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

Moses DeJong dejong at cs.umn.edu
Tue Feb 9 23:04:19 PST 1999

On Tue, 9 Feb 1999, Godmar Back wrote:

>  The good thing about email is that there is a subject line:
> this way, people who have better things to do can just hit delete 
> when they discover a subject line that they're sick of.
> > On the other hand, can you say that your Java program has none of the
> > property that it "in whole or in part contains or is derived from the
> > Program"? What exactly is "containment" in the modern world of dloading
> > everything? The Java bytecode requires Kaffe to run; thus they are
> > contained in each other, are they not? I think this is a fine point of
> > law that would need to be argued in court. To make it truly foggy, what
> > if the bytecode uses classes that are only distributed as part of Kaffe,
> > or uses features that only the Kaffe VM implements? Then surely these
> > programs are "derived from the Program", since in no other way could one
> > conceive of writing them other than knowing Kaffe's interfaces?
> > 
> > In any case, I think I'm more inclined to your view, which is that
> > proprietary software could probably be shipped with Kaffe's VM to run
> > it. I agree that Transvirtual would have to sue to make it an issue.
> > However, I don't think the GPL is clear on this point. I could not
> > recommend to my employer that they use Kaffe as the VM that is shipped
> > with a commercial product, without the employer retaining legal counsel
> > to verify that the license was clean. I'm afraid that the lawyers are a
> > lot more anal than we are :-(
> > 

The GPL makes special exception for the Kernel and other OS parts.

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus
any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used
to control compilation and installation of the executable. However,
as a special exception, the source code distributed need not
include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or
binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on)
of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that
component itself accompanies the executable. 

Mo DeJong
dejong at cs.umn.edu
> Many commercial products already ship with Linux whose kernel is GPLed.
> I'm sure those companies checked with their lawyers.  The consensus seems 
> to be that Linux's GPL does not contaminate the apps running on top of 
> it; my contention is that running Java apps on top of Kaffe comprises 
> the same scenario.
> I do agree with what you and others pointed out, namely that the issue
> may be in need of clarification when you look at the way .class files,
> .jar files, JNI .so files and the VM itself work together.
> 	- Godmar

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