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18 March 2011, 10:58

Apache Harmony loses project manager

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Apache Tim Ellison, Project Management Chair at Apache Harmony, the Java implementation at the Apache Software Foundation, has announced his resignation as chair of the open source project. The IBM employee says that after IBM stepped back from the project in autumn 2010 and after years of discussions with Sun and then with Oracle about licences for Java Test Compatibility Kits (TCK), the participation in Harmony has shrunk so much that there is no longer any properly working project management.

It's unclear how the project could proceed. While the open source organisation had said that it plans to continue to support Harmony as far as possible, even after IBM's withdrawal, there are also talks about how further development should be focused. The project does not, however, stand much of a chance of being called "official Java" because decision-makers at Oracle stated last autumn that TCK licences would not be provided under any circumstances, even in the long run.

Ellison says it is too early to migrate Harmony towards Apache Attic, a platform founded in November 2008 for Apache projects, whose lifecycle has expired. Instead, he says Harmony developers should give a clear overview of project activities and possibly of new targets. In December 2010, there were proposals to further develop Harmony into a language-neutral virtual machine that does not focus solely on Java. Parrot, a virtual machine from the Perl community, pursues just such an approach; it is not based solely on Perl, but also supports such languages as Lua, PHP, Python and Ruby.


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