Bringing License arguments to Sun

Chris Gray chris.gray at
Sun Aug 20 08:54:06 UTC 2006

+1 to Stefano Mazzocchi: a Reference Implementation should have an MIT- or 
BSD-style licence. It worked for TCP/IP, it worked for X11, or JPEG and for 
countless other things. It's good for interoperability, becuase it encourages 
people to use the RI as a base and only tinker with those things that they 
need to. Even if a project decides to re-implement everything from scratch 
(e.g. lwip) it's still good do be able to grovel through the RI to see what 
it does, without worrying that you may be contaminating your code with the 

Of course the RI is only part of Java, but it's a big part. TCKs are special 
in that a particular version of the code is normative, so modified versions 
need to be clearly marked as such (Apache licence?). And then there are the 
specifications - too many of these are currently marked "it's OK to read this 
just as long as you don't intend to implement it". The specs should be 
licensed in a way that is compatible with the requirements of standards 
bodies such as ISO, ANSI, ECMA, even if Sun doesn't intend to head that way 
just yet.

Copyright (C) Chris Gray 2006. The views expressed are not necessarily those 
of Harmony, Classpath, my company, or my cat.

Chris Gray        /k/ Embedded Java Solutions      BE0503765045
Embedded & Mobile Java, OSGi
chris.gray at                             +32 3 216 0369

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