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

Alexandre Oliva oliva at dcc.unicamp.br
Tue Feb 9 23:42:12 PST 1999

On Feb 10, 1999, Godmar Back <gback at cs.utah.edu> wrote:

>> The difference between GPL and LGPL is that, for an LGPLed library,
>> its license does not require programs linked with it to be L?GPLed,
>> while GPL does.

> But later he said:

>> > a) your java.beans/kaffe's java.io+lang
>> > b) your java.beans/classpath's java.io+lang.

>> > What you're saying is that you could keep your java.beans proprietary
>> > in scenario b), but not in a)?

>> Yes, as long as someone can show that you used a)

> So java.beans in a) would be a program that only uses classpath's 
> java.io+lang, while java.beans in b) would be linked against kaffe's 
> java.io+lang and hence subject to contamination?

If you swap a) and b), yes.

> But I assume that if you created a modified version java.io' of 
> classpath/kaffe's java.io, then there is no question that you would 
> have to distribute the source under the LGPL/GPL?

The modified java.io must be L?GPLed, but the status of java.beans
does not change.

>> > Both classpath and kaffe's libs can run proprietary Java
>> > applications without requiring their developers to release the
>> > source code.

>> It is possible to interpret the `linking' terms of the GPL in a sense
>> that disallows this.

> That's what I thought this discussion was about and that's why I seconded
> your request for a clarification.  However, I thought it was clear but 
> now it's not clear at all.  What is the boundary that code would have to
> leave in order to be not contaminated?

That's the problem with the version 2 of the GNU GPL, when applied to
Java code and Java VMs.  It does not properly cover dlopening, only
compiling and linking, assuming a C model, in which there are header
files and libraries (there are no distinctions for static or shared
libraries).  There was a big debate on GPLed plug-ins and programs
that support them in gnu.misc.discuss some time ago, and the outcome
was not clear.  That's why the FSF is going to publish the GNU GPL v3, 
to address these issues.

> What if your java.beans uses gnu.whatever, but it also relies on a
> java.io, which in turn relies on gnu.whatever.  Does that change the
> situation?

It doesn't make any difference: if gnu.whatever or java.io are GPLed,
your code must be GPLed too.  If both gnu.whatever and java.io are
LGPLed, your code can be released under whatever license you wish.

Alexandre Oliva  http://www.dcc.unicamp.br/~oliva  aoliva@{acm.org}
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brasil

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