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Daily Dose - Google Boycotts JavaOne

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Google's Chief Java Architect Joshua Bloch just announced on the Google Code Blog that he and Google would not be at JavaOne this year due to the Oracle lawsuit.  According to another blog entry by another Googler, all sessions with a presenter from Google will be cancelled.  Apparently, no Google employees will attend the conference.  There were at least six sessions that I found with Google's name in the title.  Their booth also won't be there.  Here's the bulk of what Bloch had to say:

"Like many of you, every year we look forward to the workshops, conferences and events related to open source software. In our view, these are among the best ways we can engage the community, by sharing our experiences and learning from yours. So we’re sad to announce that we won't be able to present at JavaOne this year. 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. This is a painful realization for us, as we've participated in every JavaOne since 2004, and I personally have spoken at all but the first in 1996."

A recent poll of the DZone audience found that 92 voters said they would boycott the JavaOne conference because of Oracle's lawsuit against Google.  However, in the comments Reza Rahman may be right to remind us that JavaOne is "much bigger than Oracle."  98 said they were still going to attend and 56 said they were undecided. 

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A debate that started as a comment on the Java Posse mailing list continues.

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Reza Rahman replied on Fri, 2010/08/27 - 4:46pm


Thanks for the qoute and the constructive comments on JavaOne. The way I see it, if Java developers honestly believe the lawsuit does not serve the long and short term best interests of Java developers, there are far more constructive and effective ways of expressing that opinion such as an open petition clearly outlining the reasoning, the pros/cons (I do think both exist) and the alternatives.

Personally I agree with James Gosling that the lawsuit is not necessarily without merit and it is hard to draw clean divides between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" on this issue. What I am hoping for on this issue is avoiding a long, fractious legal battle and a constructive compromise between two very capable companies, both of which are important to the future of Java...


Fabrizio Giudici replied on Fri, 2010/08/27 - 5:25pm in response to: Reza Rahman

Thanks for being logical, Reza. :-) We need that to counter the ever-spreading FUD and irrational attitudes.

Back to the point, there are a few things that hurt me. In particular, I'd like Google to speak clearly. 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.

If a) is true, then shame on Oracle. If b) is true, then shame on the law system, but we can't do anything about that. In any case, I don't think b) can be totally true - Bloch is also saying "we're searching for alternate venues to speak", so speaking in the open doesn't sound as a risk. If it's c) - sorry, but I say shame on Google. They would treat us, attendees and members of the community, as human shields in their war.

In any case, this makes me think that in future independently driven conferences (such as Devoxx, Jazoon, JAX, etc...) should be more and more supported by us, rather than JavaOne or Google I/O.

Tim O'farrell replied on Mon, 2010/08/30 - 5:03am in response to: Reza Rahman

Open Petition??? That would only serve as fodder for the shredder in Larry's office. Money talks, and Google are doing the only sane thing for them in this situation. It may not be the best for the community, but it is probably best for Google.

Reza Rahman replied on Fri, 2010/08/27 - 10:39pm


Thanks for the kind words and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I am tired of individuals and companies in the Java realm thinking they can enlist Java developers as "foot soldiers" at will whenever it suits their purposes - be it Oracle or Google. The big boys already have their big guns - they don't need any help from little guys like us...

As to conference attendance, I think the key is to "buy" whatever product/service provides the best quality at the greatest value instead of making professional choices on the basis of personal political beliefs. This is basically the same as the "buy American" nonsense that never works because it ignores fundamental economic factors in favor of intangible political ones that have little to do with metrics of the actual "but/not buy" decision...

For example, although I value standardization personally, I don't always simply choose standards-backed products for a project unless they really have technical merit as well...



gumnaam suri replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 8:36am

If any body is under the impression that Oracle is doing this to avoid fragmentation of Java, please stop drinking kool-aid.

Larry wants a piece of the Andriod pie, and that's that.
Besides I hate software patents with a passion, they are WRONG WRONG and did I mention WRONG. So no matter what Oracle says their intent is when suing Google, they are not fooling any one. Using software patent to prevent fragmentation is nothing short of demanding extortion money for your own protection.

What If I came up with my own VM, have my own syntax that doesn't resemble Java in anyway, Oracle can still sue me for patent infringement, coz the said software patents are not tied to any particular programming language. So the whole point that we are doing this to prevent Java fragmentation is moot.
Google is completely right in boycotting Javaone.

Geoff Longo replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 9:45am in response to: gumnaam suri

Excellent post...I agree 100%.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 9:53am in response to: gumnaam suri

One this is obvious, regardless of whichever side you stand on. The lawsuit has split the Java community in half (or maybe 80/20, who knows).

We haven't been this split, since...well, ever (at least not that I recall). Good work there Oracle...the guys at Microsoft must be opening the champagne thinking how they can use this against Java, Linux and open source in general during customer sales meetings.

J Szy replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 3:11pm in response to: gumnaam suri

If any body is under the impression that Oracle is doing this to avoid fragmentation of Java, please stop drinking kool-aid

They are. One of the strongest marketing points of Java is its uniformity and Oracle is defending that. Not for the sake of developers or other bullshit. Java's uniformity is worth real bucks to them and Java's fragmentation would take those bucks away. 

Larry wants a piece of the Andriod pie,

That's also true. Sun has developed Java for 18 years or so and has poured quite a big buck into it - which made it worth for Oracle to acquire Sun. They didn't buy Sun to have Open Office or Mysql, really. Is it any strange that they want to get return on their investment. 

Besides I hate software patents with a passion

You're completely right: that's totally because of software patents that all modern IT development now happens in european countries where software is not patentable and not in the States. Not?

