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Re: Quitting debian-java

* Alexander Hvostov <vulture@aoi.dyndns.org> [010301 21:31]:
> > 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.

With what money? :)

> 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. ;)

Well, I took this to mean the Java API. I too recall the bit about {sub,
super}sets of the API, which is incompatible with Free Software -- which
would allow for one to change the API as needed for one's self and one's

> By the way, if licensing from Sun _were_ an issue, wouldn't there be a
> little bit of a problem [...] with the continued existence and
> development of kaffe, japhar, gcj, classpath, et al?

I have wondered about this before. :)

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

Moving off-topic at this point, but what they hey. :)

> - 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)

Consider konqueror and w3m-ssl. Both of these are very nice. (I like
mozilla, but its footprint is huge, its interface isn't very
configurable, etc etc..)

> - figfonts

Hehe. Do you *need* figlet? :)

> - filters-nonfree (for when fortune doesn't cut the mustard :)

Hehe. Do you *need* to read something in Cockney English? :)

> - freefont

You *could* contact the authors of each font and ask them to either
clarify the license or license under BSD/GPL/etc. (Same goes for the
filters and figfonts.)

> - giflib (I hate GIF, but I like compatibility) (PNG FOREVER!#@@)

Why have giflib around? I haven't got it (nor any of the libgif libs
either) installed and haven't noticed any problems... And if you are
producing .gifs, then you should really be producing jpegs or pngs if
you like free software.

> - gimp-nonfree

Same here. :)

> - glimpse (depended on by dhelp, I believe)

dhelp only Suggests glimpse; if dhelp Depended upon glimpse, then dhelp
would have to be in non-free or contrib as well.

> - lha (compatibility)

You need new friends. :)

> - libforms (depended on by something or another)

xfmail, epan, seaview, kali, xwatch, xplot, xmysqladmin, xisp, xcolmix,
mancala, jazip

It looks like xfmail will change into Archimedes at some point, epan can
be replaced with ethereal or tcpdump or snort or ... some of the others
may have easy/logical replacements.

> - maelstrom (I even play it sometimes!)

There *has* to be a free asteriods clone that you would like.. :)

> - mpg123 (for that occasional time when X just _won't_ work, at which
>           point oggenc also gets used a lot ;)

Well, mp3 is patented by Fruehnhoeffer. (Well, patented by the correctly
spelled version of that word. :) If you want, you could ditch mpg123 by
encoding all your music with ogg vorbis, which you know already. :)

> - pine, et al (eagerly awaiting Evolution)

Woah. Pine is one of the worst security holes ever found. Over 4000+
printf-style functions. Do you want to audit each one of those to ensure
pine can't be exploited? :) Use mutt. Or kmail. Or postillion. :)

> - Quake shareware episode (need to delete)

Quake! yay! fun. :) But does this need to be handled by Debian?

> - rar (for sending to windoze users who can't read bzip2)
> - unarj (for receiving from windoze users who can't write bzip2)

You need new friends. :)

> - sharefont (please don't sue me)

No one will sue you if you have paid for the ones you use. :)

> - unzip (why is this non-free?)

I don't know. My Packages files claim it to be non-US, but that is far
from non-free. However, it is likely in non-US due to patent reasons. (I
think it relies upon the same lz compression algorithm used in .gif.)

> - xanim (do I actually use this anymore?)

Probably not. It is slow, ugly, and almost useless with the large number
of codecs masquerading as '.avi'. Besides, xine claims to be able to
support .avi files with the windows codec's DLLs installed. (Also not
free, but very application specific usually.) If you are making/buying
videos of any sorts, use mpeg, which is much more portable.

> - zangband (marginally non-free)

Hurry up and finish the game so you can delete it. :)

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

Nah; RMS has many good points, but often more dogmatic than necessary.
(I am thinking here of two cases -- his 'su' diatribe, and his incessant
pestering of BSD supporters.) (But yes, VRMS is very nice! :)

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

Not really. :)

> > Earthlink: The #1 provider of unsolicited bulk email to the Internet.
> Are you sure that isn't UUNet? Or AOL?

AOL -- absolutely not. A few years ago, yes, but they have been *very*
good about preventing spammers from using their free CDs to send spam.
UUNet, well .. I used to have respect for that company. Not any more.
But, the numbers say I get more spam from Earthlink than from UUNet
even. This signature is part of a deal I made with Earthlink. I told
them after ten spams that I would like to speak with a manager. After
four more spams without hearing from the nonexistent manager, I
suggested I would take more drastic actions with every spam I get. This
is the result of the one spam after contacting the Better Business
Bureau. I haven't figured out what to do yet on the next incoming spam,
but I am sure I will think of something. :)


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

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