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From Stephen Connolly <stephen.alan.conno...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Creating compiler stubs
Date Thu, 20 Feb 2014 09:36:08 GMT
On 20 February 2014 08:39, Jochen Wiedmann <jochen.wiedmann@gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> my employer, Software AG, is (as the name indicates), a german software
> vendor. In the past, I have started one or two very minor open source
> projects, which are related to the stuff I am working with. These projects
> haven't been very successful, mostly due to the following problem:
> - To compile the software (and build the project), access to the installed
> product (more precisely: some so-called jar files) is required.
> - These jar files are containing a signature, thus describing an API,
> roughly comparable to C header files (as known from the SCO/Linux, or
> Oracle/Android lawsuits). Unlike C header files, jar files usually carry
> more than the signature, thus are clearly copyrightable.)
> My idea would be to initiate a project, that could create (and perhaps
> distribute via the Maven repository) stub jar files: The idea being that
> these stub files are standard jar files with the same signature than the
> originals, but no implementation.

>From a technical point of view, please do NOT do this.

The Glassfish team at Sun did this very thing in producing a stub
javaee.jar. Because it was a stub you could compile against it. But you
could not run tests against it in any way shape or form. Worse still, you
couldn't even unit test the bits of your code that did not call through to
javaee APIs because the classloading would barf out.

What you could probably do is produce dummy implementations rather than
stripping implementations... so all methods would return null or otherwise
be a no-op... though you'd want to check for @NonNull annotations and
return stub classes so that tooling such as findbugs can give meaningful
analysis... it starts getting very tricky really fast.

> My question is: How's that from the legal view? Could such a project live
> within the ASF?
> Thanks in advance,
> Jochen
> --
> "That's what prayers are ... it's frightened people trying to make friends
> with the bully!"
> Terry Pratchett. The Last Hero

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