|By Joe Winchester||
|August 10, 2005 11:00 AM EDT||
Open source and J2SE,
living together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my computer keyboard,
Oh yeah, why can't we?
Java has been the springboard for some of the most successful open source projects today including JBoss, NetBeans, and Eclipse. Several folks though have felt the missing piece was an actual open source implementation of the runtime. Some view Sun's stewardship of Java and the JCP as being too controlling, while others believe it is an essential benign rule that preserves the integrity of the language. The view taken by Sun execs is that the JCP is essential to preserve portability while preventing forks in the language (as Microsoft once attempted with proprietary extensions). Should these occur, they could compromise a user's expectation that a Java program, once written, can run anywhere. Advocates of open source, however, deny this would occur and cite successful projects in which the benefits of fast innovation and widespread adoption have been fueled by having an open source community of developers who drive the implementation forward.
Earlier this year the Apache Foundation announced the Harmony project. Its aims are to write an open source version of J2SE from scratch. Given that specifications for J2SE are freely available, one question might be why such a move hasn't occurred before? In the FAQ for Harmony, Gier Magnusson from Apache states: "While the Java Community Process has allowed open source implementations of JSRs for a few years now, Java 5 is the first of the J2SE specs that we are able to do due to licensing reasons" (http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-general/ [email protected]%3E).
Rather than reinvent the wheel, after the initial announcement it seems that the plan is to try to pollinate the project with code and ideas from existing Java runtimes. At JavaOne Geir said: "There is a lot of software out there that we are hoping can be donated. We are hoping that we will get seeded with some code from existing production Virtual Machines." This is an invitation to the big guns of software and mom and pop developers, many of whom have either privately or openly tinkered with creating their own implementations of Java.
There are several potential Harmony contributors who might be in Geir's sights to step up to the plate. BEA has a very good JVM implementation in JRockit (www.bea.com/framework.jsp?CNT=index.htm&FP=/content/products/jrockit), while Kaffe (www.kaffe.org/) is a clean room implementation of the JVM.
Making Harmony succeed, however, requires more than just a JVM, as J2SE contains many lines of code in the actual class libraries, all of which need API compatible reimplementation. Due to licensing and IP issues this most likely must be done in an environment without reference to the existing Sun J2SE source code base, so the hill to climb is steep and high one.
I usually don't pay much attention to the cries of doom issued by execs of any company that has a vested interest in whether open source Java should succeed or fail, but I was surprised to hear James Gosling, when asked about Harmony, raise the issue of why Apache wants the Harmony license to be different from the existing J2SE one. He said: "I understand why they would like it to be different. From our point of view that would actually be more destructive than helpful. It boils down to forking: they believe that the ability to fork is an absolutely critical right" (www2.vnunet.com/lite/News/1163182). His voice is one I respect and should be listened to as words of wisdom and caution so the worst case scenario doesn't become a reality. To ensure compatibility with J2SE, however, the harmony FAQ states that it will be verified against the J2SE Test Compatibility Kit. The TCK is published by the JCP and is the yardstick used by all ratified J2SE integrations (JCP or commercial) that to date has ensured no fragmentation exists and no compromise of integrity has occurred.
Whatever the outcome of the Harmony project, while I do understand the concerns of those who are frightened of fragmentation in the language, I am more excited by the prospects of having an open source implementation J2SE. This will enjoy the same benefits that other open source projects have experienced, where a community of like-minded, smart individuals who share the same goal can participate equally in the same code and knowledge base of ideas and innovation. Ideas, bug reports, and schedules are transparent and can be iterated in public toward the best solution. The momentum of the project becomes fueled by the feedback loop created by an alliance of like-minded individuals in a partnership of conviction. To those who don't believe this will work, ask not if the glass is half empty, but listen instead to the lyrical genius of Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder:
We all know that people are the same where ever you go
There is good and bad in everyone
Learn to live, we learn to give each other
What we need to survive, together alive
|JoeWinchester 08/16/05 11:46:40 AM EDT|
|Alex 08/12/05 02:45:35 AM EDT|
I agree with James Gosling's concern - there will always be holes in any specifications.
If there is only one single implementation, such undocumented behaviours can still be utilised after some preliminary investigations; but if more than one implementations is used by the majority of end-users, these undocumented portions could have different behaviour.
It may sound as if we shouldn't have used any unspecified "features" in a specification, but they are often the only workaround for certain tasks to date, due to the deficiency in the spec. Only by having a single major implementation can we do away with these problems easier, if at all.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,277
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,603
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,408
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,729
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,030
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,664
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,783
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Sep. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 991
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,572
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,537
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,865
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:06 AM EDT Reads: 156
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 26, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 989
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 26, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 893
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,689
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Sep. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,003
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Sep. 26, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,864
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Sep. 26, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,529
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Sep. 26, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,545
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
Sep. 26, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,505