Re: Need a truly free Java clone compatible with db-4.1.25, kde-3.1, and openoffice-1.0/1.1?

From: Lucius Chiaraviglio (
Date: 08/16/03

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    Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:58:57 -0700

    On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 21:30:47 +0000, Roedy Green wrote:
    > On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 23:57:33 GMT, (Lucius
    > Chiaraviglio) wrote or quoted :
    >> The proper way to deal with this would be to distribute Java itself
    >>under a free software license, but also accompanied by a CERTIFICATION file
    >>that is not covered under the free software license, that you must delete if
    >>you modify the package. The CERTIFICATION file would indicate that this is
    >>Java certified by Sun to meet Sun's specification and thus guaranteed to be
    >>compatible with all Java applications compatible with Sun's reference version
    >>of Java. (Of course, Sun itself would need to do a better job of achieving
    >>compatibility than it had at least a few years ago, but at least this would
    >>be the right idea for keeping track of compatibility without restricting
    >>people's rights unnecessarily.)
    > If you did that, it would STILL confuse earthlings. They would try to
    > use your Java. I you could then demand every browser check for the
    > presence of the certification before running, but knowing the
    > philosophy of IE, they would go ahead and try to run anyway.

            That would be Internet Explorer's problem, not yours. Also, when
    applicable, you could still sue Microsoft for misrepresenting Microsoft
    Java as yours. You could even print a banner extracted from CERTIFICATION
    (or maybe even the whole thing on a GUI splash screen), or else print a
    message that this is an uncertified version if CERTIFICATION is missing.
    Anyone else who is dumb enough to get confused after you do all this
    deserves to be confused.

            The compatibility problem you are thinking of is overblown; it is
    easy to avoid. For instance, Red Hat can and does mess with the Linux
    kernel in its distribution, but it is pretty obviously messed with by
    them, so I know to avoid it when doing serious work.

    > You would have to make it sufficiently different, rename the key files,
    > that it could not be mistaken for a JRE.

            No need to rename key files (see the Free Software Foundation's page
    on licenses about why this is a pain and for all practical purposes would
    make most software with this requirement non-free). Just check for file
    "CERTIFICATION", and maybe perform a few other sanity checks if it seems
    necessary to do so.

    > Sun gains nothing by this, and they lose. They WANT a full Java on
    > every desktop. It seems that is the least favour you can give them for
    > handing you a free jvm.

            They wouldn't lose anything. They would gain a bit more distribution
    with other free software and would gain more contributions from other free
    software writers, and they could even still sue Microsoft if Microsoft
    tries to pull the same garbage as it has been pulling.

    Lucius Chiaraviglio
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