IBM/Oracle

Is This The End for Apache Harmony?

One thing is for sure: IBM are not merely supporting OpenJDK, they are supporting it at the expense of Harmony. The vice president of Open Systems and Linux at IBM Software Group, Bob Sutor, made this clear in his blog: "IBM will be shifting its development effort from the Apache Project Harmony to OpenJDK." And, if that wasn't clear enough, he elaborates that IBM no longer wishes to "continue to drive Harmony as an unofficial and uncertified Java effort."

The general consensus from the community is that it doesn't look good for Harmony. In his blog post, Stephen Colbourne referred to IBM's decision as them moving on, before declaring bluntly that "Apache Harmony is effectively dead..........frankly, Sun, now Oracle, have got away with murder." He questions whether this will have further reaching ramifications, eluding to the fact that the Apache Software Foundation may even leave the JCP over this move. He predicts that, if Apache left the JCP, it would spell the end of Apache Tomcat, Geronimo, MyFaces, OpenEJB and OpenJPA, as we know them.

The consensus that Harmony is in serious trouble, is echoed by Rémi Forax, who refers to Harmony as a "dead project" now IBM have pulled out. Indeed, a look at the list of committers to the Apache Harmony project makes for depressing reading, in wake of the announcement. Nine of the thirty one current active committers are attributed to IBM.

Jessica Thornsby

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