RMS, previously, on Sun freeing java

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Tue Nov 14 13:59:56 UTC 2006

"Xavi Drudis Ferran" <xdrudis at tinet.cat> wrote:
> > Why all the premature Sun-bathing?
> Maybe because of:
> a) From what I've heard they must have released the JRE for SE, ME and EE,
> which is no small thing. [...]

Misreporting is widespread, even from some FSFE Fellows.  As far as I
can tell, there is one component of the JRE for SE so far and Sun
notes "what you don't get with the source code: the class libraries
that in combination with the virtual machine make a Java Runtime
Environment (JRE) or Java Developers Kit (JDK)."

I didn't find any way to get the JRE for EE under GPL yet and I don't
even understand ME enough to know what I'm looking for.

I remember the rejoicing when Netscape released their browser code.  I
also remember how long it has taken for Mozilla and Gnuzilla to make
that into a good free software project.  Will it take similar
struggles to use Sun's contributions in working free software?

> b) If you don't "sun-bath" now the public may get the impression the way
> Sun has done it is wrong and should not continue it.

That's silly.  Sun hasn't done most of it yet: we can say it's good
news and we look forward to it, without suggesting the actions so far
are sufficient.  Saying today that Sun has "with this contribution,
have[sic] contributed more than any other company to the free software
community in the form of software"[1] seems just plain incorrect.  If
they fulfil their statements, then it may be arguably true, but not
yet.  If Sun gets all the praise today, it reduces the incentive for
them to continue doing the right thing.

1. http://fsfe.org/en/fellows/ciaran/ciaran_s_free_software_notes/sun_s_choice_of_the_gpl_and_rms_in_the_webcast

> c) When I speak about a piece of free software I generally thank the
> authors, I don't usually start complaining about all the rest of software
> they may have written which isn't free.

I can't see the relevance of this comment.

> d) Stallman, like others, may be tired of having to complain for
> everything and wellcome the chance to congratulate on something.

Maybe.  Best not to go overboard too far from land, though.

> Anyway I haven't checked exactly what is available, maybe I'm missing
> something. We can talk specifics if you want. Why do you think the missing
> parts are "most of it"?

I don't.  I meant that Sun announced that they will release *almost*
enough for a buildable JDK in the first half of next year and that
most of the releases seem to be in the future.

Hope that explains,
MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Somerset, England. Work/Laborejo: http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
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