Oracle’s multi-language lead Jim Laskey has announced Project Nashorn, which aims to build a lightweight, high-performance runtime in Java using the native Virtual Machine (JVM).
Nashorn will start from scratch, using entirely new code, according to Laskey, with initial source coming from an unnamed Oracle internal project.
The project, part of the OpenJDK, will be moved to the OpenJDK repositories.
OpenJDK is the free and open-source implementation of the Java programming language, the project re-invigorated by Oracle once it took ownership of Sun Microsystems and which later attracted support from IBM and Apple after years in the wilderness thanks to industry politics.
Nashorn is the latest effort to diversify the languages supported by the JVM, a push that started under Sun to help ensure Java remained relevant in a world of growing language diversity.
An official project from the OpenJDK at least stands the chance of becoming something people agree on using, and could offer the industry an alternative that attracts critical mass and which isn’t subject to the waxing and waning fads of frameworks and languages. ®
Nashorn is the nickname given to a mechanised, WWII tank-busting gun  built by the German army.®