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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [Proposal] reconsidering external libraries management
Date Tue, 24 Dec 2002 13:22:11 GMT
Sylvain Wallez wrote:
> John Morrison wrote:
>> Sylvain Wallez wrote:
>>> So I propose that we _remove all the conditional compilation stuff_ 
>>> and write mock classes where needed to ensure that _all_ source files 
>>> are always compiled.
>>> Thoughts ?
>> +1 in general, my only missgivings are legal - where do we stand
>> creating 'mock' objects of somebody elses code that (I don't know
>> if this is a possibility) might be GPL (or other restricted licensing
>> agreement)?
> IANAL, but the mock classes are created without referring to the real 
> classes. They just contain the declarations of methods actually used by 
> our code, and are made abstract as far as possible.
> Only thoses classes that are instanciated by our code need to be 
> concrete class, and the methods body is then just a "throw new 
> UnsupportedOperationException("this is a mock object);"
> So it can be considered as a clean room reimplementation of a subset of 
> the class public interface.
> Any lawyer out there ?

IANAL neither, but the ASF has a pretty strict internal practice to 
*not* to distribute any GPL code whatsoever in whatever form to 
explicitly avoid legal issues.

In fact, nobody can even agree on whether calling a GPL java library 
using reflections and keeping method names in a configuration file can 
be called 'binding' or not. And this is also true for an LGPL library.

I'm sure the FSF would say yes and the library user would say no. But 
when RMS comes after you, that's where the fun stops.

In short, moch objects don't change the picture: the ASF doesn't 
distribute *GPL java code nor connects to it. (luckily for us, there is 
not much GPL java code out there... and it's easy to convince them to 
dual-license if we really want to use it because the ASF is a much 
bigger than than the FSF on java world)

Stefano Mazzocchi                               <>

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