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What is the Future of Apache Harmony?

by Alex Blewitt on Mar 17, 2011 |

From a posting to the Harmony-dev list earlier this week, the long-term standing PMC (Tim Ellison) is stepping down.

At this point, it is unclear who if anyone will step up to the Harmony project. Due to the licensing dispute over the rights for an open-source project to implement an alternative implementation of Java, the Harmony project will never be able to call itself a JavaVM or an implementation of the Java core language libraries.

This has not stopped Google from using the Harmony codebase to provide many of the compatibility libraries on the Android platform, although Google points out that they don't run atop a Java Virtual Machine (instead, it's dalvik) and that the language isn't referred to as Java either.

However, the on-going legal dispute between Oracle and Google is likely to deter Google from stepping up to volunteer to take over the Harmony project; and although Harmony contains both the core libraries and a VM (DRLVM) there are other approaches, such as using or merging with the Parrot foundation.

At this stage it is too early to say what the future of the Harmony project or its libraries will be; but momentum has slowed down and there is no clear future roadmap. If you have ideas, the Harmony project wants to hear from you.

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