[kaffe] Build system for kjc / external jars + Jetty/JSP success

Jim Pick jim at kaffe.org
Thu Jun 26 09:02:01 PDT 2003

On Thu, 2003-06-26 at 08:16, Rob Gonzalez wrote:

> I did some googling about the licensing issues, and it does seem that if
> we ship kaffe with a copy of Ant then we would not be included in
> debian-free anymore...the Apache license is not GPL-compatible.  We can
> clearly use Ant all we want for developing, we just can't ship a copy with
> our software and remain on debian-free.

That's silly.

I agree that the Apache license is not GPL-compatible.

To me, that means that we can't link Apache stuff directly into our
class libraries, or into the VM itself.

I wasn't talking about doing that.

What I was talking about was bundling some applications that run "on
top" of the VM, to simplify some build-time dependencies.  By doing
this, our users benefit, as they don't have to scurry around looking for
bits all over the net and applying patches.  This is bundling /
distribution issue.  I think there's a clear distinction between
bundling packages that run on top of the VM, and linking them in.

Actually, distributing some non-GPL compatible apps along with the VM
sources is not a bad way to help people understand how we interpret the
licensing issues.  I don't believe that the GPL, when used as a license
on a virtual machine, is so "super viral" that it contaminates
applications run on top of the machine, or bundled alongside it. 
Granted, it's a matter of interpretation, but I've had discussions with
a number of free software "luminaries" that basically agree with that

There are limits on how much the GPL infects other software - it doesn't
cross all boundaries.  The FSF will tell you so.  The only people who
will tell you that the GPL infects absolutely everything it comes in
contact with is Microsoft, as part of their FUD campaign.

Debian will understand.  They are in the bundling / distribution
business as well.  If they want to belabour the point that the GPL
somehow infects software with a clearly labelled non-GPL-compatible
license just simply because it's in the same tarball, they're going to
have a tough time defending whether or not it's legal to ship GPL and
non-GPL Debian packages inside the same ISO image - which is
fundamentally what they do.

As far as I know, in the computer science literature, a "virtual
machine" interface is the strongest terminology used in software
architecture documentation to separate between different layers in a
system.  It is commonly used to differentiate even hardware/software
boundaries.  Eg. the x86 instruction set can be called a "virtual
machine".  I think we're on good ground here.


 - Jim

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