[Kaffe] can the classpath project be used with Kaffe.

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at mud.cgl.uwaterloo.ca
Tue Feb 9 18:35:13 PST 1999

Godmar Back wrote:
> I wouldn't say that it is us who duplicates efforts.  One could as easily
> argue that it's the classpath project who duplicates effort --- especially
> since they've started several months after Tim announced that he was working
> with Transvirtual on a free version of the java class libraries.  But saying
> that is pointless.  Because of the history of the classpath project, they're
> targetting japhar first, and that's okay this way.

Unfortunately, the projects both do and do not duplicate effort. The
fact is that the GPL license is rather too restrictive for some people,
and one reason that Japhar/Classpath exist in competition to Kaffe is
the fact that Kaffe is GPL instead of LGPL. The effort can be considered
duplicate if the intent of Transvirtual is to release the source code to
their potential competitors. However, I am led to wonder if the license
choice is deliberate to avoid Kaffe becoming the base of a product that
competes with Transvirtual's own in-house product.

You've (GB) said:

  Which do you think matters more?
  Stallman's opinion on how other people should enforce their copyrights
  or the stated interpretation of the people who actually licensed the

But the sad fact is that neither Stallman's opinion nor the stated
interpretation of the people who actually licensed the code matters.
What matters is what is in the license, and the license clearly is more
restrictive than Transvirtual's stated interpretation is. The onus lies
with the copyright holders - transvirtual, or Tim, I'm not sure which -
to correct the license to agree with the "stated interpretation". The
stated interpretation just won't hold up in a US court (even though it
might in Canada or the UK!). 

In fairness, it should be said that the quote is from a post about
whether Kaffe can be used to run proprietary .class files. I think that
for an individual to do this is clearly permissible under the GPL
license. However, it seems to me that for a corporation to ship kaffe
bundled with their product as the only VM to run the product is a shaky
proposition with the current licensing. The VM does "link" .class files
into itself - it actually compiles and then links them if you have JIT -
and so I do not think that the commercial product can ship with Kaffe
bundled. However, the license is about distribution, not about end-use,
and I see no restriction on the end-user using it to run paid-for java
.class files.


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