One obvious concern is how long old versions of Java will continue to work. If the deed registry changes their software they can currently produce Java 8 update 201, but will they still be able to produce that release in, say, 2022? Will they be required to purchase a license or change to something other than Java? What if I need to use other software that uses update 211. I'll have to install it, but then switch back to update 201 the next time I need to look up a deed. ...
I use Oracle's Virtual Box to have a Windoze XP computer inside my windoze 10 computer. This allows me to run an old software program in Windoze XP. I just boot up the Virtual Box to use the software, and use the W10 for everything else.
Thanks for the suggestion, VirtualBox sounds neat, but it turns out that once I got Java 201 going that I was able to fix my registry problem. I shouldn't need to use New Hampshire's online real estate registry again.
But the problem with Oracle and Java remains. What happened to me virtually out of the blue shows that Oracle's Java licensing actions are not innocuous. They are not something your average person doesn't have to worry about. There must be many other Java software programs caught in the same bind, and we have to be concerned about how fast the set of Java programs that no longer run on the currently released version will grow, affecting yet more people.
Oracle apologists need to relearn the tale of the camel's nose. Oracle is using the carrot of free Java to lure increasing numbers of unsuspecting users into the grasp of their non-free Java. They're a good corporate citizen the way Trump is a very stable genius. This isn't an argument against corporations making profits, just against underhanded sneakiness, which is easy to hide in the software world. Volkswagen provides a good example. No one objects to Volkswagen making money on their diesel vehicles, but rigging the software to adjust how the engine runs when connected to emissions testers is beyond the pale. What Oracle is doing is different only stylistically - it's still dishonest.
I had two concerns. One was that the ability to restrict use of copyrighted APIs would have a chilling effect on the software industry, and the Supreme Court has just alleviated this concern.
The other concern was that Oracle was using their ownership of the Java standard as leverage to funnel more and more users of free versions to their pay versions, while at the same time falsely posing as a good software citizen by expressing their support for free Java. This is an opportune moment to take stock and see where Oracle's monetizing of Java stands right now.
quote:For a few years now, Oracle has been aggressively monetizing Java, mainly with success. This monetization has been done primarily by taking features that were previously available for free and then hiding them behind an enterprise license, known as a Java SE Subscription, in future releases.
Is Oracle still doing this? It's difficult to tell for sure. If you go to Oracle's Java website (https://java.com) you'll find the free version is Java SE version 8. It's been around forever (commercial Java is up to version 15), and this statement just above the download button doesn't give one the warm and fuzzies:
quote:Important Oracle Java License Update
The Oracle Java License has changed for releases starting April 16, 2019.
The new Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE is substantially different from prior Oracle Java licenses. The new license permits certain uses, such as personal use and development use, at no cost -- but other uses authorized under prior Oracle Java licenses may no longer be available. Please review the terms carefully before downloading and using this product. An FAQ is available here.
My guess is that this means that Java is not free for anything but the most trivial uses, and I find Oracle's constant use of the word "free" to be disingenuous. This website uses PHP and MySQL, and both are free. If I were to start selling this site's software I would not be charged for using PHP and MySQL. But if I were to code some modules in Oracle's Java then they would not be free and I would have to pay for my use of Java. Java is definitely not free in the same way that PHP and MySQL are free and Oracle should stop using the term free. What Oracle really does is make personal and evaluation copies available.
Then there's the open jdk.java.net. Their FAQ hasn't been updated in years - the most recent year it mentions is 2012, and only as part of a future roadmap, but you can get the JDK for versions as recent as Java SE version 16. How good is it? I have no idea. When I searched for comparisons between Oracle's Java and OpenJDK the articles compared Java 8, which is nearly a decade old now.
I think the only way I could get a true feel for how well OpenJDK would work for me is to try it and see if I run into things I can only do in an Oracle version. I read a couple articles saying that OpenJDK can do pretty much everything that Oracle JDK can do, and I wanted to believe them because they said deprecating things about Oracle's commitment to open software, but when I got to the end I found they were both written by companies trying to monetize Java, so I didn't feel I could trust what they said.
Bottom line: I don't think I know enough to make a conclusive case, but I still don't trust Oracle.