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Re: Quitting debian-java

On Thu, 1 Mar 2001, Seth Arnold wrote:

> * 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? :)

The FSF likes Java, and the FSF has lawyers...

> > 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
> users.

That's why you create classes under packages other than `java' or
`javax'. The Java API proper is in the `java' and `javax' packages, and
Sun is simply trying to keep Java consistent across implementations by
using their IP powers to make not implementing these packages to spec

It's called standards. It's why they exist. Sun just happens to have the
IP power to enforce them.

> > 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..)

Considering Mozilla will stabilize and become fully usable soon enough, I
don't think this drastic a change is really necessary.

> > - figfonts
> Hehe. Do you *need* figlet? :)

Do I *need* reproductive organs?

> > - filters-nonfree (for when fortune doesn't cut the mustard :)
> Hehe. Do you *need* to read something in Cockney English? :)

Do I *need* two functioning eyes, rather than just one?

> > - 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.)

Are you trying to suggest that this hasn't been request 2^16777216 times

> > - 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.

I _do_ produce JPEGs and PNGs. Hence the `PNG FOREVER!#@@'.

> > - 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.

My mistake.

> > - lha (compatibility)
> You need new friends. :)

The `compatibility' I was referring to is compatibility with the `id
Stuff' part of the old Quake shareware CD. I keep those games archived on
my Linux box, and I like to be able to unpack them without using any
nausea-inducing things like dosemu.

> > - 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. :)

So far Fraunhofer has only objected to people making free encoders, so I'm
still in the clear by using mp3 decoders without paying them gratuitous
sums. When I hear otherwise, I'll not at all mind giving them the finger
and ditching mpg123 et al. I just need the Vorbis XMMS plugin to not

> > - 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. :)

Mutt - Eats it.
Kmail - _REALLY_ eats it.
Postillion - Never heard of it.

Anyway, Evolution will be done Real Soon Now (tm), and I seriously doubt
anyone is going to be able to compromise my machine via pine without my
knowledge (at which point I will promptly make them very sorry they ever
heard of me).

Remember that they can't cover their tracks too effectively by
compromising a non-root account; it takes root to clean logs and replace
binaries. Anything less and your ISP's going to know all about it the next
business day. ;)

> > - 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. :)

I didn't say I used them very frequently, now did I?

> > - 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.)

(Un)zip uses the same compression algorithm that GNU gzip uses. I'd be
very upset of gzip used a patented algorithm and RMS didn't raise hell
over the subject. ;)

(Un)zip and gzip use the LZ77 (aka Deflate) algorithm, while gif and tiff
use LZW, which _is_ patented.

> > - 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. :)

Screw you. :P

> > 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! :)

What `su' diatribe, exactly?

> > 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. :)
> Cheers.



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