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Re: Java problem

Peter Boy wrote:

Fedora did not choose "not to be compatible with..." but Fedora choosed
not to include an non-free program (i.e. Sun's Java)
They did both. Including or not including isn't the issue. Making it difficult for the user to install his own freely available copy is one problem.

Fedora does not make it specifically difficult.

Let's see - if a sort-of unix compatible system installed a file called /bin/sh that would not execute shell scripts, would you consider that making things difficult? How's that different from one named /usr/bin/java that won't execute java bytecode?

You may install the Sun
provided Linux rpm, are free to search the Sun bugzilla database why it
doesn't work out of the box

It does work out of the box, it just won't execute on fedora when you type java.

> As with any distributions
Fedora does only care about software, which is part of its distribution.

That may well be true of fedora. It is certainly a problem for users if it is. I wouldn't extend that claim to other distributions.

And don't confuse the Fedora model with RHEL. In RHEL Red Hat takes care
about Sun java integration and customers have to pay for it.

How does that work, when the jpackage version of the same thing was free? And why does jpackage support only go to FC6?

A whole separate 'jpackage' project has to exist just to fix this problem in the distribution. The problem wouldn't exist if the distribution included a java-*-sun-compat package of perfectly legal symlinks.

You may think of the jpackage distribution as just another workaround
for the fact that Sun didn't care about Linux compatibility of their
Linus rpm's. And it is a general purpose workaround, not a Fedora
specific one.

Symlinks pointing to symlinks with executables under /user/lib doesn't seem bizarre to you? And you don't think Sun knows how java should work?

The bigger problem is distributing something that is not java compatable but executing it with the java name. Microsoft tried to promote an incompatible program that similarly fit their agenda with the java name and Sun successfully sued them over it. The fedora-shipped not-java program that executes with the java name does just as much damage and shouldn't be named java until it passes the compatibility tests. I'm surprised fedora's legal dept. allowed this abuse of a trademarked name.

The software is not shipped as java, but as gcj (and with some starter
scripts with the filenama java for compatibility). And in contrast to MS
the gcj project aimed to full compatibility and the lack thereof was an
intermediate state during development. All this is quite different.

The only difference is the length of time they have continued to ship something that, when you type 'java', doesn't execute a java compatible program. And please don't try to tell me that the fact that this damages the usefulness of java bothers anyone involved.

So you can develope (or simply run) against the reference version and
you can test (and support the devel of) the truly free alternative in
parallel. That's the Fedora way.
It's not an alternative java until it passes the compatibility test.

You are free, not to use (and just to ignore) it! Remember, you just
have to use one of the above mentioned alternative ways.

I'd just like some truth-in-advertising here. Don't call it java until it is - and realize it is just as damaging as if would be if someone replaced your /bin/sh with an incompatible replacement.

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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