Re: Where we stand in regard to the future platform / desktop technology

On Sun, 2004-03-28 at 06:33, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> On Sun, 2004-03-28 at 05:54, Markus Bertheau wrote:
> > 
> > (2) JVM
> > 
> > - legal situation unclear
> > 
> There's one clarity on the legal situation here, which is that most
> companies are already shipping at least one JVM with their products.
> This means that their lawyers are sufficiently OK with it.

The legality of an open-source JVM is less clear. Well, actually I think
its fairly clear - we can't get away with it without Sun's blessing[1].
RHEL lists Java as a feature since it contains the IBM vm - which is
blessed by Sun and certified and all that stuff. If gcj were the only vm
shipped Redhat would not be able to claim Java support since "Java" is a
Sun trademark. They also claim copyright over the class libraries (right
down to java.lang.Object) and recent versions of the bytecode. In fact
some people have implemented the 1.0 bytecode but not more recent ones
since it was more liberally licensed.

As much as I dislike many things about Java I think its clearly a better
way forward for free software than C#/.NET/Microsoft. However, before we
can think too seriously about adopting it we need to come up with a
strategy for actually being able to ship a 100% free software Java
system commercially. Unless we're happy waiting for Sun/IBM/Blackdown to
release proprietary ports to the platforms we care about. I'm not so
happy to do that since I'm on powerpc and I'm stuck back on version 1.3
of the vm :)

[1] I have the feeling that IBM also have the right to license Sun's
Java IP and certify Java implementations. I'm, not sure how different
the terms would be to Sun's, but IBM might be more open to blessing a
free software Java implementations - after all weren't they pushing Sun
to open Java up?


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