Feeds

Google's 'copied Java code' disowned by Apache

Dis-Harmony from Oracle's Android suit

High performance access to file storage

Open argument

In response to Oracle's initial complaint, Google dubbed it "baseless" and accused Ellison and company of attacking the open source community. "The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place," it said in a statement. "We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform."

Then, in its official answer to Oracle, it accused the database outfit of a certain open source hypocrisy. As Google pointed out in its court filing, Oracle called for Sun Microsystems to fully open source Java in 2007, but then reversed course following its acquisition of Sun. "[Oracle has] ignored the open source community’s requests to fully open-source the Java platform," the filing said.

On one level, Google is attempting to win favor by playing the open card. Google discusses Oracle's Java past in the "factual background" section of its filing, and in some respects this is mere, well, background. "These are claims in which Google is trying to provide context and a foundation for the rest of its case," Bocchieri says. "It remains to be seen how it will weave them into a legal defense...it's background, and that's what Google calls it. It's extra."

Claims of Android openness aren't always what they seem. Most of Android, including the Dalvik virtual machine, is open sourced under an Apache license. But in creating its own virtual machine, rather than just licensing Java, Google creating a world in which Java apps written for Android only run on Android, undermining Java's original mission.

"In developing Android, Google chose to use Java code without obtaining a license," reads a statement from Oracle in response to Google's filing. "Additionally, it modified the technology so it is not compliant with Java's central design principle to 'write once and run anywhere.' Google's infringement and fragmentation of Java code not only damages Oracle, it clearly harms consumers, developers and device manufacturers."

And then there's the truth that Android isn't as open as Google would like you to believe. Portions of the OS are closed, including the Android Marketplace and apps such as Gmail and Google Maps, and Google is careful to develop the latest version of the OS behind closed doors. Because certain tools are closed, Google maintains ample control over the design of handsets.

But Google's "open" discussion is about more than PR. In pointing out that Oracle once called for complete Java openness, it may be looking to counter any argument Oracle makes about the TCKs. Oracle once insisted that the TCK's be open sourced so they wouldn't be used to discriminate against compatible implementations of Java, Google said, but now refuses to open source the TCKs.

The rub — there's always another rub — is that Dalvik is not a compatible implementation of Java. It's an entirely separate VM. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.