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IBM steps into open-source Java project

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In the past week, IBM has dedicated an employee to working with the proposed open-source project, which is being done at the Apache Software Foundation, said Rod Smith, vice president of advanced technology at IBM.

At this point, IBM's participation is limited to thoughts on design, but the company likely will contribute code to the project, Smith said.

"I think you'll see some code down the road. I'm sure you will. But right now, it's getting involved in some of the ideas and design they're trying to put together," he said. "We have some ideas on that, and hopefully that can be incorporated in the whole Harmony strategy."

Harmony was launched in May to create an open-source edition of Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), the software needed to run Java programs on desktop PCs.

Smith said that IBM chose to wait before jumping in until the project's direction and goals were clearer.

"We really like to see the community get started, and they're still working out the rough edges of what they want to deliver. And we didn't want to disrupt that," he said.

IBM has long made it clear that it would like an open-source edition of Java. Last year, Smith sent an open letter to Rob Gingell, then-vice president at Sun Microsystems, urging the company to open source Java.

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