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

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at mud.cgl.uwaterloo.ca
Tue Feb 9 19:08:24 PST 1999

Tim Wilkinson wrote:
> We use the GPL because we believe in free software - we don't believe in
> writing software for other people to put in commerical products without making
> that software free too - and that includes Transvirtual (we don't use any
> public code in the custom version unless we get explit permission, and then
> we've happy to pay for it too).

I think this confirms from the source that the GPL choice for Kaffe is
deliberate, to stave off some competitor coming into Transvirtual's
market with a competing VM. Which is fine; Kaffe is cool, Transvirtual
is being generous enough to provide support for it at all.

> Nor do we ask authors to give up their copyright on their code - it they want
> to sell their work under an alternate license that find by us.  We do ask
> people to declare their "cleanliness" however.

Now, this is not quite true. The authors can only sell their code if
they don't distribute Kaffe with it.

> The trouble with shifting Kaffe to the Classpath libraries would be that,
> appart from throwing away all the good code people have written and are
> writing, you'd loose Transvirtual's ability to contribute to the project.  We
> work on our libraries for our customers and release that code under the GPL as
> well - we can't work on classpath libraries because we can't use that code in
> our products.

This doesn't seem right. Classpath is LGPL and therefore *can* be used
in your products. So you *can* work on it, and still sell your versions
of it. The LGPL only requires you to release your version of the
Classpath library as an LGPL library, but you say you're doing that
already when you say "We work on our libraries for our customers and
release that code under the GPL". Unless you want to hold the code back
from GPL release while already selling it, there's no reason you
couldn't do the same with the Classpath library. For that matter, you
could take the existing Kaffe library and LGPL it ... but that would
bring you back to the issue that you don't "believe in writing software
for other people to put in commercial products". In other words, your
stated intent is that Transvirtual release under GPL because GPL is a
good thing(tm), and Transvirtual not use Classpath because LGPL would
allow your work to be sold by someone else.

That seems like a perfectly reasonable position to me. If it happens
that I need a class library for a commercial product, it can't be


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