My aggregator is abuzz this morning with news of Harmony, a newly proposed implementation of J2SE operating under the auspices of the Apache Group. Here’s a link to the initial proposal, and here’s the motivation for the proposal, explaining why yet another open source implementation of Java is needed:
There is a clear need for an open-source version of Java 2, Standard Edition (J2SE) runtime platform, and there are many ongoing efforts to produce solutions (Kaffe, Classpath, etc). There are also efforts that provide alternative approaches to execution of Java bytecode (GCJ and IKVM). All of these efforts provide a diversity of solutions, which is healthy, but barriers exist which prevent these efforts from reaching a greater potential.
There’s also a FAQ. One obvious issue, mentioned in the FAQ, is that they’re starting with no code whatsoever. Charles Miller points out that this makes the project unlikely to succeed. Miguel de Icaza thinks that this project may slow the progress of open source Java as people divide into camps and get bogged down in a licensing fight (an idea with which Leo Simons takes issue).