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Oldenburg DevJam meeting (2005-09-23)

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  This is the (long awaited) report from the DevJam (Debian Java
Meeting)  from Oldenburg  (September  23 2005)[0].  You  can find  other
reports  at the SkoleLinux  Wiki[1] or  an article  by Mark  Wielaard at

  At DevJam  several Java people  from different distributions  meet for
the first time. This way there was the possibility to talk about how the
different  distributions  currently  handle java  packages.  Furthermore
there are several discussions how  the distributions can join efforts in
their task of maintaining java packages.

  We    discussed   the    available    toolchain   (compiler,   runtime
environments,  tools) for free  java available.  Both  from  an upstream
point  of  view  and what  is  the   best  approach to  integrate  them.
Discussion  happened  if  we  should  have  the  default  compiler   and
runtimes and   how we can   make it easier  for users to  switch between
different java environments.

  Mark  Wielaard provided  an overview  about the  current state  of GNU
classpath and which parts are currently missing and where to go with the
new 1.5 features (generics-branch)

  Andrew Haley (upstream of gcj) gave an overview about the state of aot
(ahead of  time) compilation of java  code with gcj and  which tools are
available for  packagers. Gary Benson gave  a talk about  the caveats of
aot compiling  of java code during  packaging and how he  solves some of
the problems in fedora packaging.

  All over the days there happended discussions between people of debian
java and other distributions about various topics of interest ...

  Dalibor Topic  explained his experience with JCP  and the difficulties
we have to understand, their  (SUNs) fear and the difficulties they have
to understand our motivations for free software.

  One of the needs of  distributions for schools like skolelinux is that
free java just has to work. This is currently not the state as there are
missing tools  (like keytool) in the  free toolchain as  well as missing
implementations  in  GNU  classpath.  This  way  it  is  still  hard  to
completely  use free  java  for education  without  the possiblity  that
something breaks.

  There were discussions how this  situation could be improved. First of
all  the integration  of free  java  in the  distribution and  selective
runtime  usage  for  programs   should  be  implemented  by  tools  like
java-config or  find_jvm. This way  packagers can ensure that  a program
really   works   with   his   configured  free   runtime   without   any
problems.  Another point  is to  improve the  upstream toolchain  so its
easier  for GNU classpath  developers to  get an  overview over  what is
missing in  the code or  only implemented as  a stub. As there  is stuff
missing  in GNU  classpath, priority  of implementing  functionality was
also discussed.

  I'm very sorry for the long delay of the report. Thanks for reading.

o Wolfgang Baer (Debian)
o Gary Benson (RedHat)
o Daniel Bornkessel (SuSE)
o Rene Engelhard (Debian)
o Kurt Gramlich (DebianEdu, Skolelinux)
o Andrew Haley (RedHat)
o Matthias Klose (Ubuntu)
o Michael Koch (GNU Classpath, Debian)
o Pablo Pita
o Petteri Rty (Gentoo)
o Christian Thalinger (CacaoVM)
o Dalibor Topic (Kaffe)
o Arnaud Vandyck (Debian)
o Jeroen VanWolffelaar (Debian)
o Rene Wagner (OpenEmbedded)
o Mark Wielaard (GNU Classpath)
Sorry if I forgot someone...

[0] http://java.debian.net/index.php/DevJam
[1] http://skolelinux.de/wiki/FreeJava/Meeting050923
[2] http://lwn.net/Articles/152664/

- --
 : :' :rnaud
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