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Apache Harmony Finally Defeated

11.04.2011
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Some have probably been expecting it for a long time, and this week it finally happened.  Apache Harmony, an open source cleanroom implementation of Java was moved to the Apache Attic, where inactive projects are sent.  The project management committee voted 20 to 2 in favor of discontinuing the project.

One of the votes against moving Harmony to the Attic was PMC chair Tim Ellison, who thought it was too early to deactivate Harmony.  But Harmony was probably already dead and buried once it's primary corporate sponsor, IBM, switched its support to OpenJDK last year.  Android has not gotten invovled in the Harmony project recently because of their ongoing lawsuit with Oracle.

Developers may still use the code while it resides, inactive, in the Apache Attic.

Here were some comments from last year when most predicted the death of Harmony:

"Well, pragmatically I would prefer one great open source JVM, rather than multiple average ones. So as long as OpenJDK is still GPL, I see no reason to cry over this. Reality is that I don't know of a single project going into production using Harmony. "  --Jacek Furmankiewicz

"Google has single handedly turned around the disaster that was J2ME. Assuming they'll eventually sort out the patent mess (and given the stakes, they will) that removes from the equation all the partners that had very little to bring to the table when it comes to mobile Java. Meanwhile, Oracle and IBM need to demonstrate through actual technical innovation that they are still relevant in the Java world. Last time I checked, the enterprise Java world was dominated by things like Spring (under the Apache license) rather than any JCP efforts. Oracle bought an empty shell. Filing patent related lawsuits left and right is probably not going to be very helpful since that tends to scare away customers. So, I'm hoping that this will end pretty quickly. Once it does, all parties can get back to moving the agenda forward on the run-time, language, and APIs. There is a lot of stuff that needs to start happening there and if Oracle won't do it, others will do it for them. In a nutshell, that's why Google is shipping Harmony rather than CDC. I'm pretty sure Google would have preferred to stay in the Sun community a few years ago if only Sun was not being so unreasonable."  --Jilles van Gurp

"For me, the question is: what to we, as coder, expect from Java? I don't think I will ever use a self patched SDK/openSDK in any production; I even doubt I would ever work in a project which would like todo that.

Oracle might be the bad boy here, but -man!- they know techology. I strongly believe, that the SDK will be less stagnant in performance/features and lots of those 10 year old problems in Bugzilla will finally be tackled.

Sun let the "open" part of Java start smelling and people started to invest significant time in non-Java languages like Scala and new ways of dealing with partitioning of services aka OSGi containers. Since JVM 1.5 they were not really able to focus this community power to anything bigger then some lame syntactic sugar and a DOA flash clone.

Harmony is a nice place to play around with an open JVM, but I think this job moves more over to the more general LLVM. And I don't think that I want to bet my (professional) future on the fact that Google has to step always in when the rest of the industry has just a bad haircut day.

IBMs move is logical. Whatever Harmony is or was, the impact was already limited. You simply can't build such infrastructure without more people building it. One company alone wouldn't push Apache or Tomcat, and any serious openJDK shouldn't do either." --Igor Laera


Let the conversation now continue.

 

Comments

Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2011/11/04 - 8:51pm

Harmony RIP

Jan Kotek replied on Sun, 2011/11/06 - 6:49am

This is very bad. Oracle now basically has monopoly over Java. They can finally start milking it. And OpenJDK is not free, Oracle will sue your pants off on patents, if you would make any real money with OpenJDK.

Dan Howard replied on Mon, 2011/11/07 - 6:17am in response to: Jan Kotek

Jan, stop it with the FUD? Not free? Citation?

Otengi Miloskov replied on Mon, 2011/11/07 - 7:19am in response to: Jan Kotek

What are you smoking really?, OpenJDK is opensource and free(GPL) Freedom. of course if you get OpenJDK change the name and sell it like your own JVM, Oracle will sue you but if you use OpenJDK as it is you can sell it and even make money with it but always keep open the source code and contribute back to the project.

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