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  • Java license for Stata users

    I have recently came across this note on Java.com:
    https://java.com/en/download/release_notice.jsp

    Does this mean that running a Stata plugin written in Java would not be possible [in the corporate environment] without an additional license? Or, perhaps, the Java VM included with Stata already deals with this issue?

    Thank you, Sergiy

  • #2
    Here is what I understand, but I'm by no means a lawyer (so the following may be pure nonsense), and given Oracle's behaviour lately, one has to be very, very careful:

    Past january 2019, the Java 8 updates will be only available to customers with a commercial license. More precision on the roadmap page. Java 9 and Java 10 are short-term releases, and for Java 9 there are no public updates since march 2018. Java 11 however will be a long term release, but we have no date yet, and it's not entirely clear what the JRE license will be for long term versions. If free use of Java requires installing the next version every few months, it's not going to be funny for IT departments. Every once in a while the Stata update also updates the JRE (still Java 8 as of Stata 15.1), but past january 2019, I don't know: maybe StataCorp will address this directly with Oracle, they will have to say.

    There is another problem, with the JDK. According to this, the last free Oracle JDK will be version 10.0.2. However, apparently, it's expected the Open JDK will replace the currently free Oracle JDK: https://blogs.oracle.com/java-platfo...ion-of-java-se
    One may think StataCorp could distribute Stata with an OpenJDK to get rid of commercial licenses, but the previous link tells the OpenJDK will be distributed under GPL, so that it can't be (I suppose) distributed with non-free software.

    Not very good news. A questionable move of Oracle, and a solution for users not tied too tightly to this platform could be simply to stay clear of Java.

    Note: Larry Ellison is said to have once told "I don't know if Java is free". Apparently he finally found out.
    Last edited by Jean-Claude Arbaut; 17 May 2018, 16:14.

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    • #3
      Dear Jean-Claude,

      thank you for your explanation. Indeed the lots of legal caveats and future uncertainty is what makes the problem worse than it could probably be otherwise.

      From the Stata user perspective I would probably like to confirm (perhaps with StataCorp) that:
      1) Stata use (some portions of Stata are implemented in Java) will not necessitate a separate Java license for anything from anyone beyond the Stata license from StataCorp. (self-sufficiency of Stata).

      2) Stata will continue to execute already written code in Java, which is currently being executed in current versions (continuity, backward compatibility).

      3) There will be development tools in the future (combinations of *JDK and some IDE, e.g. Eclipse or something else) that will be available to end users for compiling new plugins for Stata without the need to purchase additional licenses (future extension possibility). If so, what is the recommended line of these development tools?

      #3 may be limited to the versions of Java embedded in Stata (if that one will remain frozen).

      Thank you, Sergiy

      PS: agree, definitely questionable move of Oracle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Stata bundles the publicly available JRE (Java Runtime Environment) under Oracle's BCL (Binary Code License). You can view the current version of their license here. You can find this link buried inside the utilities/java/ directory within your Stata installation. In the future we intend to add this information to help copyright as to avoid further confusion. Note that StataCorp does not enable any "Commercial Features".

        Sergiy Radyakin asked about https://java.com/en/download/release_notice.jsp and how this might impact plugins written in Java. After reading the link I can see why Sergiy might have questions. I believe that the link you provided is simply saying that Oracle will not be providing updates of Java 8 for redistribution after January 2019. I believe that is because they are trying to end-of-life Java 8 and want migration to Java 11 which is scheduled to be out at that time. See http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html as it seems to give fairly clear guidance for their support road map. Currently I assume that Oracle will continue to license the JRE under its BCL as I have not read anything at this point that leads me to think otherwise.

        Does this mean that running a Stata plugin written in Java would not be possible [in the corporate environment] without an additional license? Or, perhaps, the Java VM included with Stata already deals with this issue?
        Sergiy, the JVM included with Stata already deals with this issue. As long as you do not modify and then redistribute the JRE, then there should not be a problem.

        1) Stata use (some portions of Stata are implemented in Java) will not necessitate a separate Java license for anything from anyone beyond the Stata license from StataCorp.
        We intend to continue to support Java going forward. We believe that the BCL that we redistribute the JRE under covers this.

        2) Stata will continue to execute already written code in Java, which is currently being executed in current versions (continuity, backward compatibility).
        Yes, that is our intention. Java is designed to be backwards compatible. Classes written and compiled for an older version of Java should continue to run on newer versions of Java.

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear James, thank you very much for your answer. It looks like there is no reason to panic now. Have a great weekend!

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