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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: [general] compatibility packages
Date Sat, 12 Aug 2006 18:27:29 GMT


Dalibor Topic wrote:
> 'Harmony - runs 100% of apps Sun does (sure it's obviously a rubbish claim, 
> but you should trust us anyway on our other claims)' is not a very 
> compelling tag line either.

But this isn't what we're trying to say, so please don't put words in
our mouth.

The issue is removing speedbumps (no matter who put them there) on the
road to users working with Harmony.

People are busy, and don't generally have a lot of free time to tinker.
   Time is a very valuable and scarce thing.  If someone chooses to
*invest* some of their time trying out Harmony, lets make it as smooth
as possible, and be as appreciative as possible.

Sure, they may be doing the Wrong Thing by using software that makes the
common mistake of using an internal Sun class, but that's really a
secondary concern.

> 
> The 100% like Sun tag line has shown time over time to be false for IBM's 
> VM for example, since IBM does not ship some of the classes Sun does, so 
> vm-specific code using them fails in funny ways on it.
> 
> But that's how it is, 100% maching semantics is practially only possible by 
> using the exact same sources. And we're deliberately not doing that, and 
> making our own decisions on quirks of the spec.

And we're making decisions to behave like the RI.

Our goal - yours and ours - is to get people onto open source and
free-as-in-Stallman implementations of Java.

Given that we're trying to be an alternative to proprietary
implementations that are a) free-as-in-beer and b) technically excellent
and that licensing is mostly irrelevant to a vast number of users,
taking down the roadblocks is prudent.  We need to make the switching
cost as low as possible.

> 
> Harmony is *always* going to run fewer apps than the leading brand,
> unless it uses the exact same set of sources, no matter what sort of
> outlandish marketing claims we chose to use as tag lines.

We never chose any of those marketing claims.  You did.  Our goals are
compatibility with the spec, high quality, portability, modularity and
transparent, open community.  One of the tactics to achieve that is to
hold our nose and implement necessary sun.* to help users switch.

At the same time, we can call attention to the problem, and we actually
have a very good story for people - "bring apps over using our sun
compatibility library, and assuming we do something like have it
optionally log usages etc, and then let those logging/whatever features
help you find and remove these problems..."

> 
>> I believe that everyone wants to reduce dependencies on the non-API
>> types.  It is a millstone for IBM and Sun and BEA etc if they cannot
>> modify their implementations without customers coming down on them.  But
>> at this point we cannot call the shots from Harmony.
> 
> We can't call the shots on IBM's, Sun's and BEA's implementation anyway,
> unless they switch to Harmony ;) What we can do is to help people improve
> their application code by helping them notice that they are using buggy,
> implementation-dependant software.

Right.  And the only way they are going to do that is if they use
Harmony, so we can tell them.  And they aren't going to use Harmony - at
least right now - if we're in their face telling them that they are
wrong, and therefore we won't let their programs run.

geir

> 

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