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Re: Java License

João Pinheiro wrote:
> I'm currently working on a Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux LiveCD Distribution
> to be used by the students at my university. The goal of this distro is
> to provide students with a development environment featuring everything
> they might need to use for all of their subjects throughout the entire
> semester. This would obviously require me to bundle Sun's JDK along with
> the distro.

I would seriously question the "obviously" there.  Perhaps a technical
solution might serve better than a legal one here.

Are these computer science students needing to write Java code, or is
there some Java application that your university wants students to use?

In the former case, almost any Java software that a student might need
to write is highly likely to work on most of the Free JDKs available in
Debian; try gcj, gij, sablevm, kaffe, or jamvm.  If they are
specifically learning the Java language (and not just using it for a
standard CS class), then try the Jikes compiler, as it will quote
chapter and verse of the Java specification to explain compiler errors.
 Even Swing code is relatively likely to work nowadays.  Ant is
available for building Java software, and many Java libraries and
applications are packaged in main.

In the latter case, you should still try using the various Free JDKs;
they work well for a large range of Java software.  If you have trouble
getting a particular application to work, you might try working with the
developers to add and/or fix the functionality that application needs.
If that doesn't work, you could also look into Free replacements for the
software itself.

- Josh Triplett

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