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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

Walter Landry writes:

> Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> > Walter Landry writes:
> > 
> > > Not that special.  His argument makes sense to me.  If Kaffe is
> > > required for Eclipse to run, then it looks like a whole work to me.
> > > However, Kaffe is not the only JVM that can run Eclipse.  But it is
> > > the only one in main.  That is why Eclipse needs to stay in contrib.
> > 
> > Can you elaborate?  Its dependencies seem to be satisfiable using
> > main.  Last time I read policy, that is sufficient to put it in main.
> As I understand it, Eclipse would require Kaffe to go into main.  If
> Kaffe is not suitable for Eclipse, then Eclipse would require a
> non-free JVM to run.  That puts Eclipse in contrib.

Kaffe _is_ suitable for Eclipse.  Eclipse is not a derivative work of
Kaffe, though, and the Eclipse package is not a composite or
collective work that contains Kaffe.  That Kaffe is GPLed has no
bearing on Eclipse.

The argument to the contrary would mean almost all of main would have
to be GPL-compatible.  Even though Linux exempts programs that use
system calls from the GPL, it does not exempt programs that use other
Linux-specific interfaces, and almost all programs use such features
(from /proc, of none others).  Without auditing an application, we
would have to presume the GPL applies to it.

Debian kernel-image binaries also seem to omit the license disclaimer
about system calls from /usr/share/doc/kernel-image-*/copyright.  Does
this mean Debian wishes the full GPL to apply to its distribution of
the kernel?

> > How many GPL-incompatible packages exist that can only be compiled by
> > gcc or compilers outside of main?  Why should those not be moved into
> > contrib because of that build dependency?
> gcc has a special clause in its license that exempts programs that
> have been compiled by gcc from being subject to the GPL.  It looks
> like much, but not all, of Kaffe has a similar exemption.  From the
> Debian copyright file, valist.m4 and libraries/javalib/kjc.jar seem
> like the problematic ones.

Eclipse is in no way dependent on the m4 macros used to build Kaffe,
and clearly does not require the KJC support provided by kjc.jar.
Even if the "Kaffe GPL means you cannot run Eclipse on it" argument
has any merit, I do not see how those could be a problem.

Michael Poole

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