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From Archie Cobbs <arc...@dellroad.org>
Subject Re: [arch] VM Interface
Date Tue, 07 Jun 2005 13:49:07 GMT
Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>> I assume that if the Harmony JVM gets half as good as is hoped  there 
>>> will be companys who want to adopt the JVM but continue to  use Suns 
>>> class library so that differences in libraries don't hurt  their 
>>> customers.
>> If that is a goal of Harmony then we've just made things a lot harder.
>> First of all, Sun's class library <-> VM interface is proprietary and
>> unpublished. How would people become experts in it without studying
>> the Sun source code, with all the potential legal problems that  entails?
> Because it's possible that Sun finds this aspect of Harmony valuable  
> overall, and contributes information to help shape this.

I highly doubt that will happen (just my opinion though).

>> Secondly, you can no longer use Classpath as is, so Harmony will have
>> to create a new fork of the Classpath code. Lots of work, zero forward
>> progress.
> No, we won't fork GNU Classpath.  I don't understand why you believe  we 
> have to do this.

Well, the alternative is to convince the Classpath developers to completely
rewrite the existing API to match whatever Sun currently does (which is
unknown, and would probably taint them), and also convince all the current
VM implementers to change their implementations. As a Classpath developer
and VM implementer, I even more highly doubt that.

>> Thirdly, what's to stop Sun from changing things around every release?
>> Their API is not standardized in any way. It involves "sun.*"  
>> classes, etc.
> Nothing.

So you have a moving, undocumented API to support. Sounds fun :-)

>> On the other hand, if down the road the various interested parties
>> got together and said, "Let's all agree on a common class library/JVM
>> API" then certainly Harmony should be involved and supportive. However
>> somehow to me that seems about as likely as Toyota, Ford, and GM all
>> agreeing to standardize the connection between engines and gearboxes.
> That agreement is one of the things we're trying to do here,  remember.  
> I don't know if the analogy is right though (although  there is a bit of 
> standardization in the auto industry).  Maybe the  computer industry 
> would be a better example?  :)

I think it would be great to get there someday. The thing to do would
be to create a JCP project to standardize the Class/VM API.

However, the fact that this is a nice idea doesn't seem to have any
impact on the current situation for Harmony.

Are you saying Harmony should wait for such a JCP to be proposed,
accepted, and standardized? That will take years.

Are you saying Harmony should adopt Sun's current, undocumented,
proprietary, and subject-to-change-at-any-time API? That seems like
a really bad idea for a large number of reasons.

Even the idea that there will be any interest in combining Sun's classes
with a Harmony VM is suspect IMHO as well (would that even be legal?).

So in summary: I just don't get it.


Archie Cobbs      *        CTO, Awarix        *      http://www.awarix.com

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