Tag Archives: Java

Thus spoke the Oracle

The biggest news in IT happened a couple of weeks ago, when Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google (reddit discussion), in which it claims that:

“Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. Android (including without limitation the Dalvik VM and the Android software development kit) and devices that operate Android infringe one or more claims of each of United States Patents Nos. 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520″

The lawsuit reminds of the early Java war between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems (technical details): eventually Microsoft and Sun settled on an amount of 20 million dollars and the promise to phase out all Microsoft products that used Microsoft’s Java Virtual Machine.

The most interesting point made during the outrage the last couple of weeks was Miguel de Icaza’s comments on Oracles lawsuit (reddit discussion), which is extremely hilarious but points out good points: Google’s Dalvik engine already marked that discussions between Google and Sun re: Java ME had run on the rocks and that at that stage, Google should have known about any upcoming Java patent lawsuit. Additionally, it also looks the former CEO of Sun specifically pitched the Java patents (“Sue Google” to possible suitors. Icaza further speculates:

Google could settle current damages with Oracle, and switch to the better designed, more pleasant to use, and more open .NET platform.

And that would be extremely ironic. The main question is: If Android is so important to Google, why didn’t it pick up Java by buying Sun while it could do so? At this stage it almost looks like that .Net/Mono is a safer platform than Java (which is something that Icaza has been claiming since, well, ever).

Android

I noticed that Google has released their Android SDK, which is an attempt to break open the cellphone market. There are a couple of exciting things to mention but the most important is that Google has adopted Webkit, you know the main engine used by Safari, which originally came from KDE’s KHTML. Additionally, there’s built-in support for OpenGL:ES (Embedded Systems).

It comes as no surprise that Google has opted for Java as the main language for Android development (application development video). There are mixed messages about which version of Java Google is using: it appears that their engineers came up with their own Java Pcode compiler. Most Android-specific Java libraries appear to be wrappers around the C libraries (see the software stack video).

It’s going to be interesting how this will playout against the other platforms of other software companies, most notably, Windows Mobile for Devices (.Net/CF) and Apple’s portable OS X. Since I’m familiar with writing Windows Mobile applications:if I have time later this week, I may be able to look into Android and see for myself what the buzz is about.