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From Neil C Smith <>
Subject Re: Optional modules with GPL dependencies (was: What to include/exclude in code donation to Apache)
Date Sat, 05 Nov 2016 13:47:36 GMT
Hi All,

Finally joined up to this mailing list, so may be missing a lot of
context on this, but this concerns what was probably my first question
back to Geertjan when he asked if I'd be included in the initial
announcement ..

On 5 November 2016 at 05:52, Niclas Hedhman <> wrote:
> Ideally, I think ASF as a whole would like to see a solution where there is
> no dependency on such a component, and that a "regular OpenJDK system
> requirement" existed instead.

This has to be the goal in my opinion, if not the immediate outcome.
My platform application uses both the Java cluster and (another)
forked javac as part of its runtime - I've done more looking at the
relationships here than I'd like!  I don't think it's possible to
truly separate out the licensing and technical details.  The Java
cluster depends on internal aspects of javac (or a fork of it), in
turn depending on internal features of the JRE.  That might all get
more fun with Java 9.  Having the regular OpenJDK tooling support what
this project requires surely benefits all projects building similar

> Netbeans community need an unambiguous answer from VP Legal Affairs, whether the
> "java" cluster at Apache Netbeans, that will end up depending on nb-javac,
> is exempt from required to be released as GPL. I am pretty sure a lawyer's
> input is needed on this.

I'd be surprised if that proved to be the case, because surely that
would demolish the CPE?  However, I share your concerns about this
being somewhat annoying - in fact, probably more than somewhat!
Apologies if this is covering old ground (I need to read through the
archives!), but -

* what actually is the plan for developing / maintaining nb-javac as a
"separate" project, and ensuring it keeps track of the potentially
shifting landscape of internal APIs?
* in what way is nb-javac actually forked? and what stops those
changes being adopted upstream to be (semi)official API in javac
* has the option of dual-licensing javac and other tools been
considered by Oracle? Extreme long shot I realise, but it's really not
unprecedented, and potentially highly beneficial, for tooling to be
more liberally licensed!

> If it is not exempt from the GPL virality,

Any chance without weasel words?! ;-)

Best wishes,


Neil C Smith
Artist & Technologist

Praxis LIVE - hybrid visual IDE for creative coding -

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