Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:07 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Legal Now, this is an interesting development in the ongoing war against Android. Oracle didn't just sue Google for allegedly infringing its Java patents; it also claimed copyright infringement. Oracle has amended its complaint, and, fair is fair, they've got the code to prove it: indeed, Android contains code that appears to be copied verbatim from Java - mind you, appears. However, the code in question comes straight from Apache's Harmony project, which raises the question - would a respected and long-established cornerstone of the open source world really accept tainted code in the first place?
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Maybe that...
by vodoomoth on Fri 29th Oct 2010 08:59 UTC
Member since:

... a good thing for Google to do would be to drop Java, creating a (slightly) different language that still targets their JVM? That would be an opportunity for a simpler syntax. Oracle can't sue over code resemblance... or can they? Just see how much Java looks like C++.

Google would create a converter, that would take Java code, output Google's X language code. C++ to Java and Java to C++ converters exist. So that shouldn't pose any problems either.

They would provide said language X in the SDK IDE if there's an IDE in the SDK and ask developers to switch languages and it'll all be done. If Apple could convert devs to Objective-C, Google too can succeed in doing that.

Not saying the lawsuit would suddenly stop but it's a way out of this morass that Google should have not put themselves in by creating a different VM, especially with openJDK available.

In the end, I'm just wondering why and how Google felt the need for Dalvik... weren't they calling for trouble?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe that...
by Adurbe on Fri 29th Oct 2010 09:18 in reply to "Maybe that..."
Adurbe Member since:

drop Java? All those lovely apps need to be rewritten.... Devs would simply swap platforms (blackberry, webOS, W7p)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe that...
by vodoomoth on Fri 29th Oct 2010 12:33 in reply to "RE: Maybe that..."
vodoomoth Member since:

drop Java? All those lovely apps need to be rewritten.... Devs would simply swap platforms (blackberry, webOS, W7p)

The apps would need to be converted, hence the converter I hinted at. Run a batch program over your code tree, wait a few seconds/minutes and you're done. No fiddling with the code, no algorithm change, no manual editing required. If the conversion is seamless, it won't be a thorn in any developer's foot even if they'll have to learn that new language. It's not like language cheatsheets are a rare thing.

I'm talking about idempotent transformations conversions such as the C++ syntax proposed in, where the syntax is different as no C++ compiler would accept that.

Google can do something of that kind for Java syntax. If they are not officially supporting Java but rather that differently-branded resyntax, what weight would Oracle's claims have? No much I think: a different VM is targeted, the byte code is different and the language would be different because of a different syntax. As I'm writing this, .NET and C# come to mind... How different is C# from C++ and Java? I don't know as I've never written anything for .NET whether in C# or another .NET-suitable language but I guess not much more than what I was proposing.

What languages are used to write apps on those other platforms? Is it universally Java? If not, then moving to another platform because of the Android app language changing would be hard to understand/justify, all the more if Google offers the tools to make the change seamless. Which is not an easy task (and I can only guess) because 1- third-party libraries also need conversion and 2- the pace the smartphone market and technologies are evolving may be too fast to not be a serious hurdle.

To sum up, I don't see a problem in "cross-compiling" java source code to another syntax that's semantically equivalent and I don't see why Google didn't just go with OpenJDK which, from what I've read so far, is by nature immune to the current lawsuit. What were they thinking using the Java syntax but producing byte code that's incompatible with any existing JVM? That was a bad decision the consequences of which are now biting them in the rear end because if I am not mistaken, doing so is forbidden by some license, agreement, terms of usage, etc. somewhere. Isn't it?

Reply Parent Score: 2