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Apache Pours Some Open Java

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-10

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Though many said it would never happen, an open-source implementation of the Java programming language may be in the works.

The Apache organization, which produced the outstanding Apache web server and many other open-source products, recently announced the debut of Project Harmony.

Harmony aims to accomplish an open-source version of the Java 2 Standard Environment and make it available under version 2 of the Apache license.

Sun Microsystems, where Java was created, has resisted previous requests to release the source code to the runtime environment. Apache developers will have to work carefully to avoid infringing on Sun's property.

Writing the implementation will take Harmony several years to accomplish. Sun has been averse to releasing Java as open-source due to the potential for development trees to fork, and leave two or three competing and incompatible versions of Java in the wild.

Critics of that stance cite the continued growth of the Linux operating system. While many distributions of the operating system exist, the core Linux kernel is still watched over by its inventor, Linus Torvalds.

The Project Harmony developers do not want to compete with Sun, instead wanting to make a version of J2SE that doesn't keep its source code under wraps.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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