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Encumbrances

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averyregier
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Joined: 2003-06-10
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What I would really like to know now from Sun is the following:

What encumbrances (in some detail) exist?

Why are these pieces encumbered? (Is it because of copyright or patents? If it is copyright, it is easy enough to replace these, but if there are patent issues as well, then there may be no way for the free software community to help.)

Will you need developers who aren't 'tainted' by seeing any Sun source code in order to replace the encumbered code? (This is an area where GNU/classpath can help, but they would need to know that they need to keep up with their policies policies about not allowing contributions by tainted developers until all of the encumbrances are cleared.)

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ray_gans
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Joined: 2004-11-12
Points: 0

> What I would really like to know now from Sun is the
> following:
>
> What encumbrances (in some detail) exist?

The font rasterizer, the graphics rasterizer and the color management system are the biggest encumbrances. We're expecting the rest will be easily resolved (or have already been resolved). We're still looking at some things, but other than these 3 issues, we seem to be in good shape.

>
> Why are these pieces encumbered? (Is it because of
> copyright or patents? If it is copyright, it is easy
> enough to replace these, but if there are patent
> issues as well, then there may be no way for the free
> software community to help.)
>

We expect it's all copyrights, but still investigating.

> Will you need developers who aren't 'tainted' by
> seeing any Sun source code in order to replace the
> encumbered code? (This is an area where
> GNU/classpath can help, but they would need to know
> that they need to keep up with their policies
> policies about not allowing contributions by tainted
> developers until all of the encumbrances are cleared.)

Good question. Let me look into this and report back. Clearing encumbrances is very important. Currently the only source base available is under the Java Research License (JRL). Would developers be willing to work under that license in the meantime -- i.e., until the bulk of the code is open sourced?

averyregier
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Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

> Currently the only source base available is under the Java
> Research License (JRL). Would developers be willing to
> work under that license in the meantime -- i.e., until the
> bulk of the code is open sourced?

No, they wouldn't be willing to work under that license. And you are wrong that the only source base is available under the JRL. There is another one: GNU Classpath. They can work quite effectively on those problems there and then when Sun makes their libraries GPLed, the contributions can be easily made. It wouldn't be available on day 1, but it wouldn't take long afterward.