Thursday, May 24, 2012

Google v/s Oracle

In spite of how close it looked like in the media (thanks in part to the FUD raised by paid shills), Oracle essentially had to walk away with peanuts - if that. As usual Groklaw was among the best places to follow the trial.

There were many fascinating parts. One of my favorites was the exchange between Judge Alsup (who could program) and the lead counsel for Oracle, Boies, on "rangeCheck". You could not write better Hollywood screenplay:
Alsup: I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You're one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?
Boies: ... I want to come back to rangeCheck.
Alsup: rangeCheck! All it does is make sure the numbers you're inputting are within a range, and gives them some sort of exceptional treatment. That witness, when he said a high school student could do it--
Boies: I'm not an expert on Java -- this is my second case on Java, but I'm not an expert, and I probably couldn't program that in six months.

Of course, Oracle being Oracle, they will probably appeal. Here's what Linus Torvalds has to say (full disclosure: on his Google+ account)
Prediction: instead of Oracle coming out and admitting they were morons about their idiotic suit against Android, they'll come out posturing and talk about how they'll be vindicated, and pay lawyers to take it to the next level of idiocy.

Sometimes I really wish I wasn't always right. It's a curse, I tell you.

No comments: