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Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun (theregister.co.uk)
136 points by lost_name on Dec 17, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 44 comments

What a bad article, unclear contents and based on only one source - which by the way wants to sell his services.

Going to the Oracle Java site the menu says:

  Java SE
  Java EE
  Java ME
  Java SE Support
  Java SE Advanced & Suite
  Java Embedded
  Java DB
  Web Tier
  Java Card
  Java TV
IANAL The article seems to be about "Java SE Advanced & Suite" including JRockit VM and other advanced tools.

The license on the Java SE download page




does not include the words

  intelligent systems
  general purpose computing
so it's unclear of what download TheRegister is talking about.

[Edit] After downloading the Windows JDK the installer says "The Java Mission Control ... is now available as a part of the JDK". There is an app "Java Mission Control" after installation. There is no click through EULA during installation. There is also no linked license in the app which I could find.

Is the term in the click-through EULA of the installer?

No. Did you actually read the entire article?

"Java SE is free for what Oracle defines as “general purpose computing”...But it is customers in these general-purpose settings getting hit by LMS. The reason is there’s no way to separate the paid Java SE sub products from the free Java SE umbrella at download as Oracle doesn’t offer separate installation software"

From the article

"Java SE is free but Java SE Advanced Desktop, Advanced and Suite are not. Java SE Suite, for example, costs $300 per named user with a support bill of $66; there’s a per-processor option of $15,000 with a $3,300 support bill"

Oracle will become the new SCO :)

That said, the article is a bit fuzzy.

For example, if you want to use Flight Recorder you have to explicitly enable commercial features UnlockCommercialFeatures.

This is however free for non-production use. That is "designing, developing and testing"


> A. COMMERCIAL FEATURES. You may not use the Commercial Features for running Programs, Java applets or applications in your internal business operations or for any commercial or production purpose, or for any purpose other than as set forth in Sections B, C, D and E of these Supplemental Terms. If You want to use the Commercial Features for any purpose other than as permitted in this Agreement, You must obtain a separate license from Oracle.

> B. SOFTWARE INTERNAL USE FOR DEVELOPMENT LICENSE GRANT. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement and restrictions and exceptions set forth in the README File incorporated herein by reference, including, but not limited to the Java Technology Restrictions of these Supplemental Terms, Oracle grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce internally and use internally the Software complete and unmodified for the purpose of designing, developing, and testing your Programs.

Oracle won't die anytime soon.the database from oracle is just too good for big data.

I don't find it better than PostgreSQL for most applications but their sales department is much stronger. In the enterprise, many applications are sold specifically to run with the Oracle system. Oracle's other products can be a mish-mash - Peoplesoft is a horrible mess (my favorite line during the sales process was "PeopleCode is a Javascript like language that compiles into COBOL - later we found that the COBOL compiler wasn't included in our quote).

I do need to say that there's a lot of humor available with Oracle - watching Ellison's keynote at Oracle OpenWorld made me think I was hearing about AWS. Every product he talked about was cloud-this and cloud-that. Who knew that every product Oracle ever made was part of the cloud? He also trotted out the idea that you could create applications without developers by demonstrating an application he made himself - I guess he's representative of a typical administrative assistant?

I've never seen a database that has a extra tool for configuring and managing listeners for tcp/http whatever + the wierd syntax for configuring those.

Bryan Cantrill has called Oracle the North Star of Rage - whenever you are confused or lost, you can realign your coordinate system relative to Oracle.

I have never had to deal with Oracle, but every time I read something about them in the news, I think of of that nice quote and tend to agree a little more with Mr. Cantrill.

On the other hand, I wonder why they do this? This can only hurt Java. I would imagine some companies will take this as a sign and go with .Net where they presumably do not have deal with problems like this one.

Let me tell you... my company got acquired by Oracle. We thought things would be OK. Nothing changed immediately. Slowly but surely they turned the screws. 5 year laptop replacement policy. You get the corporate standard laptop and you'll like it. Sales? Oh those guys can buy new Macs every two years, they get whatever they want. Then you understand where Software Engineers rank in the company hierarchy. Oracle took the average price of our product from $100k to $5 million for the same size deals. Our sales went from $5-7m to more than $40m with no increasing in engineering headcount (team of 15). Didn't matter when bonus time came, we all got stack-ranked and some people got nothing. As a top performer I got a few options, worth maybe $5k.

