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Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:30 AM EST

As a lawyer you do the best you can to represent your client. You advise them what to say, what not to say, and basically, to say nothing unless they are asked a direct question. But sometimes the truth just comes out anyway. Thanks to Oracle engineer Hinkmond Wong, we now learn what the Oracle (Sun) Java engineers actually believe about Android: IT'S NOT JAVA!

This all came out in Wong's blog . Wong is one of the Oracle Java engineers identified as contributing to Dr. Cockburn's third attempt at a damages report. In the next few days Wong is going to be deposed by Google. And guess what they are going to ask him about. Probably this:

This is the prize quote of the day:

For the other commenter who thinks Android is "based on Java", you are incorrect. While it is true that the programming language for Android is the Java programming language, the Android platform itself uses the Dalvik virtual machine and processes Dalvik bytecode, not Java bytecode, so the Android platform is NOT based specifically on Java ME technology.

That is why the chart (above) from the Net Applications mobile analytics company, specifically calls out and differentiates "Java ME" from "Android" as two distinct Mobile/Tablet OSes, see the chart. Otherwise, if you think about it, why would they list the two different OSes in their Mobile/Tablet OS Share chart?

Posted by Hinkmond Wong on January 02, 2012 at 05:25 AM PST #

Don't bother searching for that comment on Wong's blog - he has taken it down. But not before vigilant Groklaw volunteers were able to cache a copy of it. To paraphrase the late Desi Arnaz:

"Hinkmond, you got some 'splainin to do."


  


Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME! | 273 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Splat?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:38 AM EST
That seem to be somewhat wounding for Oracle.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:43 AM EST
So they can be fixed

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Oracle's Case - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 12:34 PM EST
News picks
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:47 AM EST
Please make links clickable

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:48 AM EST
Please make links clickable

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes transcribing
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:49 AM EST
Thank you for your support

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:59 AM EST
Isn't that rather Oracle's point - that the Android VM is not
the Java VM, fragmenting the Java platform?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is the cat out of the bag?
Authored by: Stumbles on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 09:18 AM EST
I would not say so. By that I mean Google is not stupid and I think they would
have tired to drive this very same point during trial; and think they would have
had no problem differentiating the very same points.

OTOH it is indeed helpful to have one of your accusers very own people post for
all to see the ammo to back up your testimony.



---
You can tuna piano but you can't tune a fish.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Any idea who is to pay for all the deposition cost?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 09:25 AM EST
Is Oracle on the hook for all deposition cost here, including Google's lawyer
fees? Oracle was ordered to cover cost for its third try at damage report. Does
that order also cover these depositions?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hahahahahahaha!
Authored by: AlexWright on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 09:27 AM EST
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
*breath*
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google cache is your friend
Authored by: kds on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 09:51 AM EST
Don't bother searching for that comment on Wong's blog - he has taken it down.
Google cache is your friend and I doubt they will be deleting that cache anytime soon.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 10:34 AM EST
I am not really sure how damaging this is to Oracles position.
Are they really claiming that Andriod=Java? I believe the
complaint is that Android implements its own Java VM, causing
fragmentation. I haven't delved deeply into the filings, so I
may well be wrong on this. From what I have read, the
copyright claims are all on header files, which are
functional, and thus not covered under copyright law.

Caveat, IANAL, I am a programmer, so my understanding of law,
it very much questionable. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Java ME installed base larger than Android's
Authored by: DannyB on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 11:06 AM EST
Wong also points out that Java ME's installed base is much larger than
Android's.

If so, then how does Android damage Oracle?

---
The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Patents?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 12:14 PM EST
If the patents-in-suit are allegedly required to practice Java and google does
not practice Java, then the arguments that "of course google must be
practicing the patents because you can't implement java without them" fly
away with the wind.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: 351-4V on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 12:34 PM EST
I doubt that many of us are surprised at what Wong wrote in his blog. Surprised
that he blurted it out so plainly? Yes, but not surprised that there are two
different VMs here. We already understood the relationship of the Java language
to Dalvik but I think most general public will find this very surprising. All
they ever heard was "Android stole our..." and if the general public takes the
time to hear that Android is not Java they will begin to wonder what exactly it
is that Oracle is claiming was stolen.

