A Java primer for Oracle v Google

Oracle was the opening keynote for Linuxcon this year, where they talked about how much they did for Linux and open source.  The moment everyone had checked out of their hotel in Boston, they filed a massive patent suit against Google’s open source java like implementation in Android.  Oracle, you can suck it.

This has led to a lot of virtual ink in the blogosphere on the subject, and you can see that for the most part, we all sit inside our tech valleys, unable to see the wider world over the hills.  This is especially true for folks that have worked in the same kind of tech for a long time.  Charles Nutter provides a really good background on what the Java space looks like, and gives his own thoughts on the matter.  Much like Linux, Java is really just about everywhere, some times in surprising places.

The Java platform is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. And by big, I mean it’s everywhere.

There are three mainstream JVMs people know about: JRockit (WebLogic’s first and then Oracle’s after it acquired them), Hotspot (Which came to Sun through an acquisition and eventually became OpenJDK), and J9 (IBM’s own JVM, fully-licensed and with all its shots). Upon those three JVMs lives a gigantic world. If you want the details, there’s numerous studies and reports about the use of Java in all manner of business, from the hippest new startups (Twitter recently switched much of their stack to the JVM) to the oldest of the old financial concerns. It’s the favored choice for government server applications, the strongest not-quite-completely-Free managed runtime for open-source libraries and applications, and now with Android it’s rapidly becoming one of the strongest (if not the strongest) mobile OS platform (even though Android isn’t *really* Java, as I’ll get into later). You may love or hate Java, but I guarantee it’s part of your life in some way or another.

It’s a long read, but well worth your time.  The why people hate Java section is particularly useful for people that hate Java.  It may or may not change your mind, but it will at least give you a broader view.

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