Google to replace Oracle’s Java APIs in next version…

January 02 20:00 2016

“Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future”, a Google spokesperson told the publication.

This follows months of speculation from developers, after odd bits of code from OpenJDK were spotted on Android updates. Now it seems the next big releases of Android will use not the heavily customized Harmony-derived library but instead OpenJDK’s core libraries.

Google, then appealed to the Supreme Court which was rejected in June this year. The mobile operating system will instead rely exclusively on OpenJDK which is an open-source version of Oracle’s Java Development Kit. Later, after buying Sun in 2010, Oracle sued Google for copyright and patent infringement related to using Java code in Android. We will wait and see if the court buys Google’s “fair use” argument which would loosen the grip API creators maintain over developer communities.

In 2012 a jury agreed with Google and said that Java’s APIs can’t be copyrighted. In this iteration, the company has completely dropped Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs and chosen to opt for the open source alternative called OpenJDK. Oracle implements these libraries in two different ways: The open source OpenJDK version and the proprietary JDK version. By this way, Google will create a common code base for the developers. Google is hoping that Android developers will appreciate the change because it simplifies the code on which they build apps, which is a common codebase for these Java API libraries, as opposed to multiple codebases. But, as VentureBeat observes, if this was the reason, the switch would have been made years ago.

Moving to OpenJDK might therefor be a damage control move, to ensure Oracle can not ask for more in the settlement. Ever since the acquisition, Oracle has been at war with Google over its Android OS that extensively uses Java.

Android runs apps written in Java. Incidentally, Google hasn’t dropped Java overnight. Most of the code in Google’s VM is original (Google says it’s about 97%), but it still uses Oracle’s Java APIs.


Google to replace Oracle’s Java APIs in next version…
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