2010-08-15

Rebel Alliance.

With Oracle filing suit against Google over alleged patent violations (which may or may not have merit) it has become abundantly clear that Oracle is not serving the best interest of the Java community.  This action injects a large dose of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt into the Java community which, for all practical purposes, puts Java on an equal footing with .NET.

Just as the future of mobile Java started looking really bright, Oracle is sabotaging the future of its own technology an clearly demonstrating that they are not worthy of trust.  Something needs to be done and it probably needs to be dramatic.  Ellison, who sees himself as a latter day Djengis Khan, doesn't do "reasonable".

This makes me wonder if the Java community is big enough to free itself from Oracle.  Would it be at all possible to create a Java community, with its own VMs, libraries and toolchains that can exist separate from Oracle?  With companies like Google and IBM, there should be enough heavyweight players to form a consortium that can pool their resources (and patents) and build a platform that makes no use of any Sun-derived code.  And with a large enough portfolio of patents to give Oracle a bloody nose if they attempt to leverage any of the Java-related patents against this consortium.

I'm pretty sure that even Microsoft would be interested in joining.  Not so much because they care about Java, but because they would probably be only too happy to beat Ellison over the head with a big patent portfolio and inject the same FUD into Oracle's meal-ticket:  the Oracle database.  I am sure Microsoft is hungry for a re-match after the lost battles of the late 1990s.

I think it is time for the heavy-weights to deal with Ellison.  Unlike the SCO patent trolling saga which was allowed to drag on for years and years, this would not be a asymmetric war where the troll has nothing to lose.  Oracle has a lot to lose and thus should present an easier target.

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