Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Aug 2010 01:32 UTC, submitted by JeremyPoulson
Legal I'm supposed to be asleep right now, but this news kind of hit me like a ton of bricks: Oracle is suing Google over its Android mobile operating system, claiming it infringes on its patented Java technology. Not a good week to be Google, is it?
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Good news for .net?
by Alex Forster on Fri 13th Aug 2010 02:07 UTC
Alex Forster
Member since:
2005-08-12

Microsoft's already made very liberal patent promises, and right now the Java community is in turmoil over the slow pace of Java evolution. It's constantly being compared unfavorably to C#.

This news is at least a swift kick in the face for the "Java = open, .NET = closed" talking point.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Good news for .net?
by ndrw on Fri 13th Aug 2010 03:07 in reply to "Good news for .net?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

I agree that this is a bad news for third-party Java (that includes OpenJDK, IBM's Java, gcj, Mono and "who-knows-maybe-even-.Net") users. It may be a sign that Oracle is attempting to regain a control (make it proprietary again) of Java.

However, claiming that .Net is more open than Java is simply wrong. From the beginning to the end, .Net is a single platform, closed source and proprietary product. You are conditionally permitted to use it (which in 99% of cases is enough) but it doesn't even come close to Java's ubiquity and openness (at least until now).

My biggest hope is that with Google will play hard by counter-suing Oracle in their own field. That would perhaps bring some sanity in this craziness and speed up the collapse of the patent system.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Good news for .net?
by Alex Forster on Fri 13th Aug 2010 03:57 in reply to "Good news for .net?"
Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

Whoa, hit a nerve.

Like it or not, under Microsoft's patent exemption for C# this could never happen. Opensource or commercial, feel free to implement any of the following specifications without repercussion from Microsoft-

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/cp/default.mspx - Community promise (patents)
http://www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/default.mspx - Open specification promise (file format and protocol specs)

C# and the CLI are specified in separate standards, so, for example, Mono is allowed to compile C# to native Object-C/nibs and create an iPhone application without fear of falling outside of coverage by the community promise.

Google, who translates JBC to Dalvik bytecode, is getting sued because Java's patent exemption requires that you implement both the JVM and Java together and to spec, or else neither are covered.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Good news for .net?
by ndrw on Fri 13th Aug 2010 04:56 in reply to "RE: Good news for .net?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

(I'm assuming you're replying to me (not to yourself), please be more careful with threading.)



That's a promise by Microsoft, not by Oracle. I was talking about Oracle's actions here, not Microsoft's.

Google, who translates JBC to Dalvik bytecode, is getting sued because Java's patent exemption requires that you implement both the JVM and Java together and to spec, or else neither are covered.


Thanks, that's a useful information. If it is true, other java implementations would be unaffected (and you can then discard my earlier comment).

From your other comment:
Also, dismissing Mono as a viable implementation is equivalent to dismissing Harmony as a viable implementation.


Mono implements parts of .Net. I don't dismiss it.

But Mono is not .Net. Neither legally nor technically. It will never implement .Net in full (because it is either illegal or infeasible - for part that are tied to Windows). To me, Mono is just Mono - a separate product that happens to be compatible with .Net at low (runtime, language, basic class libraries) level.

I don't know much about Harmony but it looks like they want to be fully compatible with Java SE platform. And indeed, you can already find classes like javax.swing.* in their repository.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Good news for .net?
by kelvin on Fri 13th Aug 2010 08:45 in reply to "RE: Good news for .net?"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

Like it or not, under Microsoft's patent exemption for C# this could never happen. Opensource or commercial, feel free to implement any of the following specifications without repercussion from Microsoft

This is only partially correct. As far as I recall, the Microsoft patent exemption only covers compatible implementations of .net (such as Mono). If one were to implement a semi-compatible clr which infringes on Microsoft's patents, one would be open for a patent infringement lawsuit.

It will be interesting to see which patents Oracle are claiming infringement on.

Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of both Mono and Java.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Good news for .net?
by Alex Forster on Fri 13th Aug 2010 04:05 in reply to "Good news for .net?"
Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

Also, dismissing Mono as a viable implementation is equivalent to dismissing Harmony as a viable implementation.

I bet Larry wants to wrestle back some control over Java. While the free release of the JRE and the JDK was a general good for society, it was also a philanthropic gesture that made no business sense. Can anyone blame him, or even expect him to do otherwise?

Edited 2010-08-13 04:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Good news for .net?
by gnufreex on Fri 13th Aug 2010 07:35 in reply to "RE: Good news for .net?"
gnufreex Member since:
2010-05-06

Harmony is not viable implementation of Java. Mono is not viable implementation of .NET.

OpenJDK is viable implementation of Java, and it is released under GPL by Sun(and now continued by Oracle) which means that patent licenses come with it. If Google based their VM on OpenJDK, Oracle couldn't sue them because GPL gives patent license for to all users of the software.

Dalvik VM is based on Apache Harmony. It has no OpenJDK code and is not GPL; it is under Apache license which is similar to BSD license which permits closing down the code. And it also permits frivolous patent lawsuits by contributor against the user or downstream distributor (which is Google in this case). That's something GPL does not allow. I am saying this because Oracle was a contributor to Apache Harmony before they bought Sun (and before even Java was opensourced). If Harmony was GPL, this lawsuit would be void.

But to get back on topic: Dalvik VM is incompatible with official Java. So Oracle is not suing for Java, it sues because Google attempted Embrace Extend Extinguish Java, like Microsoft tried before and got sued by Sun.

OpenJDK is not under threat and remains under GPL like before, Free for anyone to use. Java remains open standard like before. Only Google would have to switch to GPL'd OpenJDK to avoid paying royalties for every android copy.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Good news for .net?
by ahmetaa on Fri 13th Aug 2010 05:39 in reply to "Good news for .net?"
ahmetaa Member since:
2005-07-06

Aparently you dont understand the license issue with Java. it says:
`Only Java SE licensees can claim compatibility with Java SE specifications and can ship Java SE-branded products.` it is much clear than microsoft's so called promise.
Wait once mono guys talk about .net compatibility or mono adopted by a major company. you will see the real crap storm

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Good news for .net?
by aliquis on Fri 13th Aug 2010 09:03 in reply to "RE: Good news for .net?"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Maybe.

Or Microsoft likes it because it means more people learn and develop for .NET.

Reply Parent Score: 2