Oracle exists to extract the maximum amount of money possible from the Fortune 1000. Everyone else can fuck off. Your impotent internet rage is meaningless. If it doesn't piss off the CTO of $X then it doesn't matter. If it gets that CTO to cut a bigger check then it will be embraced with extreme enthusiasm.

The culture wears down a lot (but not all) of the good people, who then leave. What's left is a lot of mediocrity and architecture astronauts. The more complex the product the better - it means extra consulting dollars!

My relative works at a business dependent on Micros. When Oracle announced the acquisition I told them to start on the backup plan immediately because Oracle was going to screw them sooner or later. A few years on and that is proving true: Oracle is slowly excising the Micros dealers and ISVs out of the picture, gobbling up all the revenue while hiking prices.

tl;dr: If your company is getting acquired by Oracle run away. I wish I had followed my instincts and bailed out much sooner. The place is horrible as a matter of policy to drive down the cost of software engineers so they don't have to make as many layoffs from their constant stream of acquisitions.

> Oracle took the average price of our product from $100k to $5 million for the same size deals. Our sales went from $5-7m to more than $40m with no increasing in engineering headcount (team of 15)

Not that I like the Oracle sales model, but that is impressive. Playing devils advocate, perhaps they are justified to treat sales so well.

Yeah, I was a bit baffled that was cited as a failure of some kind.

This just tells me pre-acquistion they weren't charging what the market would bear for their product, by a factor of 50.

Which is probably one of the reasons Oracle bought the company in this first place.

It also could be that Oracle realized the customers had some degree of perceived lock-in, so they jacked the price up to milk the customers dry on license renewal time. The customers paid once because they had little alternative, but started their transition to something new as soon as they could. The well will run dry quickly. They do the same thing with Oracle DB license audits, and burned CIOs pay the penalty and instruct their teams to start removing as much Oracle as they can as fast as they can so it doesn't happen again.

I even ran away when Oracle acquired our main partner (BEA). My colleagues didn't understand (ramblings of a paranoid CTO or whatever) but sure enough Oracle basically cut all deals we had and made our business worthless after all that investment. A few (techies) got out in time and they managed to pivot after that successfully. I left Java completely; never used it after that.

IBM is doing the same thing.axway too. And I bet a ton of others too.

Making money is no soooo easy: hire sales,drain the engeneers.

> On the other hand, I wonder why they do this? This can only hurt Java

because they can. because it makes money. because it works. because the people who choose to base their entire technology stack on proprietary software are used to paying exorbitant fees for stuff that's available for free because they don't have any confidence in their own ability to solve problems.

i mean, the real question is: why wouldn't they do this? everytime i see ellison's megayacht parked in santa monica bay when i drive up pch i know exactly why.

The article was very confusing to me. Does it really mean if I get the standard download that might have some licensed components (Flight recorder for example) I'm on the hook even if I don't enable/use those features? The VM even has flag for unlocking commercial feature so that doesn't make sense.

Or is it the fact that people are using commercial features thinking that all the free downloaded bits are free, that seems a bit naive for big companies.

Also not sure of the distribution angle, if I don't use the msi installer and bundle it in a zip or something does it still require a commercial license? From reading distribution FAQ it seems I can distribute it internally my organization not sure if I can as part of commercial application sold to 3rd party.

Your best bet is probably to use the OpenJDK build for Windows. It's an MSI file and it doesn't have any of the Oracle crap attached to it.


Thank you! I did not even know that existed!

Also, OpenJDKs packages exists for various GNU/Linux distributions.

That I did know. ;-)

But I work as a sysadmin at a Windows shop, and deploying the JRE on ~80 machines has been a real pain so far. With an MSI package, I can just use a GPO.

Incompetently written article. There are commercial applications you can download for free, with the Oracle JDK, that you need to licence if you plan on using them commercially such as Flight Recorder and Mission Control.

I guess the best way to be absolutely sure you don't break the license is to uninstall Java.

I guess I'd like to know what features are used that activate the licensing conditions? i.e. the specific software or libraries that are part of Java SE Advanced & Suite

I have to say that I'm entirely unsurprised though. Oracle has been doing this across their database space for many years: they are kings of the dodgy shakedown. Anyone who decides to go with Oracle on any new venture or as part of any new development are absolutely insane to do so...

