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Open-source Java leader moves to Joost

Geir Magnusson, leader of the Apache Harmony project to create an open-source clone of Sun Microsystems' Java software, has left Intel and become vice president of engineering at video streaming start-up Joost.

The move means he'll have less time for the Java work, Magnusson said while announcing his new job on his blog earlier this week, but not his involvement.

"This change in employment has no bearing on my dedication and passion for Apache Harmony," Magnusson said. "While the downside is that the time I can devote to Harmony is reduced, I think that in itself will make my contributions that much more focused, and hopefully as or even more effective."

The Harmony project is now an official part of the Apache Software Foundation's suite of software, but Sun has changed course dramatically since Harmony's beginning. Sun has now begun making Java into an open-source project governed by the General Public License (GPL). That license isn't compatible with the Apache License, meaning that software from the two projects may not be intermingled.

Of his new job, he said, "This new opportunity was just too good, too exciting, too terrifying to pass up--I'm an entrepreneur and builder at heart."

Update: Sun published a response that said the company is working on addressing the issue by virtue of its own--and separate--open-source Java project. "Sun is working with as many communities as possible to create an open source implementation of the Java platform...that mainstream open-source communities can work with," work that includes compatibility test software.

The company was cautious, though. "Java technology has many stakeholders, and we recognize that we will not be able to please everyone as we move through this process. In some cases, we'll have to agree to disagree on some points.