[cp-patches] Re: java.util.Arrays fix

Stuart Ballard stuart.a.ballard at gmail.com
Thu Dec 14 16:57:14 UTC 2006

Andrew Haley <aph <at> redhat.com> writes:
> This case is totally different: the test case is an illegal Java
> program.  In no circumstances should Mauve contain illegal programs!

While I disagree, I take your point, but I do take issue with your terminology.
It's not an "illegal" Java program, it's a Java program with a bug. If that
makes it illegal, then every nontrivial Java program is illegal.

My position is that the line between spec and RI is fuzzy, especially in the
case of Java (at least to date, and for the next year or so). And while that's a
bad thing, it's the reality we live in. There's a lot of code out there that
assumes that "Java" means the RI. Until that changes, we need to decide whether
our mission is an ideological goal - "implement the spec" - or a practical goal
- "provide a way for users to run programs written in Java on a Free system".

If our goal is the latter, then when a situation like this comes up where lack
of bug-compatibility is impacting an actual user's ability to run actual code,
then we should provide the bug-compatibility for that situation, and take
appropriate steps to ensure that we don't regress on it.

As an aside, there is at least one reason for Mauve to contain illegal programs
- the spec may require that a particular kind of illegal program fails to run in
a particular way or with a particular exception.

> It is fully specified now.

I disagree with this point too; a full specification should include a
description of how error situations are handled, or state that it's explicitly
implementation dependent.


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