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Apache's Java brings Harmony to the world

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Software

THE FOLKS are churning code like there's no tomorrow at Apache's Project Harmony. The goal is to build a Java VM compatible with Sun's specifications and now the people have quietly released test binary snapshots.

"Project Harmony" was started back in May 2005 and is working to create an independent implementation of Sun's Java VM. The project must write this Java VM from scratch without using any of Sun's source code but remaining compatible with Sun's spec and passing the official TCK test suite, thus becoming "officially compatible" with the official Sun standard. This effort has been specifically allowed by Sun. The company made changes to the Java license to allow the 'clean room' development of compatible virtual machines. Graham Hamilton, Sun VP said last year: "The licensing rules for J2SE 5.0 were carefully designed to allow independent, compatible open-source implementations of the J2SE specification".

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