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Lets mobilize the community to spread java!

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linuxhippy
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Hello,

I think now the time has come we all should try together to spread java as much as possible.
The licensing term was one of the last showstoppers that held off me from doing so (of course I was coding java cause theres nothing better for my tasks), I didn't want to put my users into a (possible) trap.
Now this fear is away, replaced by a feeling of doing something good :-)

I think what we would need to help java gain more monumentum (there are way too many users out there running windows without knowing about java at all):
- Build a commuinity, a lot like spreadfirefox.com
- Link a get-java-icon from the webpages
- Use It!!!! Deploy java apps (of course) but maybe we should rethink about applets?!
Maybe we could provide additional features using WebStatr, wouldn't that be great?

I think the community could be a key player here. For now java was mostly used as a tool and java was just a dependency for them, this was also the impression for the users. The _need_ it if they like it or not.
So till now java was nothing people identified themself with (unlike e.g. firefox) - believe me nothing is better in speading software than a strong community ^^

Maybe Sun could help (=mentor) such a project a bit ... I am sure now a lot of guys would help.

lg Clemens

PS: Thanks for releasing java. I am sure it was a hard and painful descision - but I guess it was the right one. Thanks!

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webmink
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> Note though that the only entity I know of who could bring you to court for violating the license on the JDK is Sun.

Of course, once OpenJDK gets under way, all contributions will be on a copyright-share basis so the community of those able to take action like this will steadily grow.

robilad
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@webmink: yup, I think the community outside Sun will be a valuable asset in making sure no predator takes unfair advantage of the platform.

leouser
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If you get enough people who are zealous about this like Harald than there may never be a need for Sun to step in. I can already see it.... robilad vs Microsoft. ;) Im sure that'd get some press coverage.

leouser

tmarble
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Actually the situation is far bigger: it's actually Free Software (not just robilad) vs. non-free (not just Microsoft).

And OpenJDK is proof that Free has won (maybe Balmer didn't get the e-mail?).

... or maybe he *did* [1] and that's why we need to call
in the FUD-Fighters!

--Tom

[1] Microsoft-Novell Pact Is Already in Dispute
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/22/technology/22soft.html?_r=1&ref=techno...

leouser
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heh, yes its larger than that. But when the grand struggle manifests itself it in the court its probably not going to go by the name "Free Software" vs "Non Free"... it will be something like:
robilad(or insert another OSource advocate) vs. Microsoft(insert another company name or individual)

leouser

robilad
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@leuoser: Yeah, Harald is great. He's been successfully protecting his own code in the Linux kernel (iptables, i.e. it has nothing to do with Java, anyway) from predators wanting to exploit him, but not wanting to comply with the GPL for a while.

Most companies realize there is no need to go to court, and solve the license compliance issues rapidly and amicably. A few prefer to think they can stomp on the small individual developer, and ignore him and the license on his code, and then the courts teach them otherwise.

Note though that the only entity I know of who could bring you to court for violating the license on the JDK is Sun.

leouser
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I think that sounds right robilad. I don't have hard numbers but it appears that 30 cases have been taken to court but at his "sue the GPL violators" website there was mention of the 100th successful deviolation(Ill have to go look at that again).

There was one case, Fortinet, that sounded like it had a bad impact on the company. They had an injunction filed against them from distributing their product which doesn't help bring in the cash. The odd thing about this case is that Harald claimed that they not only didn't redistribute their changes but tried to cryptographically hide the fact that they were using GPLed code. I have no idea how he came to this conclusion, unless he is a master at deciphering things it sounds like a wild guess. In one artical he says how find violators in the next he's become a code breaker! :D

leouser

robilad
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@leouser: Individual developers have successfully enforced the GPL in the past, just like organisations have.

In any case, I think Sun has adequate ressources to deal with violators, if it ever becomes necessary.

leouser
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@robilad: yes, I would think that they would.

