[kaffe] crazy existential question

Dalibor Topic robilad at kaffe.org
Thu Mar 9 21:49:31 PST 2006

On Wed, Mar 08, 2006 at 01:40:51PM +0100, Philippe Laporte wrote:
> Hi,
>     May I ask a crazy question: why does Kaffe still exist?

It is Free Software, and it works.

It works very well for its users, its fun to develop, and it's a good
GNU Classpath citizen, contributing back to the upstreams it takes code
from, and encouraging others to contribute. It acts as the staging area
for libraries and tools that eventually end up in GNU Classpath, the
'state-of-the-art' of integration, if you wish.

It's integrating other projects very well, and it integrates itself 
nicely with other projects.

Technically, it's one of the fast and feature rich free VMs out there,
widely ported and easily portable, with a lot of good work that went into 
it over the years by many excellent contributors. 

It's got a nice community of research spin-offs, that cover anything
from transparent clustering to isolation, features that can't be found 
in proprietary runtimes.

I could go on for a while, but I am afraid I'll bore you.

> With all the great open-source VM projects out there, which are 
> successors to Kaffe if you will, why don't we focus efforts a bit more.

Feel free to merge whatever bits you like from those VMs into Kaffe, 
and post a patch. I am curios what you'll come up with.

> I may be somewhat ignorant as I haven't followed Kaffe since 2001, but 
> perhaps it is time to pick aprt its best parts which don't yet have 
> equivalents elsewhere, and leave it to the cemetary of the once-famous?

Yeah, that's the problem with not following projects, one remembers them
as dead, and they turn out to be very lively zombies and take one by
surprise. ;)

Kaffe is going pretty strong, as free runtimes go.

It's successfully used for support for programs and libraries written in 
the Java programming language in several distributions. It has changed 
massively since 2001, see http://www.kaffe.org/~robilad/kaffe-loc.png 
for a graphic showing the progress until may 2005. I should regenerate it
one day, but I've got more pressing bugs to fix. ;)

Finally, Kaffe has been a great platform to advance the case for free
software implementations of J2SE, as one among many very good
implementations. It has helped along to build GNU Classpath into 
the common backbone of all free VMs, and grow a strong community 
around it. It has managed to survive the crash of the company behind the
proprietary fork of Kaffe nicely, and come out much better and stronger,
which is quite a feat. ;)

With the fun stuff out of the way, let's get to the boring part. You
seem, afaict from your posts, to want to do something that involves
getting rich quick by selling a Java implementation for Nokia's maemo
device, and you seem to be interested in using a free runtime as the
foundation for your financial success. Good luck, whichever you end up
using (and I'd suggest JamVM for the maemo, since I've heard people had
it running on that device already).

dalibor topic

> Best Regards,
> -- 
> Philippe Laporte
> Software 
> Gatespace Telematics
> F?rsta L?nggatan 18
> 41328 G?teborg
> Sweden
> Phone: +46 702 04 35 11
> Fax:   +46 31 24 16 50
> Email: philippe.laporte at gatespacetelematics.com
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