 Oracle can still sue me for patent infringement, coz the said software patents

They are not suing Parrot devs, they are not suing Microsoft, they are suing Google because it threatens Java. And Java is now Oracle's buck to be made, not Parrot and not .NET.

Why did they choose patents? Probably lawyers decided that this would be the best weapon to hit Google with.

Wujek Srujek replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 10:54am

@Jacek - the community, at least its 'enterprise' part, is divided into 2 camps - the Spring camp, and the EE camp. They both seem to hate each other sincerely, and I am pretty sure I saw you take part in more than one of most heated debates, so you know what I mean. (I am not implying that you belong to one or the other, although I know you are the Spring guy ;d, or that you hate anyone) This can be observed each time a new version of Spring comes out with new features, or when a new version of the Java EE / EJB standard comes out.

Just my 2c on community split.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 1:25pm in response to: Wujek Srujek

Sure, but these are typical programmer religious discussions :-)

This particular one (Oracle's vision for Java and its relation with other big players in the Java world) seemed a bit more fundamental...

Otengi Miloskov replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 12:32pm

This is the ruin for Java!. All this bullshit the winners will be Oracle with their own propretary platform will continue to cash cow, Google will change platform to Go/C++ but the loosers will be the Java Community and the Java OSS.

Andrei Taranchenko replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 12:51pm in response to: Otengi Miloskov

If Google switches to C++, Oracle will lose. So Google may win or lose this, but Oracle will come out a loser regardless.

J Szy replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 3:14pm in response to: Andrei Taranchenko

If Google switches to C++, Oracle will lose.

What exactly will Oracle lose?


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Sat, 2010/08/28 - 1:43pm

As someone mentioned before, this is going to make the JCP specs for Java 7 very interesting. Can't see the Apache Foundation or Google approving anything Oracle proposes. This may be an even larger issue than the current lawsuit.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 4:32am

Thanks for enlighting us about Oracle only wanting to make money. I had forgotten that, instead, Google with Android and the rest of their business is only pursuing the Good of the Mankind, because they don't do evil. How silly I am.

Now, back to the point, can you explain me why Google "is right" in boycotting JavaOne? If one stops for a moment from being a fanboy and thinks about net facts of this move:

  1. Google won't lose anything, nor gain anything in the sue, since I don't see how the boycott can influence the trial.
  2. Oracle will probably lose a few money because of a few people not going to J1 and some more bashing in the blogs. Clearly they already took those things into account before starting the sue - and J1 isn't the primary source of revenues in the Java ecosystem.
  3. All the attendees will lose some value, because they pay lots of money for traveling to SF and attending J1 and will be deprived of some contents.

So, I've just backed my point, that the only people harmed by the boycott are attendees and members of the community.

For what concerns the 80/20 split of the community, I disagree. In fact there's some people, including me, that when a contention between corporates bursts out don't start screaming immediately their partisanship for one party and against the other, instead they wait and see to understand what's really happening.

Loren Kratzke replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 1:23pm

To say that the only people harmed by the boycott are the attendees and members of the community is not entirely accurate. The amount of damage in total is equal to the lost benefit of Google's participation. Oracle would benefit from Google's participation indirectly via the community, which in turn is monotized via deeper adoption of Java technologies in business. Oracle can't handle that. They don't want to work for their money, they just want all the money up front. They don't give a damn about the long term with the exception of license agreements (for which they have historically overcharged by the millions).

Google is just doing this to call them out into the open and to give the this legal stunt maximum sunlight. Google knows that the community is on Google's side, and that in an A-B comparison of companies, one respects and contributes to the developer community, and the other one basically shits on the developer community in favor of large corporate per-CPU licenses and massively expensive "seat" licenses for proprietary software.

My prediction - they will eventually try to kill Netbeans, Netbeans will fork to a community dev model, and will then be sued by Oracle for some stupid patent infringement (method of clicking on something to make it compile, etc). The price that they ask for licensing will suck the life out of the project. I predict the same for all Sun products. Oracle does not get it now, and probably never will.

J Szy replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 3:27pm in response to: Loren Kratzke

Oracle would benefit from Google's participation indirectly via the community, which in turn is monotized via deeper adoption of Java technologies in business

Oh yes, just like Sun did benefit from opensourcing Java.

They don't want to work for their money, they just want all the money up front.

Yeah, because those handful billions of dollars Oracle put into the acquisition (and thus repaying Sun on Java development) had grown on trees near Oracle's HQ. 

license agreements (for which they have historically overcharged by the millions).

It's not anything like Oracle licenses having been worth what they'd been charging for. We all know that Larry's black ops were marching from company to company sticking a gun to CTO's and CFO's heads threatening to kill them if they don't buy Oracle products.

the same for all Sun products. Oracle does not get it now, and probably never will.

And that's exactly why Sun has acquired Oracle away from their way straight into bankruptcy.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Sun, 2010/08/29 - 6:56pm

4 words, Oracle Sucks Big Time!!!.

County Line Nissan replied on Mon, 2011/08/01 - 11:29am

He wasn't very specific on who would not be there and what sessions might be cancelled.  There were at least six sessions that I found with Google's name in the title. -County Line Nissan

Liezel Jane Jandayan replied on Thu, 2011/08/25 - 6:15am

Google bans a website because it objects to the sites content, that site has now been effectively banned from the internet. With full control of the internet’s search engine, comes the ability to determine exactly what sites are allowed to be seen. As the masses continue to use Google, they give them the power to selectively censor and bury any website without checks and balances.Google is not yet an official monopoly, but essentially the only way to stop them is through a large boycott of their services.-Jonathan Berkowitz

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