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Harmony is a work-in-progress and not Java yet

2007, eclipse, harmony

A recent blog entry by Gunnar announced a pre-packaged version of Eclipse with Harmony at eclipse-harmony on Sourceforge. There are a couple of things he fails to mention.

Firstly, Harmony is a work-in-progress; it's certainly not Production/Stable as the project description at SourceForge indicates. (Whilst that may apply to Eclipse 3.2.2, it's not fair to use the same term to apply to everything in the bundle.) In fact, the 5.0M1 milestone (r533500) has only just been released but it's clear that still not finished yet.

Secondly, Harmony is not yet a JRE/JDK. It can't be called Java without passing the JCK (aka TCK), and there's still some problems with getting the JCK. Yes, it's a step in that direction, but it's a long journey and it's misleading to indicate that it's at the end of that when it's not.

Lastly, this is going to give a potentially bad name for Harmony early on. There's absolutely no links on the SourceForge page that have any kind of feedback for the Harmony aspect, nor saying what version of Harmony is used (though you'll notice that they're more than happy to say it's integrated with Eclipse 3.2.2). There are known issues, as with any product, but only recently some specific to eclipse, such as Subclipse failing to start and recently closed single-stepping in debugger.

It's good to get feedback (and visibility) of problems. But it's still an early access milestone, and it's known to be neither bug-free or complete. Not acknowledging that loudly enough on the download page has the potential to do more harm than good. Gunnar, Wayne, Phillipe – you should be ashamed of yourselves.