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Oracle's patent infringement all about ego, money and power

by on16 August 2010

Nothing to do with Java fragmentation
James Gosling, known as the father of Java, said that Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit versus Google about the technology is all about ego, money and power.

He said that while the two giant's claim it is all about developer freedom or Java fragmentation, Gosling said that there are no guiltless parties with white hats in this little drama. “This skirmish isn't much about patents or principles or programming languages. The suit is far more about ego, money and power,” he said.

Writing in his blog, Gosling is reflecting many people's belief that Oracle’s move is a money grab, not a stake in the ground nor a true move to protect the sanctity of Java. Gosling added that it is a sad comment on the morality of large modern software companies that Microsoft has the high ground. He thinks all the software industry leaders Apple, Google and Oracle are all trying to be Borg in a way that Microsoft never managed.

Gosling added that fragmentation of Java was a valid concern for Sun Microsystems when Google initially approached the company about Android. But at heard of the matter was cash between Sun and Google. Sun wanted some compensation for the large amount we would be spending on engineering and Google did have a financial model that benefited themselves, basically making cash from advertising. The idea was to disrupt Apple and Jobs' Mob's invasion into advertising. If mobile devices take over as the computing platform for consumers, then Google's advertising channel, and the heart of its revenue, gets gutted.

Sun’s fragmentation concerns were warranted, Gosling said and that Android ended up with enough fragmentation to significantly restrict the freedom of software developers. He said that the freedom we were most concerned about was the freedom of software developers to run their applications on whatever OS or hardware they wanted. “In opposition to that, the platform providers [ie Google] wanted the freedom to make their platforms as sticky as possible.”

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