Fate of Java

On the one hand, Java is looking like a security sieve/trojan these days and on the other Google has asked USPTO to shoot down several patents on Java which are held by Oracle.

Until software patents in general are discarded IT will be burdened by illegitimate patents that take many years to sort out in the courts. Patents are silly when applied to software. They are tantamount to patenting ideas and the last thing IT needs is restraint on ingenuity.

The holes in Java should be Oracle’s number one concern, not litigation and restraint in usage. Suing Google over using Dalvik in Android/Linux is a sure sign that Oracle is headed in the wrong direction and we would do well to avoid Java to simplify our lives. There are many programming languages that are much more freely licensed. Free Pascal is my choice, but you can use Python, Ruby and PHP etc. to do the same things you can with Java. Sun/Oracle has poisoned the well.

SUN/Oracle have had a leadership role in IT for a long time but if this is their current flagship they will soon fall from former glory. Who wants to be a business partner or customer of sue-happy trolls? Who wants to use IT that leaks?

I checked my system and found several installations of Java, none of which is essential for the important things I do.

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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4 Responses to Fate of Java

  1. Ray says:

    I still like how you can compile things in Java once, and run it (almost) everywhere :D.

  2. I like apps on the server.

    There is a story out recently that Google is looking into having apps written in C downlinked and run locally…

    see http://code.google.com/chrome/nativeclient/faq.html

    Java has advantages but it is nothing special in terms of computer science. I was using plugins in the 1970s, technically. Burdened with SUN/Oracle’s legacy, Java could be dropped. Who wants to argue about licensing instead of creating and running software?

  3. NotZed says:

    “Free Pascal is my choice, but you can use Python, Ruby and PHP etc. to do the same things you can with Java.”

    Like write an application that runs in a browser page or from a link? No you can’t. Not to mention performance, threading, re-usability, portability, and so on. Most of those security issues only affect unsigned/untrusted java web start or applets – so aren’t even applicable in the case of those other languages mentioned.

    Nothing’s perfect, but neither python, ruby, nor php have comparable ecosystems. Yes, many types of applications can be written in either but also many cannot be. The only comparable ecosystem is microsoft’s, and that’s only because it’s basically the same thing.

    Anyway, despite all the bad press, the (somewhat justified) dislike of Oracle, and the suing (which is only about the money), it doesn’t seem like java will be going too far any time soon.

    (and seriously, what a horrible article in the register ‘hey look, this software is being actively maintained! delete it now and be cool like me!’ this comment sums it up: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/reply/989545).

  4. Ray says:

    The question is: can either of them run Runescape?

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