Kaffe 1.0b5

Paul Snively psnively@earthlink.net
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:00:05 -0700

Hi Mark!

> There are some ways in which GPL is more restrictive than the normal
> proprietary license.  This is one of them.  As I normally understand it,
> you can't link Mozilla code & GPL code together to create inter-callability
> within an address space.  The issue is somewhat messy, since GPL seems
> purposely vague on what the unit of contagion is.  Also, regarding Kaffe,
> the above FAQ implies that it may be even less of a problem here, but I
> didn't find this text clear either.

Hmmmm. It seems odd, to say the least, to fear that running your code atop a
GPL'ed virtual machine would cause GPL contagion of your code... but then, I
gather that's precisely why the LGPL came to be in the first place, so I'm
obviously being quite naive.

> By contrast, Mozilla and normal proprietary code can be linked together
> just fine.  The result isn't "open" or "free", so erights won't distribute
> such a package, but others are free to.  If it wasn't for the above FAQ, I
> would have said that others are not free to distribute E packaged with Kaffe.

THAT I can understand.

>  >>... Unfortunately, the Cygnus Java is not far enough along for
>  >> them to test it.
>  >
>  >I'm not interested in Java compilers generating native code anyway.
> Why not?  I am.

Eh... guess I'm hung up on the idea of being able to haul a little .jar file
around with some assurance that, assuming the code it contains uses a
minimal API set, it'll work lots of places: my Mac, my work's Windows box,
my Linux box, my Qualcomm pdQ smart phone, my Java Ring... ;-)

Particularly in the post-PC era, I think Java's "write once, run anywhere"
promise will become increasingly important. Hopefully the devices in
question will have sufficiently burned-in VM's that it'll even work. I'm
very mindful of the fact that the Java Ring already exists, the KVM for
PalmOS is in pre-release, and Palm just inked a deal with Nokia in addition
to their existing deal with Qualcomm. If Java seems increasingly ubiquitous
on servers, it's devouring the sub-PC space at a rate that must be genuinely
alarming to Microsoft. I want all those devices to be secure and private, so
I want them all running E. To me, this means "no native code." That doesn't
mean that someone couldn't/shouldn't run their .jar file through a compiler
that goes from Java bytecodes to native code if they want to target a
specific platform, however.

>          Cheers,
>          --MarkM


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