I'm genuinely waiting (or at least, I was waiting before Trump was voted in as President) for the U.S. Government to litigate against Oracle.

Is there a word for being simultaneously shocked and not shocked at the same time?

Sadly the article is thin on facts and the article writer confused. Questions coming to mind:

1. Is this only Windows? OS X?

2. Which download is this in particular?

3. What if applications like IntelliJ Idea bring their own JDK?

Probably a naive question, but where does this put open source projects that use Java? Tomcat springs to mind ...

OpenJDK is fine.

Java cannot die soon enough.

Java isn't going anywhere. C#, though, does seem to be dying.

I have literally no idea what would lead you to that conclusion. C# has been growing by leaps and bounds.

It depends where you are. My company switched to Java from C# because the right executives heard about open source. If you ask most managers around here C# might as well be COBOL and Java is a brand new language( certainly not something from the 90's originally intended for cable box menus).

So there are certainly bubbles where C# is dying if only for stupid reasons.

What a strange time to switch to java, with MS acquiring Xamarin and dotnet core

AFAIK .NET Core offers nothing of any value for cross-platform GUI though. There is Xamarin.Forms but last I looked at things it was pretty shit compared to Java's offerings.

Xamarin.Forms isn't really equivalent to any (commonly used) Java options. Something like GTK# or WinForms+Monk would. There's also Eto and Avalon "in the pipeline" so to speak.

To me neither Java nor C# does well at WORA UIs but they are at parity imo. JavaFx isn't bad, but it doesn't do anything the C# offerings can't do fairly easily.

I'm actually a fan of Qt for true cross-platform apps these days myself

Agreed on Qt.

Not according to TIOBE where it's been declining year over year.

This entire article is bullshit clickbait designed to appeal to select baseless biases.

It offers no meaningful content except for this single sentence:

"The Register has learned of one customer in retail with 80,000 PCs which was informed by Oracle it was in breach on Java."

There are no further details about why this customer was "targeted" or the nature of their licensing deal with Oracle.

I would think after all these years people would know that (a) the Register is a well-known source of fake news/clickbait/misleading headlines (b) Java is open-source (full-stop) and wholly free software and (c) products like "Java SE Advanced Suite" have nothing to do with the Java language or the JDK. (Though I can see why (c) would be confusing, though Sun started this product of calling everything Java XXX (tm).)

It's a shame that such an article gets written to feed advertisers useless clicks but it's really disappointing to see it on the hacker news front page.

Yeah I'm not in love with Java, but let's also not forget that Google has successfully extracted Java from Oracle's hands at this point, to a billion-or-so installation extent.

By essentially re-implementing Java. That doesn't apply to the rest of the world.

And Oracle sued over that. Still is suing over that. The suit threatens all of software by declaring APIs exempt from fair use.

It's not like Google didn't do anything wrong, the fragmentation created by dividing Java into Java, and "Android Java", is damaging

One could argue that the Java ecosystem was already pretty fragmented and weird anyway: Java Card, Java in the browser, all the many versions of the JVM on every platform, and open source JVM "forks"... right?

Sure, but then Google went and added another billion plus installations of a new fork that only shares very superficial ties with normal Java (in reference to Dalvik, which has been replaced but still defines the intentions Google had as far as staying compatible).

And to add insult to injury, they've gone and fragmented Java on that platform too.

Right now on Android you can have:

Java "6.5" hybrid, Java 6 with some Java 7 features

(Overwhelming majority of developers are stuck with this, and this is where an Android project defaults to.)

Java 6 with some Java 7 and 8 features but no Java 8 APIs


Java 8 without the proper Java 8 APIs, but breaking several popular tools for Android development

(Jack + Devices not on Android N)

Java 8 with proper Java 8 APIs, but breaking several popular tools for Android development

(Jack + Devices on Android N)

I've always felt that Oracle should have some legal recourse for what Google did. It honestly doesn't feel that different than what Microsoft did with Visual J++ and we saw how that went down. It's a shame it's come down to the case for copyrighting APIs instead of the case for punishing Google for subtly breaking Java's maturity on their platform while benefiting from calling it "Java".

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