Message 43 of 62 (849427)
03-09-2019 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Percy
03-09-2019 10:27 AM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
quote:

I'm not sure how to thank someone for trying to explain something to me while insulting me at the same time.

If you find reporting what you are doing “insulting” then as I said, you have a problem

quote:

Also, I think that sometimes you're looking at different webpages. I provided links to the pages I thought you were referring to, and they contained no links to OpenJDK builds. Zulu for Windows does contain such links, but this is the first time you linked to this page.

But that page is one of the links on the Azul page that you originally provided. One of the prominent links that you couldn’t find. Despite the fact that it is very obvious.

quote:

But Oracle "broke" the JDK after 8. What did Azul, for example, do to address these problems, if anything? I don't know - do you? Can you take a Java project from Azul's OpenJDK 11 and have it work transparently on Oracle's OpenJDK 11? I don't know this either - do you?

As I have said before they did not break the JDK - the changes they made to the JDK broke some older programs. And it’s for the OpenJDK project to address, not Azul.

quote:

My concern is that Oracle is going to find ways make such things more difficult, pushing more and more people toward purchasing solutions from Oracle while still trying to make it seem that they want to encourage rather than antagonize the larger Java community.

In which case the answer is for the community - users and developers - to embrace OpenJDK instead of paying Oracle.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15440
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 45 of 62 (849450)
03-10-2019 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Percy
03-10-2019 12:23 PM


Re: Oracle Further Monetizing Java
quote:

You're not reporting but contriving fictions. Who really has the problem, the person trying to figure things out, or the person saying, "Oh, I'll help," while telling them how idiotic they are? Do you know what the verb "to help" means? Or is it that you've got some rules you follow, that you help people who agree with you but invent ways to insult those who don't under the guise of help?

In reality you keep missing the obvious and making excuses (sometimes bizarre) to avoid admitting it. And that is your problem. If you are insulted that I notice, that is also your problem.

quote:

But I wasn't looking for that link. I didn't link to that webpage because of its content but because it contained a count-up clock of how long it's been since the last free Oracle Java 8 update. I chose that page at random because many Azul pages contain that clock at the top.

Let me point out what really happened. I pointed out


(And if you actually click on the links you can see that OpenJDK 11 and 8 are available for download.)

You replied


I don't know what links you mean. There are no links for OpenJDK 8 and 11 at Download Zulu® tested, certified builds of OpenJDK

Despite the fact that the links are there and quite obvious. And just to make it more obvious, the page title is “Download Zulu® tested, certified builds of OpenJDK”.

quote:

Then you said, "The Azul page you link to mentions OpenJDK Java 11, too," but this isn't accurate. It does mention it, but only in the context of OpenJFX, and not as a link. I reported that back to you, and now you're trying to help me by telling me what an idiot I am for not noticing all the other links on the page. I don't need this kind of help. If this is how you're going to continue helping me then please just go away.

Earlier I mentioned that it did mention OpenJDK 11 because it does. This is what it says:


Migrating from JavaFX? You can get free OpenJFX builds of Zulu for OpenJDK 8 and 11

Now it does say that it is offering OpenJFX builds FOR OpenJDK 11 - but that is certainly a mention of OpenJDK 11. And do I really need to point out that it would be weird to offer something FOR software that doesn’t exist ?

quote:

But others say they did break JDK at Java 9, for instance see Java 9, it did break some things,' Oracle bod admits to devs still clinging to version 8, and that's just one of the links I came across that echo these sentiments. This is why I'm finding this all so confusing: there are claims that Oracle both did and did not break things, and that it does and it doesn't matter that they broke things

Let’s look at that article


So why have developers not upgraded? Simply, Java 9 introduced major changes, including internal restructuring, new modularity (known as "Project Jigsaw"), and the removal of little-used APIs. These changes broke code, and even developers who are happy to make the necessary revisions have dependency issues. "We have problems with libraries that do not yet support the latest versions," said one QCon attendee.


Martijn Verburg, CEO of Java performance troubleshooter JClarity, said there had been some progress. "Of the top 1,000 most popular Maven libraries, about 65 per cent of them are now Java 9+ compatible. Six months ago it was about 42 per cent. There is probably another year to go before it is all cleaned up."

In other words it as as I said. The JDK itself wasn’t broken - but the new JDK broke programs that had worked with earlier versions.

quote:

This entails the risks I've been talking about, as summarized here in this optimistic piece The future of Java and OpenJDK updates without Oracle support:

quote:
Keeping Java updated in the absence of support from Oracle engineers will be a challenge to the Java community, but I believe it is one we should enthusiastically embrace. It is a golden opportunity for us, the community, to show what we can do. A truly open and transparent OpenJDK updates project will encourage wider participation and benefit all Java users.


However, the previously cited article has this:


"Java is actually more free," said Verburg. The reason is that Oracle officially supports the OpenJDK and works with OpenJDK providers to share security fixes.

Verburg is CEO of JClarity and the article is more recent (this month as opposed to September). So it seems that Oracle is still providing some support to OpenJDK, even if it is no longer offering fixes to OpenJDK bugs that aren’t security issues affecting Oracle’s own JDK.

quote:

He expresses confidence it can be done but says it represents a challenge. My own opinion is that despite making noises to the contrary, Oracle is a bad player in all this. They will try to ride a fine line that encourages the Java community while pushing as many as possible toward entrapment in their pay solutions. That many users don't even know they've stumbled over the boundary between free and pay content until notified by Oracle is pretty good evidence that this is so

You won’t find me defending Oracle. But as I said the answer is to embrace OpenJDK. It has major backers who can fight for it (and have incentives to do so). It’s not easy for Oracle to trap you if you aren’t using their software.


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