Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Google Will Switch to OpenJDK in Android N

 
Google Will Switch to OpenJDK in Android N

Google has confirmed to VentureBeat that Android will be dropping the use of Java APIs in Android N. To avoid a copyright lawsuit, Google's open source OS will turn to OpenJDK. The latter is an open source version of the Java Development Kit offered by Oracle. There is a long legal history dating back to 2010, when Oracle first sued Google for using Java's APIs without permission. Google argued that APIs could not earn copyright protection considering their place in the development of software.

In 2012, a jury ruled in favor of Google, although two-years later the decision was partially reversed. This past June, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case and remanded it back to a lower court. If the final decision is in favor of Oracle, Google might be responsible for all of the Android powered units sold prior to Android N. A victory for Google won't change the company's plans to replace Java with its open source sibling. Above everything, Google still believes that APIs can not be copyrighted.

The overall effect to developers is that they will be writing apps on a simplified code. And while Google might say that the switch is being made to support open source code, that obviously isn't the reason for the switch. 

The company's intentions appear in a code commit dated in November. 8902 files were changed and it showed that OpenJDK code was added to Android. As far as Android users are concerned, there should be no changes in how the platform performs.


Source: Google via VentureBeat, SlashGear