Apache Software Foundation Proposes Open-source Version of J2SE
- By JavaTrends Staff
The Apache Software Foundation yesterday said it is proposing to create a new
project called Harmony that will lead to the development of an open-source version
of Java 2, Standard Edition (J2SE) runtime platform.
According to Geir Magnusson Jr., who chairs Apache’s Jakarta Project, the
goals of Harmony will be to create a compatible, independent implementation of
J2SE 5 under the Apache License v2; create a community-developed modular runtime
(VM and class library) architecture to allow independent implementations to share
runtime components, and allow independent innovation in runtime components; and
to create a broad, collaborative community of contributors, implementers and users
of the modular platform specification.
In the proposal, the project’s incubators also say Harmony will include
a test suite for interoperability testing of the modules, an implementation
under the Apache License of the modular VM and a class library under the Apache
License compatible with the J2SE 5 specification that implements the defined
Sun has declined to release the source code for J2SE under an open-source license.
In a related FAQ, Magnusson says the project is not an attack on Sun: “Sun
has been a longtime supporter of Apache and Apache projects, and Apache has
a wide variety of projects that are implementations of Java specifications,
such as Apache Geronimo, Apache Tomcat, Pluto, taglibs etc.,” Magnusson
Respecting Sun’s intellectual property is an important concern of the
project, Magnusson says. “We shall ask any person that would be a committer
to declare what kind of non-open-source class library or VM source code they
have been exposed to, and allow us to keep them from participating in the related
parts of the codebase where they may inadvertently violate the IP rights of
someone else,” he says.
“We shall require that any code contribution that isn't a new, original
work of authorship created expressly for the Apache Harmony project be subject
to the standard Apache process for provenance and licensing to ensure that we
have an accurate record of every contribution that wasn't created expressly
inside the Apache Harmony project,” Magnusson continues.
“We would like to perform continuous surveillance on the codebase we
are building, and compare to class libraries and VMs from elsewhere, like Sun,
IBM, BEA, Kaffe etc. to ensure that no code from those efforts become part of
Apache Harmony without our knowledge,” Magnusson concludes. “We
do this to protect ourselves, our users and of course those other efforts. We
don't know yet how to do this but are exploring ideas such as having a third
party such as Black Duck or an existing licensee (or Sun!) do this for us. This,
like all the topics herein, are open for discussion and change by the community.”
For more from the Project Harmony FAQ, go to: http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-general/200505.mbox/%[email protected]%3E