“IBM will work with Oracle and the Java community to make OpenJDK the primary high performance open source runtime for Java. IBM will be shifting its development effort from the Apache Project Harmony to OpenJDK.”
As always in these corporate mating dances, the real meat is in what’s not said, especially about the Google lawsuit, the future of Apache Harmony without IBM, the licensing arrangements, the governance of OpenJDK and the carving-up of control of the JCP.
Will IBM actually join the community or is this a corporation-corporation deal like with OpenOffice? What else was agreed in the deal between IBM and Oracle that made this happen? Where does this leave open source developers in the software patent wars? There’s plenty to explore, but sadly none of the articles so far have asked any of these questions.
Tim Ellison is the chair of the Apache Harmony PMC, so his comments here are very significant – one might even suggest they amount to calling for Harmony to be wound up, not that that’s one person or company’s decision.
Repeat after me “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”
Sacha Labourey pretty much nails the issues here. The Java community needed clarity over whether it was an open, level playing field or whether they were just sharecropping someone else’s property. Clarity is clarity, whether you like it or not.
Mark Reinhold focuses as I’d expect on the technical collaboration. But the comments highlight that the announcement has been made with the details of the OpenJDK governance still unresolved.
List of the people working on Harmony. Not only is the list apparently out of date, it has such a strong IBM contingent (I wonder how many of those “independents” are actually IBM or Intel contractors) that I am amazed it has escaped Apache Board scrutiny for so long.
[Also on ComputerWorldUK]