Given the tension between Google and Oracle over the pending lawsuit over Google's use of Oracle's patents in building the Android platform, the news that Google is pulling out of JavaOne should come as no surprise.
Google's decision is being presented as a legal decision - Joshua Bloch, from Google's Open Source Programs Office said:
"So we’re sad to announce that we won't be able to present at JavaOne this year. We wish that we could, but Oracle’s recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally."
The implication is that whatever Google's people say at the conference will be taken down and used in evidence against them. This might seem like a reasonable position but it is also extremely unlikely that any really new information would be presented at the conference. Oracle knows how Android works, as does anyone who has downloaded the code and read it through. Of course Google might give away plans for the future fight against Oracle but again this seems unlikely at a technical conference.
No it seems more likely that Google is using the legal pretext to demonstrate to the world that all is not well and Oracle is to blame. The loss of the Google presentations at JavaOne, about half a dozen sessions, is hardly going to be be a fatal blow to the conference and arranging alternatives should be easy, but it makes clear what many Android supporters have been saying - don't go to JavaOne if you disapprove of what Oracle is doing.
In a blog post, James Gosling (the inventor of Java) unveiled a line of T-shirts, mugs and refrigerator magnets with logos in support of a free Java.
Mug logos read
Java, Just Free it
Hold Oracle to their Pledge.
T Shirt with a picture of Ellison with the text
We're long past 1984
It's time to set Java free
Gosling hopes that if you are going to JavaOne you at least make the point by wearing one of the T-Shirts or I guess drinking your coffee from a protest mug - programmers are such gentle people.
"If you're attending JavaOne or OpenWorld, I'd appreciate it if you'd wear one, just to let Larry know that you care,"
You can buy the items from: Cafe Press.
And finally there are moves afoot to provide an alternative to JavaOne. Software & Support Media (S&S) plans to offer a version of its JAX (Java Apache XML) conference to attract disaffected JavaOne delegates. This won't the be last commercial attempt to move in on JavaOne's territory but success will be difficult to achieve.
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