[rfk-dev] porters

Martin Pool mbp@samba.org
Thu, 30 Jan 2003 11:28:54 +1100

On 29 Jan 2003, Nick Moffitt <nick@zork.net> wrote:

> begin  Brian Enigma  quotation:
> > >         The real test is if it works with gcj and kaffe.  Not
> > > everyone has the proprietary Sun javur runtime libs.
> > As I recall, I stuck with either the Java 1.1 or 1.2 spec.  I would
> > like to say because it was the lowest common denominator of Java
> > supported by browsers at the time I wrote it--but the real reason is
> > because I was developing with the Linux version of Netscape, which
> > at that time only supported the older version of Java.  
> 	But that's Sun's proprietary Java, yes?

Brian is talking about the specification.  Sun controls the
specification, but the specification is not propietary in the sense
that CIFS is proprietary.

> > I am not sure it works with Kaffe, (that is only an interpreter, not
> > a compiler, correct?), but it should compile with jikes and because
> > it is an applet, not an application, it should run on whatever Java
> > is integrated with your browser of choice.  
> 	Kaffe *is* the Java integrated with my browser of choice.

> Kaffe is the *only* free software java runtime.

That's like saying GNU/Linux is the only free software operating
system.  Kaffe may be the best known and the one most ready for wide
use, but it's not the only one.

> All the rest have draconian license restrictions on them.

Like the GPL?  e.g.


> 	There are free compilers, to be sure.  THere's gcj (compiles
> to native machine code) and jikes (compiles to java bytecode).  But
> that ignores the question of proprietary lock-in on the part of java
> runtimes and virtual machines.  There exist great virtual machines,
> but the runtime libraries are under lock and key by Sun and Blackdown
> and folks.

GNU Classpath isn't capable of running rfk?  That may be true; if so
it is a bit sad that after ~5 years they haven't got to that point.


Really the only "Java is evil" argument that makes sense these days is:
Sun define the whole game, and so even if all the software is free,
you're still doing what they want in some sense.  I'm not sure if I
believe that, but some people do.  Aside from that, like any tool,
there are things it does well and things it does poorly.