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Mauve license

(including the Classpath list as well as Mauve list here as I don't
know how many people actually read the mauve list)

Recently on the Harmony list there's been some discussion of how tests
should be written and where they should be put. I chimed in pointing
out what I thought would be a no-brainer - tests for public APIs
should be in Mauve of course.

I only just made that post and I haven't seen the responses yet, but
it occurred to me to look and see what Mauve's license is just to make
sure that wouldn't be a showstopper, and, well, as I'm sure many of
you know, it's GPL.

This is slightly strange to me. We (the Free Software community) are
forced to make our own test suite because Sun won't release theirs
under terms we can use, but when we do write our own, we put it under
a license that prevents even other Free Software projects from working
with it. Our test suite is under a stronger copyleft than Classpath
itself is!

I understand why we want Classpath itself to be copyleft. But what on
earth benefit are we getting from preventing people from
"proprietarizing" our testsuite?

My understanding is that a license change could be difficult to effect
at this point because I don't think a copyright assignment has been
required for Mauve contributions and therefore there are probably a
lot of copyright holders, some of whom may be difficult to track down.
But if it *could* be managed (and if the Harmony hackers could be
persuaded to put their tests there), I think it would be a major win
for everybody.

Mauve gets a bunch of new contributors (Harmony certainly seems to
have a fair bit of momentum at this point) and code (I believe some of
Harmony's big contributions came with test suites that could be

Classpath and Harmony both get a bunch of new tests.

Harmony hackers get to see that Classpath hackers aren't inflexible
GPL-zealots, and both groups of hackers get used to working together
on a project that benefits both.

I don't think it's a coincidence that all the projects that originally
collaborated on Mauve ended up combining their class libraries,
either. Once people get used to working together, the level of
collaboration can only go up from there...


PS I didn't include the Harmony list on this post mainly because my
understanding is it's of absolutely no interest to them unless there
*is* some way for Mauve to make this change. "GPL software is a
nonstarter for us" is a quote I saw on the Harmony mailing list a
couple of days ago...


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