Google will remove Oracle’s Java code from Android
Google has confirmed that it will no longer use Oracle’s proprietary Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in future versions of Android, according to VentureBeat. Instead, it will upgrade to OpenJDK, an open source version of Oracle’s own Java Development Kit. Even though you might be wondering, “Who cares? Google says the change will simplify application development by creating a common code base for Java. It’s hard to imagine that such a huge change (8,902 files are supposed to be affected), however, is unrelated to the ongoing legal dispute between Google and Oracle. This dispute, depending on how it is resolved, could harm Android’s development and application coding in general.
The epic conflict began when Oracle sued Google for copyright in 2010, claiming that Google was improperly using its Java APIs. Google argued that the APIs in question were essential to software innovation and therefore could not be protected by copyright. In 2012, a jury found that Google had not infringed Oracle’s copyright, but a federal court mainly overturned the decision in 2014. The US Supreme Court was unwilling to touch the ‘case and referred her to a lower court, where she is currently seated.
Users on Y Combinator News from hackers who first discovered the code has speculated that it could mean that Google and Oracle have settled the lawsuit out of court. However, Google said VentureBeat that the dispute is still ongoing, so he could not tell if the code change is related. As for how that affects you or me, the new code should make things easier for Android N developers, which could lead to better apps and faster updates. However, the next court ruling could have much wider ramifications. If they decide that APIs like Java can be copyrighted, it could turn the patent wars into an even more complex cluster.
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