Oracle moving to merge JRockit, HotSpot JVMs

The company's Java plans also call for sharing microkernel between app servers

Oracle is moving forward with plans to merge its two Java virtual machines (JVMs) and to provide a single microkernel for its open source GlassFish and commercial WebLogic application servers.

These efforts are descended from the company's acquisitions of BEA Systems, which brought Oracle the JRockit JVM and WebLogic, and Sun Microsystems, which gave Oracle possession of Sun's HotSpot JVM and GlassFish. Java depends on the JVM for running Java programs and operating system independence.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Oracle's road map of Java plans. | Keep up with app dev issues and trends with InfoWorld's Fatal Exception blog and Developer World newsletter. ]

Initial releases from the merged JVM project will begin appearing in 2011, said Adam Messinger, Oracle vice president of development, at the QCon software development conference in San Francisco on Friday afternoon. "Our plan going forward here is to converge these into one VM. This will take us probably about three years to get done. Already, the teams have been merged," he said. Oracle previously has expressed intentions to leverage the best of each JVM as part of its convergence effort.

Oracle also is planning to share the HK2 microkernel between WebLogic and GlassFish. A GlassFish Web page describes HK2, or Hundred Kilobytes Kernel, as "an abstraction to a module subsystem coupled with a simple yet powerful component model to build server-side software. It is the foundation for the GlassFish V3 application server and consists of several technologies."

Oracle, Messinger noted, also is emphasizing Java and JavaScript as the way to access graphics APIs rather than using the JavaFX Script scripting language the company unveiled in 2007. "The reason is those languages are more broadly adopted" than JavaFX Script, he said. JavaFX Script will continue to be available and be improved, Messinger said. The APIs give access to hardware acceleration on graphics cards.

Oracle last week also released results of October's elections for the Java Community Process executive committee. Two candidates endorsed by Oracle -- the Apache Software Foundation and Red Hat -- were elected. A third Oracle-backed candidate, Hologic, was not.

Oracle's nomination of little-known partner Hologic had prompted JCP participant Steven Colebourne to question why Hologic would be good for the JCP committee. Oracle had countered that Hologic would offer much-needed end-user and business participation.

Another candidate whose candidacy was questioned by Colebourne, former Yahoo CTO Sam Pullara, also was not elected to the committee, Messinger said. Google and the Eclipse Foundation were elected, however.

This article, "Oracle moving to merge JRockit, HotSpot JVMs," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.

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