@linuxhippy: Im pondering if the GPL is a higher risk path to having to go to court. If its not in the small time developer's interest to expose themselves to it, why go down that path?

leouser

robilad
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@leouser: The only other open source license I know to be tested by courts was the BSD license, and in that case the rights of the authors were upheld as well.

It is possible to be dragged into court with any license, the GPL does not increase or decrease that risk. It's a matter of trust with any license (open, closed, whatever): do you trust the person you license the code from (i.e. Sun) to act responsibly in the future?

If you trusted Sun before, then I don't see how them adding another licensing option changes anything.

leouser
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I was just reading about Harald Welte who appears to have taken many GPL cases to court(and won by the way). According to the article its a $16,892 risk per case, with the loser paying everything. Whats intriguing is that they appear to actively research software for GPL violations, though it doesn't appear to be a simple task.

leouser

jwenting
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that's the kind of lowlifes to look out for.
They're like ambulance chasers, actively searching for people to sue for imaginative damages in order to get money.

linuxhippy
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> some larger organization decided to use/alter that
> code and not publish their changes, the GPL may not
> buy me anything. I may very well not have the
> resources to challenge the "org".

Well a license just defines what is allowed and what not. Everything else is defined by law.
Of course you can contract insurance for such happenings.
Do you expect a license to pay the court costs ;)

lg Clemens

robilad
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@leouser: In general, only the copyright holder (i.e. in this case Sun) could take someone to court for violating the GPL on their code.

Sun keeps the copyright on contributions.

leouser
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hmm, strangely soothing but it may highlight that the GPL isn't a very good license for the small time developer. If I put out some code under the GPL and some larger organization decided to use/alter that code and not publish their changes, the GPL may not buy me anything. I may very well not have the resources to challenge the "org".

leouser

webmink
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That's what the Software Freedom Law Center and the FSF GPL Compliance Team are there for - they provide a resource to help every developer, large or small, enforce the terms of the GPL.

leouser
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Hmm, interesting. Im going to have to study these two. Im not sure what the extent of the resource is. It may also be a question of how reliable a resource they would be if the developer had a strong dependency on them. What if in a particularly stressed time they didn't have the bandwidth to provide you with the guidance needed?

leouser

linuxhippy
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I still don't understand whats the piont. The FSF is just an organization which tries to spread the GPL.

A license just say what is allowed and what not - if somebody does not comply with the license you have to go to court. This has nothing to do with GPL.
Its the same with all source-licenses be it gpl, ms-shared-source or your won one.

lg Clemens

jwenting
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>
> 1. No right to call it Java unless it passes the
> TCK(that's the test that proves your software is
> Java, right?). This isn't GPL derived but is a fact
> of who owns the Java trademark.
>
> 2. The GPL limitation that if you redistribute the
> software in an altered form you have to publish your
> changes(I hope that's right).
>
> #1 I guess Sun could take you to court about. But
> #2, is it limited to Sun? Couldn't anyone take
> another company to court if they released a derived
> Java but didn't publish the changes?
>
#1 is derived from trademark law, not copyright or patent law, and is therefore indeed limited to Sun.
#2 does indeed mean that in theory anyone could sue you if you don't distribute the source of your entire product (not just the GPL licensed code (modified or not) you incorporated or called) free of charge and under GPL.
Someone could demand you release your code under GPL free of charge if you link to a library that links to a library that was released under GPL even if the library you used failed to do so (as they should have under GPL).
A court might indemnify you if you take steps to remedy the error (remove the dependency) because it wasn't yours, but the damage will be done (monetary, bad press, etc.).

linuxhippy
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I don't understand your problem with this - the major restriction you seem to critisize is that you have to release your code also under GPL if you rely on someone others GPL code.

Whats the problem? Sure if you build modified versions of "java" you'll have to distribute the source.
But on the other side this wasn't allowed at all with the current source-licenses.

However you can still simply install it on computers or run proprietary software on it, nothing changes from the java-user point of view. And companies are java-users, aren't they?

lg Clemens

trembovetski
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Not necessarily - the Sun's binaries (which I believe are shipped with binary licence) will probably contain src.zip under the current (non-os) license.

