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J2EE Journal: Article

Maria Winslow's Practical Open Source Blog - Does Open Source Java Matter?

There is a lot of open source activity currently surrounding Java, from JBoss and Geronimo to MyFaces to Spring, and now Harmony

Maria Winslow's Practical Open Source Blog

There is a lot of open source activity currently surrounding Java, from JBoss and Geronimo (open source app servers) to MyFaces (an open source web application framework - think Struts but better) to Spring (an open source application framework).

And now Harmony, an open source Java implementation, is in incubator status at the Apache Software Foundation. IBM and Intel have both made contributions toward the project.

The Harmony project mission (from the website):

-  Create a compatible, independent implementation of J2SE 5 under the Apache License v2

- Create a community-developed modular runtime (VM and class library) architecture to allow independent implementations to share runtime components, and allow independent innovation in runtime components


But do we really need open source Java? Jeff Genender, a core developer on the Geronimo project and an open source practice leader with Virtuas, thinks so. "I think it's important since at this stage, we need to literally rewrite components of J2EE and Java so that other projects can use them appropriately in other software. This is true for Geronimo, and it's one of the reasons Harmony was started."
 
Genender points out that it's also an issue of efficiency. "If Java was truly open source, then these projects could spend their resources on building onto Java instead of reinventing the wheel to get around licensing issues."

He makes a good point. Is Sun wasting great developer talent by keeping Java closed despite developer insistence on openness? And if Harmony is successful, will Sun matter anymore?

I'll be keeping tabs on developments in the world of open source Java over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for my analysis.

Posted Wed, 11/30/05, 2:15 PM EST

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More Stories By Maria Winslow

Maria Winslow is the author of The Practical Manager's Guide to Open Source, available at http://www.lulu.com/practicalGuide and can be contacted at [email protected]

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Most Recent Comments
Allan Rofer 12/02/05 09:03:40 PM EST

Seems like "reinventing the wheel" is what Harmony is doing.
So what, exactly, are the projects that need internal Java runtime access so as to avoid workarounds and reinvention? Could someone provide an example of how the existing J2SE does not allow them to implement their project?

JDJ News Desk 11/30/05 03:16:03 PM EST

Maria Winslow's Practical Open Source Blog - Does Open Source Java Matter? There is a lot of open source activity currently surrounding Java, from JBoss and Geronimo (open source app servers) to MyFaces (an open source web application framework - think Struts but better) to Spring (an open source application framework). And now Harmony, an open source Java implementation, is in incubator status at the Apache Software Foundation. IBM and Intel have both made contributions toward the project.