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Re: Quitting debian-java

* Artur Radosz <slu@ags.pl> [010301 10:27]:
> Yeah, but with this solution there is no way to include other free java2 
> apzz and libs in distribution.

Artur, the problem is very simple. I hope I can explain it simply enough
for you to understand; while languages are often beautiful, english is
not beautiful, and mine is very ugly. So, I will try to keep this

Debian is about Free Software. Free as in BSD, GPL, LGPL, Artistic,
XFree86, etc. All these licenses satisfy the requirements of the Debian
Free Software Guidelines, which is why Debian exists.

Stephane is a strong supporter of Free Software. When he decided to stop
working with Java, all of us lost a very important ally.

Using Java in this Free manner is impossible. Sun MicroSystems, Inc.,
has licensed Java in a manner that prevents Java from being included in
the *base Debian distribution*. Sun has licensed Java in a manner that
prevents most Java programs from being included in the *base Debian
distribution*. (I am not a lawyer, and this has been hashed out before.)

Because *SUN* has licensed Java in a manner unacceptable to Debian, Java
is not included in Debian.

HOWEVER, YOU CAN USE JAVA WITH DEBIAN. It is *very easy* to use Java
with Debian. For three years, I have done all my Java programming[0]
under Debian using either IBM's or BlackDown's JDK. These will not
become part of Debian due to their licenses. However, it is very easy to
use them under Debian if (and only if) *you* decided the license terms
are acceptable.

I decided the terms are acceptable. Other people have decided the terms
are acceptable. I wish a Free solution existed, but I don't have the
time to help write one. Other people wish a Free solution existed, and
some have helped to write one.

You can either decide the terms of the license are acceptable and run
the IBM or BlackDown JDK, or you can decided the terms are not
acceptable, and try one of the Free solutions. (I used Kaffe for a few
weeks, so much of it is working.)

Stephane has decided that he supports Free Software enough that he is
not going to continue trying to support Java, which is Non-Free. While I
applaud his decision, I will miss Stephane's presence on the list.[1]

Stephane is *not* the reason why Java is not default included in Debian.
Sun is the reason.[2]

If you want to Java installed with the rest of the operating system, you
are free to use another distribution such as Red Hat, Mandrake, Immunix,
SuSE, or any of the other fine distributions that includes non-Free
software. Debian does not. Others do. You are free to run them.

I hope this was clear.

[0]: I have written only several thousand lines of code in Java but my
Neural Network implementation was sort of non-trivial. My roommate has
programmed a much nicer Neural Network, which uses many of Java2's
neatest features, entirely using BlackDown's JDK. He has also written
some very nice NFA/DFA simulators, etc.

[1]: While I don't claim to speak for everyone, I would think even those
who have had heated arguments with Stephane would agree that Stephane's
presence here was good.

[2]: Note that their decision must be evaluated with *their interests*
in mind. Decide whether you want to run their code or not, but recognize
that as their software, they are free to license it however they wish!

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