[kaffe] Harmony, Kaffe and all that
robilad at kaffe.org
Mon May 9 19:45:39 PDT 2005
chances are by now that you've heard about the Apache Harmony project.
The original (pretty ambiguous, unfortunetaly) announcement and
FAQ from Geir left a few things for me to clear up, which is what
my weekend ended up being used on all over the usual IRC channels. Argh. ;)
Anyway, I posted some further clarifications on the harmony mailing
list, explaining where all those modular VM interface ideas about
interchangeable components come from in the Kaffe/gcj context. Mark's
e-mail to the classpath list summs up things very nicely, and puts
everything in a bigger context, including a few useful links to posts
from the harmony list. Additionally, Anthony gave away the plan for
world domination for GNU Classpath based runtimes in his blog.
We'll see what comes out of it. I am pretty optimistic that Harmony will
at least lead to ASF and FSF working out the license incompatibilities,
which would actually be a massive achievement. Probably a bigger one
than writing a VM ;)
I'm also optimistic, that it will generate a lot of enhusiasm for
hacking on GNU Classpath in general. Given the way the ASF is setup ,
though, it is very unlikely that they would adopt Kaffe as their runtime
of choice. Otoh, that's not necessary either, as far as I can tell, as
the general idea is to come up with a set of interfaces for pluggable VM
components, which could provide us with a few more interesting providers
of core VM components to pick from and collaborate with. Under the
constraint that the licensing incompatibilities get sorted out, a pretty
interesting option. There are also some other ideas I had discussions on
IRC with some other runtime developers, like using OSGi in the VM core, etc.
Unsurprisingly, Apache seems to be able to bring people at one table
both the Free Software world, and the non-free software world. So
Harmony looks like an interesting place to discuss some things regarding
implementations that both free software and non.free software might
profit from, which essentially boils down to pluggable, configurable VMs
afaict. We'll see how that technical discussion works out, it is a
direction in which Kaffe has been gradually moving as well.
All of that politicking gave me little time to do actual work, i.e.
hacking. But thanks to other Kaffe hackers, things are moving forwards
very nicely. Among a dozen or so other things, Guilhem fixed the ugly
'bootstrap-ant crashes on SMP system' problem for all I can see from
gump results, so that our brutus page is back up with better results
than ever . My own plate will be full with finally resyncing between
Kaffe and Classpath, now that the big post-Harmony-announcement storm is
As I got invited to speak at FISL, I'd like to do a round of
resyncing, merging in the fixes, and documentation improvements, and
kick 1.1.6 out of the door in two-three weeks, so that we can have
another nice release of Kaffe ready in time. Would that suit everybody?
 Afaik it needs copright assigment on a project to be accepted into
Apache, which alone would seem to be pretty hard to get altogether on
the whole Kaffe codebase. Probably it would need relicensing as well, so
I guess it is out of the reach, unless someone really desperately wants
to see it happen.
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