ZDNet: Oracle rebrands Java, breaks Eclipse. Obviously this is fairly amusing. The reason that Eclipse was checking the rebranded “Company” value was to work around a different Java incompatibility.

It’s pretty clear: the Java team at Sun (now at Oracle) has done far more to destroy the concept of “write once, run everywhere” than the supposed “proprietary” bad guys at Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe. Every single update to Java breaks something. There are no concepts of “backwards compatibility” or “forwards compatibility” in the product.

After years of this kind of bad behavior, the Java development community has simply given up on trying to deal with testing on different Java versions. Now most vendors say they work with one or two specific releases of Java and that no others are supported. Many of them actually ship their products with a version of Java embedded inside.

What that means for large enterprises is that we have to deploy all those special versions of Java along with the applications that use them — at 100MB per Java instance. It’s crazy. And we pretty much have to ignore the ongoing critical security issues that Java has since many apps won’t work (or at least aren’t supported) with the newer patched versions of Java. This is crazy of course: Java integrates with browsers and attempts to interface directly with “the Internet”. Along with other products that plug into browsers (like Flash, Silverlight, and Adobe Reader) Java should be right up there on the “critical to patch” list. But it isn’t because it can’t be.

The whole thing would be funny if I didn’t have to actually deal with it.


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