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  1. Legal Discuss
  2. LEGAL-279

Apache NetBeans optional Java cluster depending on external GPLv2+CPE nb-javac module

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    • Question
    • Status: Closed
    • Major
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • None
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    Description

      The Apache NetBeans incubator project is asking for an answer from the Apache Legal Affairs Committee to the following question:

      Is the Apache NetBeans project allowed to develop and release
      optional "Java cluster" modules which depends on the external category-X (GPLv2+CPE) licensed nb-javac module?
      NetBeans users who wants to use these optional "Java cluster" modules will be required to provide for or install the nb-javac module themselves.

      The proposed solution and the above question, as well as possible alternative solutions, have been discussed at length [1] on the project dev@ list, with a latest summary by me at [2].

      The nb-javac module is a NetBeans specific fork of the Java JDK Java compiler, and is explicitly excluded by Oracle from the NetBeans code donation to Apache.
      The NetBeans optional Java cluster modules (for example the Java Editor) have an direct compile and runtime dependency on the nb-javac module (api and implementation).

      While Java is an important optional module for NetBeans, and many NetBeans users do use/need it for Java development support, it is not part of the NetBeans core.
      NetBeans also has many users not using or needing the Java support, for example for C/C++, Javascript or PHP development, or when using NetBeans as platform for other products.

      The proposed solution, requiring end users to install the Category-X nb-javac module themselves, only if they want to use the NetBeans Java cluster modules, assumes that the Java cluster modules may be regarded as "optional" as explained at [3].

      [1] https://lists.apache.org/thread.html/16b99577a9b219e87ff1b1bcd22edd2f2faf105f338d025350126d22@%3Cdev.netbeans.apache.org%3E
      [2] https://lists.apache.org/thread.html/7ebc9ae9d6e5fceced128768f6cf312e837348cc66c3fafde02cd666@%3Cdev.netbeans.apache.org%3E
      [3] http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#optional

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            clr Craig L Russell
            ate Ate Douma
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