Oracle tries to woo the Java crowd again

An analyst claims that Oracle has finally pulled its finger out and started to fix its relationship with the Java community,

Charles Humble, who works for PRPi Consulting, claims that after an undeniably rocky start, Oracle is making significant efforts to re-engage with the wider Java community.

Writing in InfoQHumble said that the company is now working to engage with the Java User Group leaders and Java Champions. Humble sees signs that membership of the OpenJDK project is growing, and the company is making efforts to reform the Java Community Process (JCP).

Not only that, Oracle has published a clear, well-defined Java roadmap toward Java 8 and Java 9, he thinks.

Humble said that it is encouraging to see Oracle tackling some of the problems in the JCP, and there are other promising signs. However, Oracle’s biggest problem is that its moves to sue Google over its use of Java for Android has caused a lot of bad blood, he said.

Some of this is to do with Java developer fears about the software’s relevance in the mobile space. While Java ME was an early success story for Java, and is still shipped on a large number of phones, the rise of the current generation of smartphones and tablets, led by Apple with the iPhone and iPad, largely consigned Java ME to irrelevance.

Now Nokia has shifted its focus to Windows Phone. RIM is shifting away from Java ME to a new OS based on QNX with native C/C++, so Android has become incredibly important for Java, Humble said.

He said that a theoretical accommodation could be reached with Google, but Oracle’s decision to pursue the search company over IP infringement in Android is risky. Google could simply decide to drop support for Java from Android, moving instead to a language it owns and controls, such as Go, or more likely Dart, and kill off Java on mobile.