Oracle managers are clearly out of their minds. Rather then embrace huge potential Android brings to Java market thanks to Google they are trying to kill it again – the same way they killed it on Microsoft and Apple platform – by inserting themselves as “guides” on innovation. Turning Java from legacy to red-hot environment again was not an easy task.
After 4 month of Android development I have to complement Google on cleverness and quality of their work. There is more innovation in the way applications, security, and new technologies (voice, messaging, small factor UI) become practical than I have seen in all other technologies combined including iPhone (used it for 3 years), Linux on mobile (have 3 different devices), Java ME, etc.
The patents Google allegedly infringed on are laughable from technology perspective as they are not anywhere close to the core technologies. In short term I believe they can be easily bypassed (with actual benefit to the platform!) by minor changes to the VM and transforming engine that repackages Java byte code to the appropriate ARM level, or handle repackaging on the device itself. That would easily solve formal infringement issues but I do not know if it would matter for legal system.
There are few outcomes none of which seems to be good – licensing or forcing Oracles approval on the changes. Second option is even worse as in my mind Oracle stopped being technology company over decade ago. At this time it is holding company that buys and “milks” legacy products – with appropriate mind set and people.
One thing is clear – there is a need to create Java Open Source Alliance to replace Oracle dependency. It has to examine all Oracle patents and steer away in VM implementation that is based on patents that can be challenged by Oracle. That is the only way to keep momentum Android built in Java space and provide Oracle with expiration notice on their stronghold on Java technology. I would also strong backlash from Java community back at Oracle – I would really doubt any Java professional facing Oracle’s strategy that diminishes ones ability to make living would recommend or support their products.