Some background: I spent many years as an individual contributor to a number of J2ME expert groups including MIDP 2.0, MIDP 3.0 and a number of J2ME APIs ~ around 10 different JSRs over 8+ years. I was a huge proponent of Java for mobile and still am.
In the next couple of days, the jury will decide in the trial of Oracle vs. Google on Java.
The Google vs. Oracle Java debacle is in my opinion, for the most part, the result of how Sun left behind a loosely defined and ambiguous Java, from the perspective of open source software (OSS).
To attract developers and win the community, Sun played the OSS “game”; but did it partially. I recall Schwartz claiming Java as open source, then trying to understand GPL classpath exceptions and whatnot.
Then Google started Android with Java, and Android became very successful.
As Sun shopped themselves around, Oracle, a coined-operated company, clearly understood the monetization opportunity that presented itself with Java and its state.
And here we are today.
Everyone in the business of SW knows that 3rd party SW must be licensed. The questions are “what is SW?”, “what requires a license?” and “what is up for fair use?” Is it the Java Programming language and related core APIs? The Virtual Machine and related bytecode? What about all the APIs developed by the Java Community and led by other companies such as Nokia and Motorola and others? All the above?
Google made a bet and decided to take risks — perhaps based on Schwartz’s OSS claims or the claims from the JCP vs. “fair use”.
But soon the court will decide, and all this will be over. Google may have to pay a lot of money for using Java, or maybe not, or maybe some kind of IP + $ arrangement is done between the companies, or maybe Google ends up using a different programming language on top of their VM.