Oracle’s three missing words…

… “open source compatible”.

The Oracle reply to the ASF’s position on the Java 7 vote really doesn’t say much at all, now does it?

Everyone understands the point, right?

  • Oracle refuses to play ball by the written agreements they made with the JSPA – so, basically, they’re breaking their earlier contract (and also reversing the position they held pre-Sun aquisition).
  • All Apache wants is to be able to release Apache Harmony as a Java-compliant JDK, under the Apache License; we will not release software under another license.
  • All Oracle wants is sole control the future of Java, and is using whatever licensing tactics they can to assure that.

From Oracle’s point of view, they’re presumably concerned about their revenue streams from Java related technologies. That’s great for them; possibly less great for everyone else, and certainly not great for a truly open Java ecosystem.

From Apache’s point of view, all we want to do is release software under our own license. Oracle’s continued disregard of the rules of the JSPA, and continued refusal to grant a TCK license that is actually “open source compatible” is the real problem point, no matter how much the Oracle marketing machine says otherwise.

To everyone else working on Java: if your project is willing to accept the restrictions that Oracle is putting on Java, then that’s great; I’m happy for you.

But Apache isn’t willing to accept the restrictions: our license is a key part of what we do and who we are. If we can’t release something under our license, then we can’t release it, period. If the EC and the JCP aren’t producing specs where implementations can be released under the Apache license, then Apache projects won’t be able to implement them.

That would be unfortunate for nearly everyone, I think. All it takes is for Oracle to add three little words…