[Java-gnome-developer] Re: [kaffe] Java-Gnome: jni or cni

Chris Gray chris at kiffer.eunet.be
Fri Mar 12 16:35:12 PST 2004

On Friday 12 March 2004 01:23, Per Bothner wrote:
> Chris Gray wrote:
> > On Thursday 11 March 2004 18:44, Mark Howard wrote:
> >>The big question is: should we switch to CNI?
> >
> > No.
> Though I'm obviously in the CNI "camp", I tend to agree.
> But I think the folloup-question is: should java-gnome
> switch from JNI-only implementation to some kind of dual
> JNI-or-CNI mechanism.  I.e. explore ways to reduce the
> overhead of JNI when CNI is avaliable.  I suggested one
> approach in my previous email (which may be waiting for
> moderator approval on the kaffe and java-gnome lists).

A JNI-or-CNI approach such as you outlined would be fine.

The choice for java-Gnome should be independent of the choice of VM.  If you 
can meet a client's needs using java-Gnome and a free VM, go for it.  But 
when shit happens, and some system component you never even knew existed 
turns out to need some JDK 1.5 functionality which Classpath doesn't have, 
you should be able to switch VMs without having to throw away the whole GUI 
that's been developed.  Explaining to the customer that the free 
implementation needs time to catch up on functionality that's only recently 
been defined is one thing; explaining that your "Java" GUI bindings don't run 
on standard Java is quite another.

In a more optimistic scenario, if Gnome is ported to a platform but there is 
no CNI-based VM for that platform yet, it should be possible for java-Gnome 
apps to run on that platform immediately.

In general I believe it should be possible to mix free and non-free software; 
if the solution ends up being 100% free then so much the better, but if you 
try to force that from the start you may end up with 0%.  This appears also 
to be the Classpath philosophy (otherwise the licence would be straight GPL).


Chris Gray                                  chris at kiffer.eunet.be             
            +32 477 599 703

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