FOSS Java status on Gentoo

As the Gentoo Java lead I should probably comment on a couple of recent blog entries by Andrew John Hughes.

I have been trying to recruit a maintainer for FOSS Java stack for ages but no-one has stepped up. Unfortunate state of affairs but such is life with volunteer based distributions. I guess the fact that no-one has stepped up somewhat reflects on the needs of our users too. But any way gnu-classpath-0.97 has been stable for a while for x86 and amd64 in contrast to the 0.90 version stated in his blog.

“The Java Gentoo developers seem to be on a strange mission to support only the proprietary Java solutions”

Well geki ( ) is not a Gentoo developer so I don’t know who you are referring to and him being the maintainer of the GCJ overlay I don’t think he fits the bill either. If someone provided an ebuild for IcedTea that passed our QA standards, it could go in today. Otherwise it will get done after I have finished other stuff on my Gentoo work queue. I just finished adding a couple new virtuals for jaf and jmx. When packages are switched to use the virtuals it will remove the need to have sun-* or gnu-* packages installed for stuff that the JRE provides when using the latest JDKs.

2 thoughts on “FOSS Java status on Gentoo”

  1. Thanks for all your work, Petteri- making the Sun JDK easily available in Gentoo saves me a lot of time and effort working on my Java projects. I’m not too familiar with the other implementations, but none of them have the deployment track record of the “official” JVM. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Sun’s JVM on a production system- I don’t (yet) have that trust in any of the others.

  2. It’s good to see your side of the story explained. Perhaps I should explain some of my points in more detail:

    * You make it clear yourself that GNU Classpath is at 0.97 ‘for x86 and amd64’. Thus it can’t be truly stable as it’s not stable on all architectures. My comment was valid for the platform I was on at the time I wrote that – ppc64. I tried to emerge classpath and was greeted with 0.90.
    * The mixup over geki comes from the fact that he does seem to be maintaining an official Gentoo overlay. I wasn’t aware there was a difference. Either way, his stance reflects on Gentoo and I’ve not been impressed with the offhand way he deals with things.
    However, the point about proprietary Java still rings true, even if the ‘only’ is really not deserved. As you know, I was looking at the possibility of maintaining Free Java on Gentoo. I’ve ended up doing this in a separate overlay simply because all the ebuilds I’ve submitted have been broken for the whims of proprietary JDK users.
    I’m used to the Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora approach to Java, which is that Free Java is in the main distribution. Sun’s JDK is available, but as non-Free software it is outside the mainstream. Gentoo takes the opposite approach, which personally I feel is the wrong impression to be giving for a GNU/Linux distribution. But that’s your choice. However, while that remains the case, I don’t really feel I can promote Gentoo as an environment for Free Java users.

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