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From Sven de Marothy <s...@physto.se>
Subject Some questions on the proposal
Date Sun, 08 May 2005 23:03:42 GMT
Hello all, 
I've contributed a line or two of code to Classpath, and so obviously
I'm pretty interested in seeing a free implementation of Java, and I'm
all for cooperation.

But, I'm going to nasty and critical now and take a 'devil's advocate'
view here, just to get things clear for myself..

The "motivation" in the proposal lists Classpath, Kaffe, GCJ, etc and
states: 

"All of these efforts provide a diversity of solutions, which is
healthy, but barriers exist which prevent these efforts from reaching a
greater potential."

Could you give some examples of barriers? In my experience our #1
problem is that the implementation of the class libraries is incomplete.
All these projects use the GNU Classpath set of class libraries, in
harmony with the Classpath license (GPL+exception). 

How does starting a new project under a different and incompatible
license (Goal #1 in the proposal) help?

Goal 2 in the proposal is to "create a community-developed modular
runtime (VM and class library) architecture to allow independent
implementations to share runtime components, and allow independent
innovation in runtime components".

GNU Classpath already has a stable and documented VM interface and is
already being used by a number of independent runtimes of radically
different types. I think there already is lots of independent
innovation.

So much for points a) and d). Then there's b):
"a test suite for interoperability testing of the modules"

Classpath already has testsuites; Mauve and Jacks.

As for the IP issues raised; Classpath is clean-room. 

So, in summary I'm wondering:
1) The proposal is proposing to do essentially the same work we've done,
only under the Apache v2 license. How is this supposed to solve our
problems? Because Apache can do everything better? ;-)

2) If not, and Harmony is to make use of Classpath, what's in it for
Classpath? The "Apache stamp of approval"? More developers? Something
like 15 different VMs are already using GNU Classpath, is yours going to
make such a big difference?

3) What, exactly is wrong about the GNU Classpath license? The proposal
and several posts on this list don't seem to specifiy more than "Not
Invented Here". GNU Classpath is being used by projects licensed under
the GPL, LGPL, CPL the Intel Open Source License, etc. 

So what's so special about Harmony that it needs a ASL class library? 
Geir, you do know Janteloven, don't you? ;-)
(Reference for non-scandinavians:
http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq26.html )


Ok, and before someone flames me, again, that was all conciously
provocative. I am not trying to sow any dischord here or be nasty to the
ASF. I'm all for cooperation, I'm just trying to figure out where people
stand.

/Sven


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