Google v. Oracle - victory!

Mon, Apr 5, 2021 One-minute read

This morning the US Supreme Court ruled for Google in Oracle’s case against them. This is wonderful news for American software engineering as the opposite ruling would have been disastrous for the entire industry.

Consider a comprehensive, albeit farfetched, analogy that illustrates how the API is actually used by a programmer. Imagine that you can, via certain keystrokes, instruct a robot to move to a particular file cabinet, to open a certain drawer, and to pick out a specific recipe. With the recipe in hand, the robot then moves to your kitchen and gives it to a cook to prepare the dish. This example mirrors the API’s task-related organizational system. Through your simple command, the robot locates the right recipe and hands it off to the cook. In the same way, typing in a method call prompts the API to locate the correct implementing code and hand it off to your computer. And importantly, to select the dish that you want for your meal, you do not need to know the recipe’s contents, just as a programmer using an API does not need to learn the implementing code. In both situations, learning the simple command is enough.

I think that’s a great analogy, if I do say so myself.