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From Mark Wielaard <m...@klomp.org>
Subject Re: GNU Classpath 0.16 "Harmony!" released
Date Tue, 05 Jul 2005 10:39:29 GMT
On Fri, 2005-07-01 at 18:40 +0200, Mladen Turk wrote:
> Garrett Rooney wrote:
> >> Anything else is just another GNU release.
> > I fail to see how comments like this are helpful to anyone.
> It's not a hostile, not at all, but the GNU guys after all those
> months flerting with Harmony didn't give any firm licence
> standpoint. So AFAICT, the Harmony is GNU licenced.
> So, any GNU classpath is *GNU* classpath and has nothing to do
> with Harmony, unleass harmony leaves the ASF and joins GNU.
> Nothing hostile in that.

Right. I see you are eager to get to work and just solve things. That is
good. And that is really what the GNU Classpath hackers also want. That
is why we are working so hard on the new releases, because we want to
see them adopted. And we want to hear from the larger harmony community
what is important for them, what works, what doesn't work, etc.

We have been working on GNU Classpath for a decade and our harmony
cooperation is really just only going on for a couple of weeks. Things
do take time. One of the things that take time is building up trust. We
would like to see the FSF and ASF, GNU and Apache projects work more
closely together. But comments like yours don't give the impression that
is really what everybody wants. Lets see if I can show you the thinking
"on our side" to get us closer to each other.

> the valuable news would be:
> GNU Classpath 0.16 "Harmony!" released under ASF licence!

So, why didn't we do that?
GNU Classpath is the base for a lot of projects released under the GPL
that integrate the core libraries (gcj, kaffe, kissme, jamvm, etc.). And
the ASF license isn't GPL compatible. So that adopting it is not
practical. Also we value copyleft (even if it is a very weak compromise
for GNU Classpath) and we would like to use a license that is similar to
the one used for the other runtime libraries of the GNU Compiler
Collection (GNU Classpath is the base of libgcj, which is part of GCC).
Using the ASL means the license is completely different and we fear that
is confusing. And although the ASL has some patent-retaliation triggers,
that we actually like, it doesn't have any copyleft features. So we have
to make another compromise.

We are working on a couple of 'legal' issues.
First we will publish a reworded clarified GPL+exception text to show
the compromises we are willing to make for GNU Classpath. There have
been complaints that the current wording is unclear. So we will solve
that. (This is waiting for one final OK, so I hope this will happen this
week.) Second we are working with some FSF/ASF people on solving the
bigger issues, not directly related to GNU Classpath. For GNU Classpath
and the Harmony project we can change the licenses to get more
collaboration with other groups. But for the larger body of code under
the ASL and (L)GPL we cannot do that. And we would love to mix-and-match
code from different code bases Apache and GNU into larger works based on
a combination of both. So we now have a clarified description and
explanation of the LGPL obligations from the FSF that hopefully makes it
finally possible to use LGPL code bases in Apache projects. This is
still waiting for confirmation from the Apache board though. And we are
working on a way to word the patent-retaliation clause in the Apache
license to make it compatible with the GPL. It is clear what the wording
should be, but it isn't clear whether that will be possible. And lastly
there are some discussions on GPLv3 and compatibility with other free
software licenses. This last item is long term though, and might not be
that interesting for Harmony if we are thinking weeks/months, not years.

All these discussion do take time. And clearly on all sides people are a
bit nervous about going all the way and fully embrace the "other side".
And most hackers actually like working on code and leave "politics" to
"others". (Whoever those others are.) But I hope that when we hackers
show that we really want all these issues cleared and that we really
want to have Harmony, that the various "software foundation boards" will
have to come to an agreement.

So please check out the code we have. And see what you like. If you
haven't seen it look at these Eclipse and JOnAS packages for Fedora and
notice how many Apache stuff is already in there!

I'll try to be a bit more active on this list to show that we GNU
Classpath hackers do want to join the fun. But I must admit that I am
more a hacker that just wants to hack on code and produce cool new GNU
Classpath releases to get more free software working then a talker and
politician. Please don't interpret any silence from my side as
disinterest. I might just be coding to get harmony done faster :)



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