IBM Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo

Related Topics: Java IoT, IBM Cloud, Recurring Revenue, Apache

Java IoT: Article

IBM Abandons Harmony for Java Unity with Oracle

Will back OpenJDK, a peace-in-our-time move that looks like it leaves Google in the lurch

In a surprise-to-many move, IBM, which always seemed to have more skin in the Java game than Sun, the technology's nominal creator, has abandoned Harmony, the independent, breakaway, duplicative and competitive Apache Software Foundation open source Java project, to back Oracle, Java's new owner, and OpenJDK, a peace-in-our-time move that looks like it leaves Google in the lurch.

Oracle is after all - to the consternation of many - suing Google for using Harmony or a subset of it in Android - including the infamous Dalvik Java Virtual Machine - rather than Java Mobile Edition (ME) and IBM has been the mainstay of Harmony development. Now IBM is pulling out of a potentially litigious situation for it, throwing in its lot with Oracle and probably killing Harmony absent Google jumping in. My. My. My.

According to IBM open source and Linux VP Bob Sutor, who provides some back-story color to the press announcement but doubtless not all, IBM finally recognized that Oracle - like Sun before it - was never going to make the Java compatibility test kits (TCKs) available to the renegade Apache project and, after years of fruitless struggle, threw in the towel.

In his blog Sutor said of Oracle's position, "We disagreed with this choice, but it was not ours to make" and called IBM's decision to co-operate a "pragmatic choice."

"We believe," he said "that this move to work together on OpenJDK is in the best interests of IBM's customers and will help protect their investments in Java and IT technology based on it."

Harmony became untenable when Oracle sued Google. That was what convinced IBM that Oracle would never ever loosen its grip on the TCKs - and may be an assessment of Oracle's chances of winning - but between times without its backing Java development would drift or stagnate more than it already has.

So IBM will shift its development work from the "unofficial and uncertified" Harmony to OpenJDK, recognize OpenJDK as the primary Java runtime, and collaborate on the Java Standard Edition (SE) reference implementation.

In exchange, Sutor said, IBM is supposed to get some kind of leadership position in OpenJDK and expects "to have strong say in how the project is managed and in which technical direction it goes."

Actually, however, Oracle drew the roadmap at OpenWorld last month and IBM is tagging along, throwing its weight behind the Oracle-laid plan to accelerate the release of JDK7 to mid-2011 by delaying certain features until JDK8, now due in late 2012. Oracle is supposed to create the Java Specification Requests (JSRs) for Java SE 7 and 8 and submit them to the JCP.

And for its allegiance IBM expects "to see some long needed reforms in the JCP, the Java Community Process, to make it more democratic, transparent and open. IBM and, indeed Oracle, have been lobbying for such transformations for years and we're pleased to see them happening now. It's time. Actually, it's past time."

What these concessions might be is unclear. Sounds like the JCP could come away less powerful not more. Oracle's got a you-can-be-disbanded gun to its head just like Sun.

Oh, yes, by the way, Eclipse Foundation, which IBM started, is reportedly going to support Java SE 7.

See www.sutor.com/c/2010/10/ibm-joins-the-openjdk-community/.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO 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 t...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the tec...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named "Media Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.