Basically, I believe that not much will change in respect to the "official" binaries shipped by Sun.

There was one provision to the license allowing you to drop an oss-built hotspot binary into the image.

Dmitri

linuxhippy
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furthermore why should a company hestitate to use software which is gpl-licensed?

leouser
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It may just not fit in with what they want to do. I just finished reading an article where the writer stated that he stoped releasing his software under the GPL because it limits your freedom. His preference is MIT or BSD. With open JDK you've got a couple of limits if you rewrite and publish the software:

1. No right to call it Java unless it passes the TCK(that's the test that proves your software is Java, right?). This isn't GPL derived but is a fact of who owns the Java trademark.

2. The GPL limitation that if you redistribute the software in an altered form you have to publish your changes(I hope that's right).

#1 I guess Sun could take you to court about. But #2, is it limited to Sun? Couldn't anyone take another company to court if they released a derived Java but didn't publish the changes?

I guess if your incompatible with what the GPL requires, it doesn't fit your purpose.

leouser

linuxhippy
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1.) well but in comparison to the "sun's binary license" licensed package you only get additional rights so I don't see a reason why a company should not want to install a jva version which's source is released under GPL.
And that was what jwenting was referringto.

2.) This has nothing to do with GPL, "Java" is Sun's trademark and I think its a good idea to let it at sun. Imagine the tons of incompatible java's arround if anybody could build an incompatiblepackage and call it java.
How should you know its the java you're needing.

3.) Well again, it just gives you more flexilibility. The GPL allows everything the previous source licenses allowed + a lot more. I think thsi term is great ... give back what you've got.

lg Clemens

leouser
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I don't have any quarrels with your enthusiasm or even the idea of spreading java, in fact I like it quite a bit. I think you hit the nail on the head, there needs to be applications that people want to be able get them to spread the community. Maybe something like Aerith would be a cool driver. I haven't sat down and analysed if the regular I-use-computers-for-email guy or gal would be able to just use it, but it has the visual appearance of a cool thing that people would want to download.

keep it simple,
leouser

linuxhippy
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well but then they would identify arith and not java as the cool thing. time will show ;-)

I am happy :-)

Thank you Sun!

leouser
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well Java is cool, but how do you convey that Java is cool to relatively non-technical people? I don't think you are going to sit down with some guy off the street and show him the HotSpot internals and expect him to go download java. There needs to be applications that they can associate with Java. People need to have Java applications to love and they need to get upset when a computer their using doesn't have Java. I know Sun works to get Java on computers but when the public demands its on the computer it becomes more powerful.

leouser

jwenting
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As many companies will NOT have GPL licensed software on their machines I think we'll actually see a sharp decline in the adoption of Java, certainly on the desktop.
It will more and more be restricted to the secret linux servers sysadmins have hidden away under their desks which are listed as AIX or SCO machines on the official hardware lists.

webmink
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Huh? Do explain. Since none of the (many, many) existing ways to license the Java platform are going away, I don't follow your logic.

linuxhippy
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jwenting:

Seems you did understand nothing. If you want you can get the source under the terms of GPL, otherwise you get your builds from SUN as it has always been.
Why should a company exclude a program just because its source is licensed GPL *lol* ;)

lg Clemens

jwenting
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we'll see. The binaries of a GPL'd JDK will contain the GPL'd (by then, it's in the works) source of the standard API.
So soonish you will get GPL source on your machine just by downloading a binary...

leouser
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jwenting raises a point that I am wondering about as well. How is this going to affect the nice src bundle that comes with the JDK? Is it possible to provide those bundles in both GPLed and Non-GPLed form? If not, is the solution not to ship the src with the JDK?

Or am I reading his concern incorrectly? Is he worried that the src if shipped with a non-GPL license is still GPLed because it ultimately was derived from a GPLed code base.

I guess Im confused,
leouser