So I think this will weigh heavy in the
court of public opinion. Which is of little consequence aside from one point.
Public opinion can be a barometer of how the members of the jury picked from
that same general public will perceive the situation as well.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • I'm not surprised - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:39 PM EST
Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 12:39 PM EST
I am most likely wrong, but I thought at one point Oracle
said that, they Oracle, because they own JAVA, were the only
ones allowed to make a JAVA interpreter/compiler, unless
one were to obtain a license from them.

However, I also thought that before Oracle purchased Sun,
Sun gave Google its blessing to go ahead and make a JAVA
interpreter/compiler of their own.

[ Reply to This | # ]

That is one HUGE footgun!
Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 01:14 PM EST
Now we know where the Footgun™® went to after SCO sold off all their
office equipment. But it seems to have had some enhancements applied, and now
incorporates a mix of technology from a 16 inch naval gaun and a rapid fire
Gatling gun....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 04:12 PM EST
Thanks to Oracle engineer Hinkmond Wong, we now learn what the Oracle (Sun) Java engineers actually believe about Android: IT'S NOT JAVA! Scrivner's error. JJ - not logged in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Isn't *removing* that blog-post a bit silly?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 05:41 PM EST
Not even to mention the words 'spoliation of evidence'...

I could read that the url was something like
'blogs.oracle.com', so i'm assuming it was on some oracle
server.

Sure is a great way of drawing attention to it: In a lawsuit
against Google, well-known for having a 'time-machine' for
web-pages, a web-page containing a blog-post -dated
January-2-nd-2012- (well after the start of the lawsuit) by
an Oracle engineer who is -indirectly- involved in the
lawsuit is 'gone'. Surely there must be *someone* at Oracle
who can explain that this is not a very effective course of
action.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Spoilation? (n/t)
Authored by: mtew on Friday, February 10 2012 @ 11:37 PM EST
.

---
MTEW

[ Reply to This | # ]

..p norsk; kjpe katta i sekken means buy the cat in the bag. [n/t]
Authored by: arnt on Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 09:28 AM EST
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Wong statistics are not right
Authored by: bugstomper on Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 06:02 PM EST
Aside from the question of whether Android is Java, I was curious about the source of Wong's chart and dug a bit into the source of the data.

Wong posted his blog entry at the beginning of January, a New Year's celebration of Java ME's success relative to Android. If you look at the chart, you see what purports to be the relative market share of mobile phones and tablets classified by OS, labeled iOS, Java ME, Android, Symbian, Blackberry, and Other. By far the largest market share belongs to iOS. The iOS line is way up there, with quite a bit of volatility in the last three months of the chart, Oct-Dec 2011. That volatility appears to be matched by the Java ME line: In fact, the Java ME line is a mirror of the iOS line. When one of them goes up the other one goes down about the same amount.

The same relation does not seem to be as true of the Android line. The Android line seem to show an overall slight but steady trend upward. The fluctuations within that do match the direction of the larger fluctuations you see in iOS.

In any case, what I see just from the chart is not "Java ME accelerates past Android" like Wong said in his headline, but as I might have written it, "Android market share steadily increases in 2011 from less than half that of Java ME at beginning of year to neck and neck in the last few months of the year. Java ME share steadily declines over the year, though it gets some share back from iOS in November and December. Christmas bump of low end phone sales or start of a revival trend for Java ME phones?"

Wong may have been a bit premature in his celebration. The source of his chart now has data for January 2012, so we can see for ourselves how the lines continue.

Here is the link for the chart at NetMarketShare which shows the last 11 months of data, which as I type this shows March 2011 through Jan 2012, i.e., one more month than the snapshot in Wong's blog. Link

Whoops, Java ME is not "accelerating past Android" after all!

