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

Godmar Back gback at cs.utah.edu
Tue Feb 9 23:27:04 PST 1999

Moses wrote:
> 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. 
> </SNIP>

When Kaffe is linked with the OSKit (www.cs.utah.edu/projects/flux/oskit),
it *is* the operating system kernel.

Similarly, a Java run-time environment, including class libraries, could 
easily be considered a major component.  Didn't M$ just fabricate a
video tape to demonstrate that even a web browser that crashes every 
30 minutes is an essential component of an operating system?

Alex wrote:
> But, let's say I'm writing my own VM. Now, I need an implementation of
> java.* for my VM, and perhaps I don't want to write one. My choices are:
> a) take Kaffe's, modify to suit my VM,
> b) take Classpath, modify to suit my VM,
> c) license from some other source.
> In (a) I would think that my VM had better be GPL; it clearly (to my
> mind) "contains" the Kaffe libraries. 
> In (b), no worries. I ship what I like, when I like, with the license I
> like. The only catch is that mods to the Classpath libs will probably
> need to be LGPL; most likely not a problem.

I can see the theoretical value of this example; but I disagree with
the last sentence.  These issues are sufficiently fuzzy that nobody would
say "not a problem" because classpath puts an L before GPL.
In practice, to my (limited) knowledge, the actual experience of players 
in this market has been that few serious people will even touch any code
that has licenses that even remotely sound like they have anything to 
do with GPL, L it or not.

	- Godmar

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