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Re: Wonka

From: Chris Gray
Subject: Re: Wonka
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 11:13:17 +0100

Mark Wielaard wrote:

> Hi,
> On Thu, Oct 25, 2001 at 09:30:34AM +0200, Chris Gray wrote:
> >
> > I would also invite people to look at ACUNIA's Wonka VM,
> > <URL:>.  Like IBM, we already developed our
> > own class libraries, but a Classpath/Wonka hybrid would appear to be
> > feasible from both a legal and a technical point of view.  Of more
> > practical value (probably) would be a gcj-Wonka synthesis.
> Nice. From you package report page I get the impression that you have
> a lot of classes for 1.1 and 1.2. But it does not seem as complete as
> Classpath at the moment. But you have a working AWT implementation!
> And some javax.crypto stuff. Cool.

Up to now the development was mainly driven by our own internal
projects, so our coverage is a bit skewed: we're probably ahead of
Classpath in some areas, but I'd agree that we're behind in others
(notable text handling).

> Was there a reason you could not use (or cooperate with) GNU Classpath
> for your VM?

When we began the project it was not known under what license the code
would one day be released, so we were wary of basing a large part of it
on a project which had its own licensing agenda, so to speak.  Although
using the Classpath stuff as-is didn't seem to present particular problems,
we weren't too sure about e.g. tweaking classes to take advantage of our
native code.  The decision to go open-source was only taken a few months
ago, and it could have gone the other way (i.e. making Wonka a closed-
source product).

> Two legal nitpicks. (Please ignore them if you don't like legal issues.)
> Your license is not GPL compatible (which may or may not be a problem).
> The GPL incompatability come from clause 4:
> 4. Products derived from this software may not be called "Wonka",
>    nor may "Wonka" appear in their name, without prior written
>    permission of ACUNIA NV.

I'm not in a position to ignore legal issues, even if I don't like them. :-0
The GNU licensing page mentions that the Apache licence is not GPL-
compatible, but annoyingly omits to say which clause is the offending
one.  We actually took one clause out, but it seems we picked the wrong
one from the GPL-compatibilty point of view. :(

> This is the same as can be found in the Apache license which is also not
> GPL compatible since it is an added restriction (although a minor one)
> according to GPL clause 6. But since you actaully have a trademark on Wonka
> this clause is not necessary. You could replace it with a fact (outside the
> actual license text) such as "The following are trademarks of Acunia, XXX,
> YYY, ZZZ. This license does not grand you any permission to use any
> trademarks of Acunia when distributing derived works." That way it would
> be GPL compatible (since then your claim is based on trademark law and not
> on copyright laa)w. You might want to take a look at how AbiSource did a
> similar thing with their trademark on AbiWord.

The clause is there to protect our `brand': if we can achieve the same result
without breaking GPL compatibility then this would be very nice.  I'll take it
with the powers that be.

> Your download does contain a COPYING file with the same clauses as menioned
> on <>. But all source files and
> documentation comes with a header that does not sound very open/free.
> It would be nice to make it a bit more clear that the license agreement
> mentioned in that text is acutally the top level COPYING file. Note for
> example that all Classpath files explicitly state the license conditions.
> This makes it much more clear what your rights are if you somehow only
> received part of the code archive.

Again, I'll pass this comment on.  The header is standard company-wide
boilerplate, with one clause already removed because it didn't apply to
open-source code: I'll try to negotiate some more customisation.

> Groetjes,


Beste wensen,

Chris Gray
VM Architect, ACUNIA

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