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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: Growing the Harmony community
Date Mon, 16 Jan 2006 23:13:42 GMT
On Mon, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:29:23PM +0100, Mark Wielaard wrote:
> Hi Tim,
> On Fri, 2006-01-13 at 10:38 +0000, Tim Ellison wrote:
> > For Harmony to be successful we need to grow the active development
> > community from where we are now.
> > We should describe a set of near-term goals, to show people where we are
> > going and where they can help.
> I think it would be great if you could better explain where in the
> ecosystem you fit in. There is a pretty nice document with a roadmap for
> where we as free software community are going and how we go about it
> http://developer.classpath.org/support/ how can harmony enhance that?

I'd say by being a friendy place for corporations that want to try out 
becoming a part of the whole free runtimes thing, without having to fear 
to lose too much control, and being assisted by gentle, friendly developers
on their way towards fully embracing the open source development model. The 
ASF has a bit of experience in that area, having led Derby, Tomcat, and 
other similar contributions into the open.

There are numerous proprietary runtime manufacturers, and some of them may
be sooner or later compelled to try licensing parts of their proprietary
technology under open source licenses. Not all of them could possibly be 
able to merge their technology in a resonable time frame with the other 
existing projects in this area, so Apache Harmony can provide an outlet
into open, where no such merging effort is necessary.

Otoh, I do not see Apache Harmony adopting GNU Classpath in the near 
future, since that would put heavy merging pressure on potential corporate 
contributions with the already existig code in GNU Classpath, and so 
potentially serve as a deterrent. Let them come out in the open first,
it's a big step already as it is. ;)

I don't see that as a problem, though. The current strategy is obviously 
working very well, and in the long run, another complete free software J2SE 
stack is a nice prospect.

> > I don't mean this note to sound negative; far from it, I want to share
> > some of the enthusiasm and excitement for the project as widely as
> > possible.  Consider it a call to arms for everyone, and especially the
> > existing committers (by which of course I include myself).
> To be honest a lot of my initial enthusiasm has gone away when I saw
> that as harmony founder my suggestions seem to be ignored. I do know how
> to grow a community and I would love harmony to be part of the growth.
> But it seems a lot of the suggestions we made have just been ignored.
> let me list them again so you can see what makes sense:

I believe the way Apache Harmony works is slightly different from other 
communities I've been involved with, for example. I don't see it morphing
into something else, and again, I don't see it as problem either.

It's a 'horses for courses' sort of thing, in my opinion. I don't think
that using the bandwidth of this mailinglist to debate how to grow 
Apache Harmony towards or within GNU Classpath is productive at all. 
We've had that discussion in the past a few times, and it wasn't very 

I think Apache Harmony has already found its own niche, the one I 
mentioned above. It does not need GNU Classpath, as it now has its own
class library to work on, and GNU Classpath seems to be progressing 
really well without swapping code with Apache Harmony, too. So the whole
pressing notion of having to find a modus operandi for collaboration
on source code between the two projects seems to be unwarranted to me.

With my Kaffe maintainer hat on, I'd see Apache Harmony as another 
potentially interesting runtime in the future, like Parrot. With my 
Apache Harmony founder hat on, I'd see GNU Classpath based runtimes as
potentially interesting projects that share the same goals, but chose a
different way to go about it, and target a different audience.

dalibor topic

> - Try to enhance and work together with the existing projects whenever
> possible: http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/stories/ there are
> active communities out there with a lot of diversity and knowledge.
> - To make sharing possible make sure you use a distribution policy that
> alligns with these projects. In particular most existing projects are
> GPL-compatible, make sure your contributions are also so they can be
> easily integrated. Use an exception like GNU Classpath as necessary if
> you want to use the Apache license but also like to integrate for
> example.
> - For supporting lots of platform and architectures (see the stories
> above) take a look at the VM integration guide and help improve that. If
> you get patches in that will help all the 30+ projects listed above. It
> is a nice setup that works for a lot of different platforms and
> architectures, even for things like static compilers, .net integration,
> etc.
> - There is a strong feeling that we should try and work together on a
> set of standard libraries with all the projects. In the past various
> projects had their own standard libraries, now almost everybody
> cooperates on the GNU Classpath set. Please join that effort.
> - There is a similar thing for creating a test suite that will help all
> projects collaborate on quality management, Mauve. Improving that helps
> the whole community, while having separate project specific test suites
> are much harder to share.
> A lot of the existing community and a lot of the Harmony founders
> (Dalibor, Tom, Jeroen, Geir, I and if he can make it Leo) will be at the
> GNU Classpath and friends meeting in Brussels next month. It would be
> cool if you could join that meeting because there are a lot of people
> there that would like to cooperate if you are serious about it. See
> http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/events/fosdem06.html
> Cheers,
> Mark
> -- 
> Escape the Java Trap with GNU Classpath!
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.html
> Join the community at http://planet.classpath.org/

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