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Re: Patches to by Christian Schlichtherle

From: Dalibor Topic
Subject: Re: Patches to by Christian Schlichtherle
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005 00:10:21 +0200
User-agent: Debian Thunderbird 1.0.2 (X11/20050331)

Stephen Crawley wrote:
> Let us not beat about the bush.  It would be bad for everyone (except
> Microsoft)
> if Java implementors were allowed to modify the APIs of the Java Class
> Libraries.

If you are a Java(TM) licensee, I think you can modify the APIs through
the respective JSRs at the JCP. Sun, IBM, and others do it all the time,
afaict. The J2SE growth I see with each version has to come from
somewhere :)

If you are not a Java(TM) technology licensee, then you can,
essentially, do whatever you want, modulo violating other people's
rights, of course.

> Even if the API changes are upwards compatible (e.g. adding visible
> methods,
> constructors, fields or classes) the cause trouble.  Specifically, if
> vendor
> XYZ has "enhanced" the APIs, then someone developing an application
> using vendor
> XYZ's Java platform may well find that their software does not run on other
> vendor's Java platform.

Yeah, I fully agree. I see that sometimes, myself, too, and find it
pretty annoying.

Some people are apparently ocassionally developing their programs
written in the Java programming language on some closed, proprietary
implementation that contains APIs, which enhance the ones in GNU
Classpath. So when I try to use their applications on a free runtime,
like Kaffe, their applications just don't work.

That's why educating developers about the Java Trap is important.

> Those with long memories will remember that Microsoft tried this trick. 

They even went so far as to drop RMI completely. And JNI.

> It was
> only the Sun license (and Sun's willingness to take Microsoft to court)
> that saved
> the Java community from the hell of vendor specific Java "enhancements".

I only wish Sun had saved the Java community from com.sun.* and sun.*,
tools.jar and similar Sun-specific, non-standarsised nosense, as well. I
can't have it all, I guess :)

dalibor topic

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