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Report from Debian Java Meeting

Arnaud Vandyck has posted the minutes from the DevJam meeting 2005-09-23, where one of the key benefits were that several Java people from different distributions meet for the first time.
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Hi,

This is the (long awaited) report from the DevJam (Debian Java
Meeting) from Oldenburg (September 23 2005)[0]. You can find other
reports at the SkoleLinux Wiki[1] or an article by Mark Wielaard at
LWN[2].

At DevJam several Java people from different distributions meet for
the first time. This way there was the possibility to talk about how the
different distributions currently handle java packages. Furthermore
there are several discussions how the distributions can join efforts in
their task of maintaining java packages.

We discussed the available toolchain (compiler, runtime
environments, tools) for free java available. Both from an upstream
point of view and what is the best approach to integrate them.
Discussion happened if we should have the default compiler and
runtimes and how we can make it easier for users to switch between
different java environments.

Mark Wielaard provided an overview about the current state of GNU
classpath and which parts are currently missing and where to go with the
new 1.5 features (generics-branch)

Andrew Haley (upstream of gcj) gave an overview about the state of aot
(ahead of time) compilation of java code with gcj and which tools are
available for packagers. Gary Benson gave a talk about the caveats of
aot compiling of java code during packaging and how he solves some of
the problems in fedora packaging.

All over the days there happended discussions between people of debian
java and other distributions about various topics of interest …

Dalibor Topic explained his experience with JCP and the difficulties
we have to understand, their (SUNs) fear and the difficulties they have
to understand our motivations for free software.

One of the needs of distributions for schools like skolelinux is that
free java just has to work. This is currently not the state as there are
missing tools (like keytool) in the free toolchain as well as missing
implementations in GNU classpath. This way it is still hard to
completely use free java for education without the possiblity that
something breaks.

There were discussions how this situation could be improved. First of
all the integration of free java in the distribution and selective
runtime usage for programs should be implemented by tools like
java-config or find_jvm. This way packagers can ensure that a program
really works with his configured free runtime without any
problems. Another point is to improve the upstream toolchain so its
easier for GNU classpath developers to get an overview over what is
missing in the code or only implemented as a stub. As there is stuff
missing in GNU classpath, priority of implementing functionality was
also discussed.

I'm very sorry for the long delay of the report. Thanks for reading.

People:
o Wolfgang Baer (Debian)
o Gary Benson (RedHat)
o Daniel Bornkessel (SuSE)
o Rene Engelhard (Debian)
o Kurt Gramlich (DebianEdu, Skolelinux)
o Andrew Haley (RedHat)
o Matthias Klose (Ubuntu)
o Michael Koch (GNU Classpath, Debian)
o Pablo Pita
o Petteri Rty (Gentoo)
o Christian Thalinger (CacaoVM)
o Dalibor Topic (Kaffe)
o Arnaud Vandyck (Debian)
o Jeroen VanWolffelaar (Debian)
o Rene Wagner (OpenEmbedded)
o Mark Wielaard (GNU Classpath)
Sorry if I forgot someone…

[0] http://java.debian.net/index.php/DevJam
[1] http://skolelinux.de/wiki/FreeJava/Meeting050923
[2] http://lwn.net/Articles/152664/

- –
.''`.
: :' :rnaud
`. `'
`-
Java Trap: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.html
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