Donating code to Kaffe

Aaron M. Renn arenn at
Fri Jan 8 20:17:26 PST 1999

>  Which do you think matters more?
> Stallman's opinion on how other people should enforce their copyrights
> or the stated interpretation of the people who actually licensed the code?

Ok, let me just make an attempt to put this to rest.  I think there is
universal agreement that:

Kaffe == free/open source == good
Japhar == free/open source == good
Classpath == free/open source == good
etc, etc.

We've all got our reasons for doing what we do.  We don't all agree with the
rationale behind everyone's decisions.  But I think we do agree that we are
all working on a whole bunch of free code that will hopefully make both the
Java and free software community better off.  Discussing licensing is (if my
experience on Usenet is any judge) like throwing gasoline on a fire. 
Everyone has an opinion they are fairly dedicated to.  I think we should
simply agree to disagree in this area and let it alone.

For those on the Kaffe list, the Classpath project started to provide a set
of free Java libraries for the Japhar JVM.  At the time, there were no free
class libraries for Java that we were aware of.  After we had started, Kaffe
1.0 was released with its initial class library.  At this point we discussed
whether we should continue our project, or simply utilize the Kaffe
libraries.  We decided to continue.  One (but only one, and not the major)
reason for doing so was that Kaffe had a GPL license on its libraries while
Japhar was LGPL'd.  The Japhar developers had recently switched from a GPL
license to an LGPL license.  It seemed best to us that an LGPL'd JVM should
have an LGPL'd library.  Let me repeat though, that licensing was and is not
a large motivating factor for us.

At this point, we are fully focused on providing a library for Japhar, not
on competing with Kaffe.  In fact, since the announcement of Kaffe 1.0, we
have very rarely even thought about Kaffe and what you guys are doing. 
(Though I want to start hacking around with Kaffe soon if I find the time
since we probably should be paying more attention to you :-).  Someone asked
on our mailing list what the purpose of our project was, and specifically
how we were related to/different from Kaffe.  There were a couple of
responses which contained some incorrect statements about Kaffe.  Tim (who
subscribes to our mailing list, I believe), corrected them.  Now we know

I for one wish the Kaffe project the best of luck and much future success.

BTW: For authoritative proclamations on why the Japhar team changed their
license, you will need to contact their developers directly.

Aaron M. Renn (arenn at

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