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The long way to a free Tomcat package


A lot of people have mailed be because I have posted an ITP for
Jakarta/Tomcat and not yet uploaded a package. The reason for this is very
simple: Tomcat still contains some non-free components (like Sun's XML
parser) and I don't want to put it into non-free.

The problem with the XML parser has just been solved for the 3.2 release.
Tomcat can now use any JAXP compatible parser like Xerces-J from the
Apache/XML project. Xerces-J even includes a free version of the JAXP
interface classes which were previously only available from Sun (non-free).
Yesterday, I have uploadad a new xerces-j package for main instead of
contrib (it was built using Kaffe's core classes and jikes).

I have now decided to try to get Tomcat into main instead of contrib.
However, this is not an easy task because Tomcat is not easy to build from
source (and even more difficult to intergate with Apache). Tomcat uses
the Ant build system (which is basically a make system in Java with 
XML "Makefiles"), so I tried to build Ant with only free tools but failed.

First of all, I did not find a free javadoc tool (the one from Kaffe just
calles "kaffe sun.tools.javadoc.Main" but this class is not part of Kaffe).
Second, Ant uses the internal Java compiler (class sun.tools.javac.Main
which is also missing in Kaffe) and RMIC (class sun.rmi.rmic.Main, also

A lot of tools from the Apache/Jakarta and Apache/XML projects depend on
Ant. So if we can't build (or even run) Ant with free tools, all these
project will have to go into contrib.

Does anyone know of free implementations of the sun.tools.javac/javadoc
classes or a free javadoc utility in C/C++ (like jikes)?

Stefan Gybas

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