First of all, a little history
Many decades ago the DBA was introduced to Oracle because a 1/4″ cartridge tape with their software arrived in the post and being the only one around who knew what the unix cpio command did he got volunteered to install it. I think it was Oracle’s database v6 as it seemed to be their first version that was ACID compliant. Thinking about it, it was definitely Oracle 6 as they charged extra for something called the “Transaction Processing Option” – ie row level locking.
Okay I thought, no problem. Until I tried to install it. Their horrible Unix install scripts went disastrously wrong, demanded libraries and utilities I didn’t have and even after installing everything missing still wouldn’t work. The result was an angry customer phoning their uk support number who was put in touch with a very experienced guy who talked me through editing their useless install scripts and ended with a working database and a fan.
This was back in the late 1990’s and already the DBA had learned a couple of important lessons
1. Oracle charge extra for functionality that the rest of the world consider “standard” or meh
2. Oracle support used to rock, you could talk to people who knew what they were doing on an old piece of kit called a telephone
As a consequence I stuck with oracle, hell I liked their software ( when Sun came up with it) and really enjoyed this new funky thing called Java. I even broke a fundamental rule and paid my own hard earned money to learn how to programme in it
Now Jump Forward 20 Years
Oracle have announced that Java is no longer free. That their JRE and JDK are going to cost $25 per server and an extra $.2.50 per client. Does it matter? Well yes it does
It’s really all about doing something Sun Microsystems couldn’t and making money out of Java. Personally I also think some of this is driven by sour grapes after Oracle and Google fought it out in the courts over Android recently
First of all If you just use a Java runtime to run applications developed by other people then the chances are ( at least for now) you’ll probably be safe. Oracle haven’t yet ( June 2018) updated their FAQ or have indicated that just running applications written in Java is going to cost you – even oracle say that and you can find it here
However, that doesn’t let everyone off the hook. Is your FOSS game or utility written in Java? If so you’re screwed. Are you a large IT supplier such as HP, IBM or Cisco – yep just bend over and take it. Mobile or Andriod developer? Cough up then
For end users like most of us, so far we seem to be safe – at least that’s what oracle are trying to imply here.
Oracle are even nicely allowing their customers to not be charged for oracle’s own products that already use Java ( can anyone name one that doesn’t?)
However, given oracle’s increasingly abusive attitude to its customers it’s really only a matter of time before that bill from oracle rocks up in the post for your laptop, printer or phone. Sadly oracle do do this and seem to be following the SCO model when it comes to software licenses – if it moves sue it.
So Who is this Going to Hurt?
Well, as an end user it shouldn’t hurt much or even at all. Hopefully Oracle will follow the Microsoft approach of giving away their runtime and libraries for free. I think this is mainly targeted at the Microsoft’s and Google’s of this world – it’s really going to hurt the likes of Minecraft or a lot of HP, Dell, Cisco and VMWare management tools.
So although I understand why Oracle want to make money out of Java, IMHO it’s a dick move and many years too late
Sadly the unintended consequence is that there’s a shedload of open source software out there written in Java. I dread to think how this will affect the likes of Apache. Apache Tomcat and other Java based application servers may be forced to disappear overnight. Many free games and websites may now need to pay an oracle tax which will remove them from the internet due to lack of income
Also, this is oracle. They charge for fucking everything. Having been a long term customer of theirs I have seen their support and fees increase in inverse proportions – the more you pay the less you get. It will only be a matter of time before their MBA’s and Licence Specialists go after the average home user
So What Have I Learned over the Years
1. Oracle charge extra for functionality that the rest of the world considers “standard” or meh
So to sum up this is what I think of Oracle’s latest dick move