Introduction, new maintainer for kaffe

Jim Pick jim at
Tue Mar 12 15:17:35 PST 2002


I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Jim Pick.

I have volunteered to take over the reigns of the kaffe project from
it's original author, Tim Wilkinson.

I've been following Kaffe's progress since about the time I first got
involved in Free Software (around 1996).  In the past, I've been an
active Debian maintainer, and I also ran,,
and for a while, amongst other things.

I know Tim quite well, as I moved down to Berkeley, California (from
Canada) to work with him and Peter Mehlitz at Transvirtual about two
years ago.  Tim is currently involved in the process of starting a new
company, having left Transvirtual at the end of November last year.  I
still work at Transvirtual though, and I'm still good friends with Tim
(we usually meet for coffee in the mornings).  It was during one of
those morning coffees that I asked Tim what was happening with, and whether or not he was planning to do any more work on

As I suspected, he stated that he really doesn't have time to do
anymore work on it (especially since he no longer works at
Transvirtual).  He stated that he'd be happy if I took it over.  I
also checked with the new CEO of Transvirtual, Chris Herron, and Peter
Mehlitz if it was OK with them if I did some work to try to get the project moving again, and they thought it was a good idea
and were very supportive.

I've announced my intentions to the core team, and they all seemed OK
with the idea -- I asked if anybody else wanted the job, but there
were no takers.  So I guess I've got the go ahead to do this.  :-)

I've also taken over development of Transvirtual's internal, proprietary
version of Kaffe (now called KaffePro), so I'm in the situation where I can
spend a lot of time thinking about JVM implementations.  :-)

Anyways, here's what I'm planning to do:

1) Setup a new machine and website for, so everything can be
   centralized on one site.

   Transvirtual has donated a machine and rackspace for it, and I've
   already set it up.  I have moved the DNS and the ftp site onto it.
   The current website is looking pretty old and out-of-date, so I'm
   going to replace it with something simpler.

   I'm hoping I can get the CVS archive from Ean at Brainfood so I can
   set it up on the new machine.  Also, down the road, it would be
   nice to migrate the mailing list to the new machine so Daniel
   Veillard doesn't have to maintain it.

   I thought about using SourceForge, but I decided against it.

2) Make a new release as soon as possible.

   Version 1.0.6 came out in July, 2000, and there hasn't been a
   release since (although there has been CVS activity).  I'd like to
   do a minimal amount of testing, and see if we can get it out,
   perhaps as early as next week.

3) Clarify the relationship between Transvirtual and

   I would like to see be a very open project, which
   incorporates code from, and interoperates with all the other free
   virtual machine projects out there.  I see as being an
   independent project that isn't controlled by Transvirtual.

   Transvirtual is willing to donate time and code to the project to
   make it successful.  On the other hand, it would be best if
   everybody was comfortable with the fact that my employer is
   actively developing a proprietary version of Kaffe, called
   KaffePro, which is designed to address the needs of the commercial
   market for clean room Java virtual machine implementations.

   As a commercial software company built on the concept of developing
   Intellectual Property, Transvirtual needs to be selective about
   what it does and does not contribute to the project.  You can
   expect that Transvirtual won't hold back bug fixes from the free
   version, and will not prevent others from contributing to the

   Transvirtual, as a company, was founded with Kaffe as it's primary
   product, so you can expect to see Transvirtual continue to use,
   maintain and protect the Kaffe trademark for it's own purposes.  It
   is important to Transvirtual that is successful, but also
   that it is clear that's VM implementation is separate
   from Transvirtual's KaffePro product, even though they share a
   common heritage.

   (whew, glad that's over, I'm starting to sound like a lawyer)

4) Start active development on a new major release of kaffe.

   I've got a lot of ideas for what should be done with it.  But I'll
   discuss those separately because I'd like to see some contributions
   and some debate.  :-)

Anyways, this email has been long enough.  I'm looking forward to
working on kaffe and - it should be fun!


 - Jim

p.s.  If you are reading this email, and you are planning to be in
      San Francisco for JavaOne this year, drop me a line and we'll
      arrange to go out for beers.  :-)

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