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Re: Report from the Debian Java developers meeting at FOSDEM

W liście z wto, 02-03-2004, godz. 10:54, Stefan Gybas pisze: 
[... cutting out all things that I agree with ... ]
> - License conflicts with GPL'ed Java interpreters
>    Currently Kaffe 1.1.x is the best choice for running Java applications
>    in Debian. It is, however, licensed under the GPL so there's been some
>    discussion whether Java software which is licensed e.g. under the
>    Apache License (version 1.1 or 2.0) can be run with it. The opinion of
>    the Free Software Foundation can be found at
>    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfInterpreterIsGPL, however
>    some developers have a different point of view since Kaffe's core
>    classes are just another implementation of the standard Java API.
>    The long-term solution to this problem is probably the ongoing merge
>    with GNU classpath (http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/) which is
>    licensed under the GPL with a linking exception. In a couple of

Unless I am seriously missing something, this won't change much if
anything, as the Kaffe JVM engine itself still remains under GPL.

If we want to think about free java not for "home-only" use, but so
that free JVM could be distributed with variety of software
(GPL-incompatible including, like Apache, Eclipse...) I'd argue that
GPLed JVM is not any vital choice. From any company POV it's just too
dangerous to give some venture capitalists in .jp a gun to sue for
breaking the GPL (and some of us wouldn't do it for moral reasons too).


> We also need to get/keep the free JVMs working on all architectures so 
> they move to testing. This is the part where we currently need most help 
> so if porters have a couple of minutes (or should I say hours?) please 
> help us. Just send a mail to the debian-java mailing list.
It might be just me, but I sense Kaffe-centrism here ;-)

Let's put it another way. In SableVM you get ports for free. I take care
of this, fully. SableVM works on all Debian architectures where libffi
is available [*] (and some non-Debian arches too).

What is needed is some help to make sure SableVM works with the program
of your choice on a platform of your choice. SableVM 1.1.0 is out,
packages are in unstable - perfect conditions to start helping.

We all want to make free java usable and robust. But given that there's
commerically-free Suns Java, we won't get far with not truly freely
usable Java. That's why GNU Classpath is under GPL _with exception_, no?

Let me cite RMS from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-not-lgpl.html

"Using the ordinary GPL is not advantageous for every library. There
 are reasons that can make it better to use the Library GPL in certain
 cases. The most common case is when a free library's features are
 readily available for proprietary software through other alternative
 libraries. In that case, the library cannot give free software any
 particular advantage, so it is better to use the Library GPL for that

Thank you for your attention,

				Grzegorz B. Prokopski

[*] With the exception of ARM, but it's on my immediate TODO list and
shouldn't take too long - arithmetic corner cases handling has to be
fixed for this CPU, which doesn't handle/detect them at all.

PS: As Jim Pick explained at FOSDEM - Kaffe has been GPLed exactly
for this purpose: to prevent its usage with GPL-incompatible software.
I don't think anything changed in GPL interpretation since then.

Grzegorz B. Prokopski <gadek@debian.org>
Debian GNU/Linux      http://www.debian.org
SableVM - LGPLed JVM  http://www.sablevm.org
Why SableVM ?!?       http://devel.sablevm.org/wiki/WhySableVM

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