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James Gosling Agrees that 'In Oracle's Hands, Java is Doomed.'

Gosling on Google/Oracle

Jessica Thornsby
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James Gosling has blogged in answer to the community’s questions, regarding the Oracle/Google lawsuit.

James Gosling has reacted to some of the comments and questions that have been levelled at him following his blog posts on the Google vs. Oracle situation.

One of the comments he replies to, is an assertion that “in Oracle’s hands, Java is doomed” to which Gosling replies that “in my brief time getting to know Oracle, they made it very clear that you’re mostly right.” However, it isn’t all doom and gloom: he encourages the community (and in particular, Oracle’s customers) to make enough noise to force Oracle to live up to their past commitment to create an independent Java foundation, thereby ‘saving’ Java.

In Gosling’s opinion, the ins and outs of the situation aren’t particularly important – what matters, is that “the crossfire in the battle will be hugely distructive.” The destructive consequences of the lawsuit, mostly centre on its potential effect on the Java community. Java developers, unsettled by patent and copyright lawsuits filed in relation to an open source software, could decide to try out new programming languages (indeed, .NET is potentially the biggest winner in the Google/Oracle dispute); and large companies could become more hesitant to include Java technology in their products, for fear of being sued.

The reality that Oracle’s lawsuit has alienated the Java community, is confirmed by even a quick glance around the blogosphere. So, why has Oracle taken such self-destructive measures? “The freedom of the large software companies is directly at odds with the freedom of developers,” Gosling concludes. Ultimately, business comes down to stock prices and financial gain, rather than innovation – which means that companies such as Oracle, will not always share the exact same goals as the developer community. However, in light of Oracle’s lawsuit against the Android OS and the community’s reaction to this lawsuit, it seems what the Java community want, and what Oracle want, are in direct opposition.

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