The Future of Java

Oracle has wet its bed by driving out Apache Software Foundation. Free Software that is demonstrably not Free will not go anywhere but down. It is not clear what will be the future for Harmony but I expect ASF will put it forth as a true Free platform and gradually take share from Java. Google could back Harmony for development of applications for Android. Porting should be trivial at the moment and eventually Java and Harmony will diverge. Unfortunately IBM and others have supported Oracle in this. Perhaps that will change as Harmony takes share. I also expect that Oracle will try to sue Free Software, as Harmony, out of existence. They will lose badly but could delay the development/emergence of Harmony in the process.
“The Apache Software Foundation concludes that that JCP is not an open specification process – that Java specifications are proprietary technology that must be licensed directly from the spec lead under whatever terms the spec lead chooses; that the commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the ecosystem; that it is impossible to distribute independent implementations of JSRs under open source licenses such that users are protected from IP litigation by expert group members or the spec lead; and finally, the EC is unwilling or unable to assert the basic power of their role in the JCP governance process.”

Without Java certification, Harmony will not grow without a formal fork. M$ must be rubbing its hands with glee to see turmoil in the Free Software movement. That glee will be short-lived. As we have seen with LibreOffice, developers work harder for Free Software and more developers are willing to work for Free Software than for Oracle. Oracle can of course tie Java to its servers and services and they will prosper but they will cut themselves out of the emerging markets of mobile computing and GNU/Linux for that matter. The world is moving to the cloud and Free Software and Oracle is insulating itself from a lot of growth. They may do well as a patent troll for a couple of years but the courts should smack them pretty soundly and they will lose badly if they start suing their customers. If the fork persists Oracle will never be able to keep the mass of Java development in their fold. ARMed thingies will soon exceed x86 and Oracle will be a big fish in a shrinking pond, a beached whale.

ASF will obviously not let Harmony go to the waste-bin. Harmony will be an appropriate name for a replacement Free Software project for Java. A whole industry based on Harmony will emerge in the next year with all kinds of growth opportunities for ambitious people. Oracle will become a life-boat for the truly locked-in. Java being designed to be portable can almost instantly be ported to Harmony under a truly open organization. Expect ASF to announce a new direction in weeks. There is no rush and they will want to get it right.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to The Future of Java

  1. oldman says:

    “A whole industry based on Harmony will emerge in the next year with all kinds of growth opportunities for ambitious people. ”

    Ambition has nothing to do with this Pog.
    Without certification By oracle and, more importantly support by the vendors who write Java applications, no business will go near ASF’s clone.

    Also keep in mind that The Java runtime environment costs end users NOTHING. The users pay for the Java application and then install what is needed.

    I suspect that Harmony will remain the tool of community purists, and noone else.

  2. Ray says:

    What about Crosspath?

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