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Re: Quitting debian-java

On Thu, 1 Mar 2001, Seth Arnold wrote:

> * Alexander Hvostov <vulture@aoi.dyndns.org> [010301 19:49]:
> > 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
> > reasons.
> My understanding is that it is still an unknown issue if one is legally
> able to implement a completely free version of Java[0] entirely from
> specification (known as a clean-room implementation) -- as in, not only
> is their implementation of Java Not Free, the API itself is also Not
> Free and cannot be reproduced without licensing from Sun.

I suggest getting some lawyers on the task, then. Last time I checked,
there was nothing in any Java-related books I have about needing licensing
of any sort from Sun. The only legal mumbo-jumbo on the subject that I've
come across is that you can't make a {sub,super}set of the Java spec. I
haven't read the Java spec proper (yet?), so if you (or anyone else) has,
please feel free to voice your knowledge on the subject, for less
enlightened individuals like myself. ;)

By the way, if licensing from Sun _were_ an issue, wouldn't there be a
little bit of a problem (involving courts of law that would dwarf the
Empire State Building, judges that look like they were friends with
Christopher Columbus (and act like any PMS sufferer's worst nightmare),
and large quantities of lawyers sneering and glaring at each other) with
the continued existence and development of kaffe, japhar, gcj, classpath,
et al?

> > Blackdown Java is Sun's Java ported to Linux. Literally. Blackdown is
> > responsible for porting all of Sun's Java-related products to Linux.
> Yes, and they do a fine job of it too. :)
> > 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.
> What you are remembering is in fact a note that Debian will not hamper
> non-free software from running on the system, and where possible, Debian
> will help those who wish to run non-free software on Debian. But that is
> a far cry from "distributing as much software as possible, free or not"
> -- infact, many developers have had discussions about killing crufty
> packages recently.

I hope DMFR behaves differently, then, because I will probably miss
non-free. I have about a page worth of non-free software installed:

- Blender (every once in a while, I use it and hope it doesn't crash X)
- Netscape Communicator (for when mozilla and lynx don't cut the mustard)
- figfonts
- filters-nonfree (for when fortune doesn't cut the mustard :)
- freefont
- giflib (I hate GIF, but I like compatibility) (PNG FOREVER!#@@)
- gimp-nonfree
- glimpse (depended on by dhelp, I believe)
- lha (compatibility)
- libforms (depended on by something or another)
- maelstrom (I even play it sometimes!)
- mpg123 (for that occasional time when X just _won't_ work, at which
          point oggenc also gets used a lot ;)
- pine, et al (eagerly awaiting Evolution)
- Quake shareware episode (need to delete)
- rar (for sending to windoze users who can't read bzip2)
- unarj (for receiving from windoze users who can't write bzip2)
- sharefont (please don't sue me)
- unzip (why is this non-free?)
- xanim (do I actually use this anymore?)
- zangband (marginally non-free)

Hail RMS (the virtual one, in this case).

My point is that if non-free goes away, I will be in Deep [expletive
deleted] (tm).

> > 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.
> No no; non-free is *not* part of Debian. Debian consists of main/ and
> non-us/main. The fact that non-free sections are on the archives and in
> the BTS is entirely based on convenience. There are many who wish it
> gone, and I honestly think this last time through, non-free would have
> been killed from the BTS and the archives had the vote not been so
> mishandled[1].
> Another thing to consider -- this was in response to someone who was
> blaming Stephane personally responsible for Java not being in Debian by
> default. This person obviously did not have the grasp of the situation
> that you do. :)
> [0]: Again with the confusing nomenclature -- java as a language, an
> API, a family of APIs, a virtual machine, and Sun&competitors
> implementations of these various specifications....
> [1]: Remember? No one heard from Darren for quite some time, the four
> weeks between proposal date and not-vote-date killed the proposal, and
> then it got worse. non-free has survived in the past because there just
> weren't free alternatives to a lot of important pieces of software --
> SSL capable web browsing being the one I recall the best... Now that
> pretty much every tool anyone would want has a free alternative, don't
> rely upon the continued presence of non-free. (Which has never been part
> of Debian.)

Ulterior motives! Ulterior motives! Lawsuit! Impeach! Vote out! Kill,
kill, kill!!

...Uh, nevermind. I got a little carried away there. ;)

> Cheers! :)



> -- 
> Earthlink: The #1 provider of unsolicited bulk email to the Internet.

Are you sure that isn't UUNet? Or AOL?

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