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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

Lewis Jardine <debian@catbox.co.uk> writes:

> Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> Combining X+Y in the way that you have described is anything but
>> mechanical: it is a task which typically takes a skilled programmer a
>> great amount of time and thought.  Different programmers might do it
>> in different ways.  I'm not referring here to the work done by ld, but
>> to the process of building a new program which has libfoo as a
>> component.
>> Additionally, the program ultimately delivered to the user isn't X
>> with some minor bits of Y.  It contains big chunks of Y -- one per
>> function used, at least -- directly copied.  Just being in a different
>> memory space isn't enough to change the relationship between the
>> creative parts of the works.  The program vim encompasses a copy of
>> libc.
>> -Brian
> What about the case where there's a common ABI, such as Java written
> against Sun's standard API, then compiled into Java Bytecode?
> In this case, writing against Y is creative, but when the end-user
> runs the program, is Java's run-time-linking creative or mechanical?

What Java's doing is mechanical.  But what Debian *instructed* it to
do, by shipping Y and the Java run-time together such that when you
ask for Y to be installed, you get Y and the JVM... that's clearly

> Does this change when the program could also be linked with A, W, or
> Z, all of which implement the same ABI?

No.  But it does matter which one Debian ships it with.

> Does this change if there's no way to tell which of A, W, Y or Z X was
> originally written against?

The author's intent matters.  If he writes against X, and Debian ships
with Z instead, then that is an artistic choice on the Project's
part.  So if the author's intent isn't obvious, but it *could* be in
the set of legitimate intents, I don't see a problem.

> Does this change if the program is aggregated with W and Z, but not Y?

You've now lost me in letters, and I don't understand this question.
But the rest of these caused me to clarify my thinking on the matter,
and to realize that there's always a person in the system who's
imagining a combined work on an end-user system and taking action to
put it there.  This might be the original author, Debian or some other
distributor, or the end-user.  If it's anyone but the end-user, then
that combined work is being distributed.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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