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

Godmar Back gback at cs.utah.edu
Tue Feb 9 23:58:49 PST 1999

> Moses DeJong wrote:
> [snip]
> > "linking" terminology in the GPL. I am facing this situation right
> > now as I am currently working on a replacement for the
> > sun.tools.jar.Main program that I would like see added to both the
> > Kaffe and Classpath projects.
> You're safe. Contribute it to the Classpath project, then import it into
> Kaffe. The LGPL that it is under as part of Classpath allows you to
> convert it to GPL when you bring it under the Kaffe umbrella. Don't
> contribute it the other way around - the licensing does not allow you to
> convert GPL to LGPL.

No.  If Moses writes and owns the code, he can release it under as many
licenses as he wants.  He can release it to classpath under the LGPL,
to Kaffe under the GPL (let's assume GPL for the sake of argument),
to Mongolia under the mongolic license and he can even sell it to his dog
as proprietary dogware.
That much I know for sure;   The act of releasing a piece of software
to which you hold the copyright does not affect your rights in any way.

What may affect your rights (slightly) is if you contribute it to classpath 
first is the copyright assignment, as you point out below, because the 
copyright assignment form the FSF requires you to sign has this clause:

   Upon thirty days' prior written notice, the Foundation agrees to grant me
   non-exclusive rights to use the Program as I see fit; (and the Foundation's
   rights shall otherwise continue unchanged).

No such restrictions exists when you contribute to kaffe, because as 
Tim pointed out Kaffe does not require copyright assignments.

So you better contribute to Kaffe first, then you can sign your 
copyright away ;-)

> Of course to give it to the Classpath people you have to assign the
> copyright to the FSF so that they can sue you or anyone else if they
> don't follow the license. You also have to meet Classpath's rather
> stringent requirements for being a "clean" contributor, which might be
> hard since you know the classname you are replacing (sun.tools.jar.Main)
> which you are unlikely to have discovered without either licensing code
> from Sun or violating their license, or reading material by someone who
> has done one or both of those. Check it out with the Classpath people.

I do not think that kaffe's cleanroom requirements are less stringent
than classpath's.  I don't think knowing sun.tools.jar means anything.

In fact, I go to Sun's webpage and type "sun.tools.jar" in their
search field and get this hit: (*)
Right there is says:
sun.tools.jar : all classes and methods in this package  
		Undocumented internal package  

You must not look at Sun's code when working on Kaffe/classpath, but you 
don't have to leave this planet.  

	- Godmar

(*) I do realize that you were talking about sun.tools.jar.Main rather
than sun.tools.jar -- this may matter some, but I think not much.
I remember a talk given by a lawyer for a small company that won a
lawsuit in the tens of millions of dollars against Microsoft.
He explained how they lectured a jury of housewives about the intricacies
of compressed filesystems in I forgot what version of MS-DOS.

They put the expert testimony, which they limited to one hour, in the 
afternoon when they assumed the jury was half asleep: there is little chance
that anybody would make it his strategy to argue the difference between 
sun.tools.jar and sun.tools.jar.Main in court, judging from what this
lawyer had to say.

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