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19 February 2010, 12:47

Oracle is working on a combined Java Virtual Machine

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Oracle Logo The engineers responsible for the development of the JRockit and HotSpot Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) are "spending lots of quality time together" to work out how to combine the Oracle JVM and what was Sun's virtual machine. Oracle already announced its plans to merge the two JVMs in its statement regarding the future of Sun's products after the take-over of Java's creator by Oracle had been approved by the European Commission. Oracle acquired JRockit by taking over BEA Systems in 2008, while Sun's portfolio included the HotSpot JVM as a key component of the Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

In a webcast on Oracle's Technology Network (OTN), Mark Reinhold, who was responsible for the development of Java at Sun and now holds a similar position at Oracle, says that it isn't easy to pick the best features of each JVM and work out how to merge them in the long term. Reinhold considers it possible that it will take one and a half to two years before a combined JVM becomes available.

Reinhold said Oracle has been known to abandon the development of in-house technologies if they can be replaced by better ones. One example is BEA's WebLogic, which replaced Oracle's own application server. According to Reinhold, the new JVM could, for example, include JRockit's garbage collector and HotSpot's run-time compiler. He said "There's stuff in JRockit that, frankly, we've been jealous of for some years. The mission control stuff is very sweet". He added that the HotSpot code, especially the server compiler, has better performance characteristics than JRockit.


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