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From Sven de Marothy <s...@physto.se>
Subject Re: Some questions on the proposal
Date Mon, 09 May 2005 13:02:59 GMT
On Mon, 2005-05-09 at 06:47 -0400, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:

> I think the biggest barriers are various licensing issues, the fact  
> that there isn't a "full stack project", and completeness.

Well, the general issues of FSF vs ASF licensing if of course a concern
to everybody. But with that said, I don't think the current Classpath
license is an issue. As I said, there are VMs of all kinds using GNU
Classpath. Even proprietary ones.

The lack of a 'full stack project' isn't really a concern of mine. It's
a software-bundling issue, not a programming one. But it's worth
pointing out that GCJ *does* intend to have a full Java stack. 
Compiler (native and bytecode), VM, jar utility, javadoc, etc.

> We're starting a project to do a full tested, compatible  
> implementation of J2SE (which will need a class library).  I don't  
> know of any projects out there that are doing that.  Yes, we *write*  
> software and license it with the Apache License, but we always like  
> to *use* software from elsewhere that is under acceptable licenses  
> because - well - we're lazy.

Well, none of the other free JVMs out there intend to be incompatible.
As Mark pointed out, Dalibor/Kaffe is in the process of trying to work
something out regarding the TCK. I guess it depends on what you mean by
complete and tested.

> We're going to need a class library to include with our full  
> implementation, just like we'll need a VM.  So far, no decisions have  
> been made on what to use and from where.

That's not quite the impression the proposal text gives though. And by
reading the list here, there seems to be very differing views on what
the actual goal is here. What is the goal? Or is that for the community
to decide as well? You do have to start somewhere. 

If the goal is to create a J2SE 5 clone under an Apache-or-compatible
license; that does not seem to me to be sufficiently different from what
we're doing to justify duplicating effort. Notable people are already
(http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel/archive/2005/May-07.html) talking
about a 'fork'. 

Or is the goal to have a VM with a modular design? The proposal is
strangely specific about VM design while being very vauge about the
whole surrounding motive, cause and strategy.

Or is the goal to have everything under an Apache v2 license, with no
compromises? 
(Stefano said that there is no intention to be incompatible, wheras
Mladen said that the primary intention is to be ASL v2.)

> Remember, the goal is to create J2SE 5.  That isn't GNU Classpath's  
> goal (nor Kaffe's, GCJs, etc...)

Then I'm confused. I've implemented J2SE 5-specific methods in
Classpath. I have no idea why I did that then.

Seriously, though. Do you mean passing the TCK? Kaffe is planning on
that. Having the full stack? GCJ wants that. Both? 

> I don't understand the question. What does GNU Classpath want in  
> exchange for being used?  Nothing, I hope.

No, nothing except that the license be respected. But I was referring to
the eventuality of changing the Classpath license for Apache. Its easy
to ask for us to change our license, because we can and have done so
before. I'm just surprized that people are already talking about it at
this stage. 

> There is no "Apache stamp of approval".  Apache makes no technical  
> decisions.  Everything like that (modulo legal risk) is pushed down  
> to the communities doing the work - the people that make the  
> decisions are those working in the projects.  *We* (you, me, everyone  
> else) make the technical decisions.

Okay. Thing is, I'm not part of the community here. I'm part of the GNU
Classpath community. If you guys decide to use GNU Classpath, you can be
part of that community too. But that's for the Apache members to decide,
and not me. I'm just trying to ensure that a well-informed decision will
be made.

> It doesn't necessarily need a class library under the Apache License  
> - just use a class library under a license that complies with our use  
> and distribution requirements.

Is this agreed upon then? You'd have saved some of us some hair-pulling
if the Proposal had said that. There is a huge difference between a
class library under an Apache-compatible license and a class library
under the Apache License. The proposal says the latter. 

> It's clear we're all not going to see eye-to-eye on license  
> philosophy.  I'm hoping that we can find ways to work together where  
> those differences don't get in the way of doing something productive.

Classpath is a GNU project, but it is NOT under the GPL. It's GPL
+exception, which is a far more liberal license than the GPL, or LGPL
even. I suggest everyone here read the actual GPL+exception license and
understand that the differences are a lot smaller than they probably
thought. 

/Sven


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