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From "Dennis E. Hamilton (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Created] (LEGAL-228) Optional Java Use for Essential Functionality
Date Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:00:06 GMT
Dennis E. Hamilton created LEGAL-228:
----------------------------------------

             Summary: Optional Java Use for Essential Functionality
                 Key: LEGAL-228
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-228
             Project: Legal Discuss
          Issue Type: Question
            Reporter: Dennis E. Hamilton


This may not be a legal question but a practice question.

At <http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#optional>, the use of an optional dependency
is explained with regard to the quality of the result when the option is not exercised.  Namely,


"[I]f the component is only needed for optional features, a project can provide the user with
instructions on how to obtain and install the non-included work. Optional means that the component
is not required for standard use of the product or for the product to achieve a desirable
level of quality. The question to ask yourself in this situation is:

"• 'Will the majority of users want to use my product without adding the optional components?'
"

In the specific case of Apache OpenOffice, the Java JRE is not distributed and it is not necessarily
found on the platform in the form that AOO requires to exercise its optional dependencies
on Java.  I don't know whether redistributing a JRE is inappropriate, although I would think
so. 

The key facet is that there are *essential* functionalities that are only available if a suitable
JRE is present.  Users only discover that essentiality by failures that arise when attempting
to exercise certain functions.

Granting that the usability and awareness of what requires a JRE could be handled better,
does this dependency in AOO fall under this provision of the legal FAQ?



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