Volker Simonis, from SAP, posted to the OpenJDK-Discuss mailing list yesterday a proposal to start a project for PowerPC ports (AIX/Linux) in OpenJDK, driven jointly with IBM. I think the technical and community benefits of this are self evident – but I want to highlight a side point.
This is a great example of diversity in action. I am not a fan of diversity for the sake of it, but I am a fan of diversity that happens naturally as a symptom of a healthy ecosystem. I believe that healthy ecosystems have three characteristics: Productivity, Robustness and Niche Creation – and in many ways, this project is an example of all three. For more on this area from an academic perspective, check out the reference in a blog I wrote back in 2006 (and don’t be cheap, the $6 for the references paper is worth it )
Hopefully we will continue to see more of this. One of the risks, though, is that we need to push harder on the infra. We’re well aware of some of the areas we need to catch up (i.e., bug db), and have a wish list a mile long.