Introduction, new maintainer for kaffe
Tue, 12 Mar 2002 15:02:23 -0800
I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Jim Pick.
I have volunteered to take over the reigns of the kaffe project from
it's original author, Tim Wilkinson.
I've been following Kaffe's progress since about the time I first got
involved in free software (around 1996). In the past, I've been an
active Debian maintainer, and I also ran LinuxHQ.com, KernelNotes.org,
and Kernel.org for a while, amongst other things.
I know Tim quite well, as I moved to Berkeley, California (from
Canada) to work with him and Peter Mehlitz at Transvirtual about two
years ago. Tim is currently involved in the process of starting a new
company, having left Transvirtual at the end of November last year. I
still work at Transvirtual though, and I'm still good friends with Tim
(we usually meet for coffee in the mornings). It was during one of
those morning coffees that I asked Tim what was happening with
Kaffe.org, and whether or not he was planning to do any more work on
As I suspected, he stated that he really doesn't have time to do
anymore work on it (especially since he no longer works at
Transvirtual). He stated that he'd be happy if I took it over. I
also checked with the new CEO of Transvirtual, Chris Herron, and Peter
Mehlitz, if it was OK with them if I did some work to try to get the
Kaffe.org project moving again, and they thought it was a good idea
and were very supportive.
I've announced my intentions to the core team, and they all seemed OK
with the idea -- I asked if anybody else wanted the job, but there
were no takers. So I guess I've got the go ahead to do this. :-)
I've also taken over development of Transvirtual's internal,
proprietary version of Kaffe (now called KaffePro), so I'm in the
situation where I can spend a lot of time thinking about JVM
Anyways, here's what I'm planning to do:
1) Setup a new machine and website for kaffe.org, so everything can be
centralized on one site.
Transvirtual has donated a machine and rackspace for it, and I've
already set it up. I've already moved the DNS and the ftp site
onto it. The current website is looking pretty old and
out-of-date, so I'm going to replace it with something simpler.
I'm hoping I can get the CVS archive from Ean Schuessler at
Brainfood so I can set it up on the new machine. Also, down the
road, it would be nice to migrate the mailing list to the new
machine so Daniel Veillard doesn't have to maintain it.
I thought about using SourceForge, but I decided against it.
2) Make a new release as soon as possible.
Version 1.0.6 came out in July, 2000, and there hasn't been a
release since (although there has been CVS activity). I'd like to
do a minimal amount of testing, and see if we can get it out,
perhaps as early as next week.
3) Clarify the relationship between Transvirtual and Kaffe.org.
As a long-time kaffe-watcher, I would like to see Kaffe.org be a
very open project, which incorporates code from, and interoperates
with all the other free virtual machine projects out there. I
definitely see Kaffe.org as being an independent project that isn't
controlled by Transvirtual.
Transvirtual is willing to donate time and code to the project to
make it successful. On the other hand, it would be best if
everybody was comfortable with the fact that my employer is
actively developing a proprietary version of kaffe, called
KaffePro, which is designed to address the needs of the commercial
market for clean room Java virtual machine implementations.
As a commercial software company built on developing Intellectual
Property, Transvirtual needs to be selective about what it does
and does not contribute to the project. You can expect that
Transvirtual won't hold back bug fixes from the free version, and
will not prevent others from contributing to the project.
Transvirtual, as a company, was founded with Kaffe as it's primary
product, so you can expect to see Transvirtual continue to use,
maintain and protect the Kaffe trademark for it's own purposes.
It is important to Transvirtual that Kaffe.org is successful, but
also that it is clear to the public that Kaffe.org's JVM
implementation is separate from Transvirtual's KaffePro product,
even though they share a common heritage.
(whew, glad that's over, I'm afraid I was starting to sound like a
4) Start active development on a new major release of kaffe.
I've got a lot of ideas for what should be done with it. But I'll
discuss those separately because I'd like to see some contributions
and some debate. :-)
Anyways, this email has been long enough. I'm looking forward to
working on kaffe and Kaffe.org - it should be fun!
p.s. If you're reading this, and you're going to JavaOne this year in
San Francisco, let's get together for beers. :-)