Re: Quitting debian-java
Sun did not license Java in a non-free manner. They licensed _their
implementation_ of Java in a non-free manner. Java itself is not subject
to a license of any kind, but just some straightforward IP protections to
keep people (like Micro$oft) from forking Java. Which is bad, for obvious
Blackdown Java is Sun's Java ported to Linux. Literally. Blackdown is
responsible for porting all of Sun's Java-related products to Linux.
There are those (including myself) who believe that Debian is also about
distributing as much software as possible, free or not. I believe I read
this in a Debian manifesto kind of document somewhere. I agree. The fact
that there is a `non-free' section for such software suggests that at
least some Debian developers are committed to distribute as much software
as possible with Debian, as long as its license permits redistribution
(or an installer package). Debian's package management system (among other
things) is very convenient and very flexible, which makes it quite
beneficial to try to do this. Of course, with the Debian Freshmeat
Repository project, this may no longer be necessary, as I imagine DMFR
will take over the responsibility of providing as much software as
possible to Debian users, and Debian proper can focus on the core
operating system (kernel, dpkg, apt, important things like
perl/XFree/etc, boot-floppies/installer, etc). But that's not the point of
this email. The point is that non-free is part of Debian, that it has been
proposed to remove non-free, and it's been struck down every time, and
the reasons for it having been struck down.
P.S. I hereby disclaim all responsibility for overloading and segfaulting
anyone's brain with this email. ;)
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On Thu, 1 Mar 2001, Seth Arnold wrote:
> * Artur Radosz <firstname.lastname@example.org> [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
> 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.
> Stephane is *not* the reason why Java is not default included in Debian.
> Sun is the reason.
> 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.
> : 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.
> : 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.
> : 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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