The concept of the PortJ Project is to provide the world community with a clean, easy-to-adopt, easy-to-impliment, free and open source programming tool to "repair and replace" the programming language known as "Java".
Java was started by Sun Microsystems in 1995, ALMOST became an ISO/IEC standard in 1997, became open source under the GPL in 2007, was purposely polluted by Microsoft to weaken it's value, then branched to become ".NET" to directly compete. And now we find that Oracle is suing Google for somehow mis-using Java in Android phones. (article)
I've been programming in Java for a long time, specifically for the portability and the ease of use of Applets in webpages, as well as the low cost-to-entry. The idea makes sense, but the politics behind Java make it's use unpalatable and, well, scary. As an individual developer, I'm afraid of what Oracle might decide to do with Java in the future, or what they will end up forcing other companies to do. Applets have never become as seamless as Adobe's Flash became, and open source alternate Java Virtual Machines never seem to be able to become fully compatible.
PortJ is my attempt to solve this delemma, not just for myself but for any other developers who feel the need to be free of the political tempest that is Java's history and existence.
I am looking for a volunteer team to build PortJ, in code as well as vision and legal presence/persistence. I do not want to simply build a new version of Java, I want to learn from the mistakes made, employ new technological developments, and attempt to make something clean and useful for us, and for the future.
Well, it looks as though Google wasn't breaking the laws that Oracle thought they were, so Oracle can't cash in on Android for "Damages". This is a good thing in my book because Google shouldn't be punished for using an open source programming language, just because the company that started the language was purchased. Oracle shouldn't be rewarded for guessing that some large companies may have possibly violated a law somewhere, that the company they purchased didn't see or pursue.
The situation still isn't as safe or free as it should be, but for now I think Oracle will think twice before wagging the sue stick with Java on it.1/10/2013
The United States Department of Homeland Security urges users to disable the Java browser plugin or uninstall Java completely. The problem is that malicious people have, not for the first time, found a way to break out of the Java applet sandbox and download and run local programs on a user's computer without the user knowing. This means that a website can be cracked by one of these black-hats, one line of code can be inserted into one file, and then everyone who visits the invaded site will unknowningly download and run a program of the invader's choosing.
This is an ongoing problem for Java, one that they keep finding and patching just for someone else to find another hole to waltz through. I see the problem as foundational: the Language does not make a solid distinction between internal within-the-sandbox function and external outside-the-sandbox function. One uses the same APIs for both.
If a program were forced to use a "Sandbox API" for ALL external access, it would be much easier from a plugin perspective to ensure that no unauthorized code could operate outside the sandbox.