[2005-05-09] Harmony: Quo Vadis?

The announcement of the Harmony project which aims to create a Free reimplementation of J2SE 5 under the umbrella of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) seems weird to a lot of people (including yours truly). The initial FAQ does not help much either. My personal opinion is that if you need Free (as in liberty) Java you have either Kaffe or GCJ depending on whether you prefer the traditional Java execution model or ahead-of-time compilation, respectively, not to mention many other VMs. Both depend on GNU Classpath to provide an implementation of the humongous and unwieldy "core" Java runtime class libraries. Without any elaboration, the "All of these efforts provide a diversity of solutions, which is healthy, but barriers exist which prevent these efforts from reaching a greater potential" from the announcement seems hollow and a serious case of the NIH syndrome. Lastly, Java isn't even that great a language or has a great runtime that so many talented hackers should be wasting their time on it. Isn't there anyone who can come up with a good general purpose programming language with a good and minimal standard runtime environment and a Free language and runtime specification? I am talking of an imperative language with the ability to easily do OO-programming but where OO is not sickeningly mandated.

(Originally posted on Advogato.)

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