posted by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th Aug 2010 20:29 UTC
IconWell, this is about as surprising as Fiona Apple being awesome in every possible way. Google has announced that it has withdrawn itself from JavaOne, an annual conference on, well, Java. The cited reason? Oracle suing Google over Android's use of Java, of course.

Google has participated in JavaOne every year since 2004, and the person announcing the company's withdrawal, Joshua Bloch, from Google's Open Source Programs Office, has spoken at all JavaOne conferences, except for the first one held in 1996. Google's withdrawal doesn't surprise me considering Oracle's lawsuit.

"We're sad to announce that we won't be able to present at JavaOne this year," Bloch writes, "We wish that we could, but Oracle's recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally."

So, what is this? Sure, the lawsuit is the reason, but does that justify pulling out of the conference altogether? I mean, Java - and JavaOne - is larger than just Oracle itself, and it seems rather harsh to just punish the entire Java community because Oracle is being a di is suing Google.

Java developer Fabrizio Giudici poses that Google could be doing this for any combination of the following three reasons. "I'd like Google to speak clearly," he begins, "Instead of saying 'We can't participate at JavaOne 2010', I'd like to read: a) Oracle is practically preventing us from speaking - b) Our lawyers told us that it would be risky for the corporate if we speak - c) We're boycotting JavaOne."

I would say it's a combination of all three. Oracle probably isn't too keen on having Google around at JavaOne, and at the same time, Google's lawyers aren't either. On top of that, if I were at Google, I wouldn't want to participate in an event to promote the technology of a competitor who's suing you.

As detailed at JavaWorld, this news could hurt the Java community more than it hurts Oracle, but alas, I find Google's decision completely understandable.

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