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Re: Simple Proposal

From: Chris Gray
Subject: Re: Simple Proposal
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 17:00:13 +0100

Mark Wielaard wrote:

> You may call me an evil bastard but I kind of like that ambiguity.

Mark: you're an evil bastard. <GRIN>

> When people are really serious about useing Classpath in a derived work where
> they have to change the source code they will have to contribute that code
> back to the project to make sure we make a release of the library that
> includes those changes so they can just link to it. Either way we will end
> up with more Free Software <GRIN>. I do see your point though.

Yes and no.  I had some correspondence (off-list) with some of the Classpath
maintainers back in February, when I wanted to know if it was O.K. to use the
Classpath libraries in (what was still then likely to be) a closed-source
The answer I got then was "yes, but of course we hope you'll contribute back
any changes you make".  I was still a bit nervous, though, because it seemed
to me that if we mixed Classpath classes with stuff of our own then we might
very well get infected with the GPL.  So I decided that while we might sometimes
use Classpath code internally on a temporary basis, we wouldn't distribute
anything that wasn't 100% ours.

In the end we released Wonka under a BSD-ish licence, because we didn't
want to our users to have to worry about the kind of issues that are coming up
here.  Nonetheless I have to say that I'm glad I made the decision not to use
any Classpath-derived code: if we had any in our distribution then we'd 

be in a coding frenzy, replacing it with own code before RMS made any more
ah, surprising decisions.

I think that if Classpath wants to get contributions from us or from any project
that is not dependent on Classpath for all its libraries, then whatever 

GNU come up with will have to allow us to mix-and-match classes: I should
be able to recommend that if a Classpath class does 80% of what we need
then we should do the remaining 20%, contribute it to Classpath, and use
the result.  Currently I would recommend that we do the 100%.

Now call me an evil bastard. <BG>


Chris Gray
VM Architect, ACUNIA

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