[kaffe] Re: dotnet platform support / gnu config.sub (long)

Stephen Crawley crawley at dstc.edu.au
Thu Sep 25 11:02:46 PDT 2003

jim at kaffe.org said:
> Sun has a lot of lawyers, and they've been pretty aggressive than most
> about staking their claims on the linguistic turf (so they can sell it
> off).

That's a rather twisted interpretation of Sun's use of trademarks, IMO.
Another way of interpreting this is that Sun is trying to ensure
that third-party Java vendors don't destroy Java's reputation for
platform independence by shipping incompatible implementations.  This
is a good thing for everyone ... apart from unscrupulous vendors like

> Because they claim "Java Compatible"(tm) as a trademark, it makes it
> hard to use a normal noun+verb sentence to say that we're compatible
> with Java -- we are, by most dictionary definitions, but we're not
> "Java Compatible"(tm), under Trademark law.  Maybe we can say that
> we're interoperable?  :-) 

A dictionary definition of compatible is useless to users of our
software because it is too vague.  We cannot plausibly claim our
software to be "compatible in all respects" with Sun's Java.  So any
claim of compatibility must be qualified in some way to be meaningful.  

By trademarking "Java Compatible", and restricting its use to
implementations that pass the JCK tests, Sun is doing users of Java a
big favor.  It prevents shonky vendors from tricking end users with
misleading claims of Java compatibility.

IMO, the only point against Sun is their unwillingness to make the JCKs
available under conditions that don't exclude typical Open Source java

-- Steve

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