But there's something even more questionable about these statistics. What is this "Java ME" OS that the chart is talking about? Java ME is not an operating system, it is a Java VM runtime that is installed on some mobile phones. What OS do the phones running Java ME have? Well, one of them is Nokia's Symbian. Another is Nokia's Series 40 (See Java ME on Series 40 and Symbian platforms). What does it mean that the chart has a separate category for Java ME and Symbian?

I have more questions after looking up what other statistics there are about mobile phone sales. Gartner reported that based on number of smartphones sold, Android OS had 52.5% market share in third quarter 2011, compared to 16.9% for Symbian, 15.0% for iOS and 11.0% for Blackberry. That doesn't match NetMarketShare's chart at all.

I see that NetMarketShare is combining feature phones with smartphones in their statistics, while Gartner is only talking about smartphones. How should that change the results? For one, combining the statistics makes the whole pretty much nonsense, mixing apples and oranges. Less expensive feature phones are still selling in much larger quantities than smartphones, especially in the largest market, Asia-Pacific. See Its Still A Feature Phone World: Global Smartphone Penetration At 27%.

Nokia still has the largest market share of feature phones, which run Symbian and Series 40 operating systems. Nokia Announces 1.5 Billion S40 Phones Sold (Although also see Nokias 1.5 Billion S40 Phones Number Is Irrelevant for Todays Markets)

The short form of what I'm trying to say is that you get different statistics depending on whether you are looking at feature phones vs smartphones, number of units that are owned vs number of units sold each month vs monthly revenue figures. And none of those ways of looking at the "market share of Java ME" match in any way the charts at NetMarketShare.

I think I did figure out what the NetMarketShare charts are really showing. If you click on the link in their left column about their methodology, all you find is a discussion of how they get statistics from a number of participating web sites on numbers of hits by type of browser. Compare these two charts on the site, one that shows share by OS (the chart that Wong used and that I have been talking about) and the other that shows share categorized by browser type:

Share trend by OS

Share trend by browser

Can you see the difference? The charts are virtually the same, except that the line for "Java ME" OS is labeled "Opera Mini" in the browser chart, and "iOS" OS becomes "Safari" browser.

Opera Mini is a browser for mobile phones that up through version 4 only ran under Java ME. It was ported to some other platforms as of versions 5 and the current version 6.

As far as I can tell NetMarketShare is looking at hits on selected web sites and compiling statistics on browser type. They are repurposing their stats to show OS type but misleadingly lumping hits by Opera Mini browsers into the "Java ME" category, separate from hits from the Symbian browser, even though Symbian browsers as well as Opera Mini run on Symbian phones using Java ME, and Opera Mini also runs on Android phones by wrapping its Java ME API calls with calls to the Android API so that it does not require Java ME. None of this has anything to do with market share of Java ME on mobile phones as compared to Android, and blindly combines the large and dwindling feature phone market with the rapidly growing smartphone market.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v. Google - Oracle Engineer: Android Is Not Java ME!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 17 2012 @ 02:08 PM EST
I don't think this is very damning evidence.

If Oracle is asserting they own "Java" but what Google is
producing is "Java" that isn't Java(tm), but purporting it
to be Java(tm) I could see the point. But if Oracle is
asserting that Google is somehow stealing Java or outright
copying the VM, that's not what is going on, at least not on
Android devices. On the development environment you need to
have Java available.

Java ME is not Android because Android does not run Java(tm)
applications, and has no Java(tm) VM, which is where I think
Oracle is having the fit. Compared Microsoft's embrace-
extend-extinguish attempt on Java like a decade ago, which
was marking a Microsoft VM that wasn't compatible with Java
but was purported to be Java, resulting in developers
writing incompatible Java applications.

I do feel that Google is ultimately going to lose against
Oracle, if only because Oracle's CEO is only interested in
maximizing all avenues for profits.

Or in English "Oracle is angry that Google is using Java to
produce an inferior incompatible Java application that can't
be used on the authentic Java(tm) Mobile Edition Virtual
Machine"

[ Reply to This | # ]

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