[lsb-discuss] Java

Joseph Kowalski jek3 at sun.com
Thu Apr 24 19:41:49 PDT 2008

Jeff Licquia wrote:
> Joseph Kowalski wrote:
>>> I think the plan is to assume that we can rely on Sun for most of 
>>> the Java specs, testing, etc. via the published specs and a 
>>> to-be-announced certification program for Linux distributions.
>>> As a fallback, in case Sun runs into more issues that delay the cert 
>>> work, the Java specification can be released as a trial-use module.
>> I think I'm missing something here...
>> I'm a bit uncomfortable with "to-be-announced certification program 
>> for Linux distributions".
>> I think Sun is on the hook (so to speak) to make sure that a FOSS 
>> community wishing to produce a JVM can assert they are compliant.  I 
>> think this has been done (delta, advertising it better).
> OK.  That means we're on the hook to do a thorough evaluation of 
> what's out there and let you know if we're missing anything.
Lost you here.  Could you be more specific what you are referring to as 
"what's out there"?
>> I don't think Sun is in a position to certify distros.  We can only 
>> provide them tools to make sure they conform to the specification.
> Yeah, probably not clear.  The "to-be-announced certification program" 
> wasn't meant to imply that Sun would be in the Linux certification 
> business.  It's just that, in the future, "LSB" will also mean "Java", 
> and Sun needs to be cool with that.  Whatever makes Sun cool with that 
> is what I meant by the "to-be-announced certification program".
I think we all want this.  (Again, at the moment, I'm not speaking for Sun.)
>> I think its the LSB (Linux Foundation, whatever,...) job to provide 
>> any such certification program for Linux distributions.  This should 
>> be just like whatever the rules are for the rest of the LSB.  This 
>> test suite will rely heavily on the JCK, but there are additions to 
>> be made (like proper integration).   (Minor redistribution detail - 
>> see below.)
> Sure, if that's what makes you happy. :-)
> The question is: assuming we take care of the minor redistribution 
> detail, is Sun OK with letting the LSB evaluate and certify JCK 
> results, or does Sun want to do that themselves?
Gee, it seems that I forgot to elaborate on the "Minor redistribution 
detail"...   :-)

If I read the license correctly, the provider of the LSB conformance 
tests can't actually redistribute the JCK.  I think this is easily 
solved by something like:

    "Conformance to the LSB also implies conformance to the JCK which 
can be obtained by the following easy procedure....".

By my reading of the license, Sun doesn't get in the business of 
"certifing JCK results" (I think I said otherwise earlier in the tread - 
I've been corrected).  Its up to the LSB to either certify the results 
to your satisfaction or to let the distros self-certify.  This is kinda 
a self-correcting problem.  It wouldn't be pretty if a distro asserted 
Java conformance and then got caught by some blogger.  Ain't the Linux 
community wonderful!  (Seriously, a great attribute.)

>> I thought the goal was produce a specification (the LSB) to which 
>> Java Application vendors (from above) and JVM providers (from below) 
>> could rely upon.
> Yup.
>> Maybe I should just sketch out the sequence of steps I see them:
>>    0)   Agree with these "high level" requirements.  (Perhaps we are 
>> done here?)
> Maybe, depending on the answer to the "to-be-announced certification 
> program" stuff.
>>    1)   Formalize what is "Java". ie: what are the appropriate 
>> platform specifications (jek3 - probably easy)
>>    2)   Formalize installation paths and cli specifications (jek3 - 
>> but perhaps a little controversial   :-) )
> This is probably more of a "documenting how things work now" issue.  
> If there's controversy, that's why the LSB exists; we should be able 
> to get the right people together and hash it out.
Yep.  My sub-plan is to state what I think should be done and then 
iterate from there.  This is the fun part!

One of *my* goals is that we (Sun) get a lot of "defect reports" from 
the Linux community, where there seems to be a lot of different views 
from the community as to how things *should* be done.  I'm hoping to 
place Sun in the position of being able to say, "thanks for sharing, but 
the LSB asserts differently".   Heh, I'm not just doing this because I'm 
just a nice guy...   :-)
>>    3a)   Platform testing (JCK) - (Sun, only need a reference in the 
>> LSB (appendix?))
>>    3b)   LSB/Java integration testing harness (lsb group)
> These are the two parts, I think, that we're hashing out now: where's 
> the dividing line, who does what, that sort of thing.  Maybe it's 
> premature, but this seems like an important detail to me.
>> Its only a schedule issue if as to if the "LSB Java specification" is 
>> a trial-use module or not, right?
> Basically.  There are always issues regarding completeness and the 
> like; for example, if the tests are too weak, we might be nervous 
> enough to go trial-use.  But I don't expect that to be a problem, 
> given how strong demand is.
>> Could you tell me more of what you think a "trial-use" module is?  Is 
>> it "just paper" or something more?
> Sure.  "Trial use" is a term of art in the LSB.  Basically, everyone 
> is required to test against everything, but we grant blanket waivers 
> for violations of some parts, so you can certify even if those parts 
> are missing or wrong.
> We decide what's trial use right before releasing a new version of the 
> LSB.  A module might get "trial use" status if it's not quite stable 
> yet, or the documentation isn't up to par, or the tests aren't good 
> enough, or it hasn't quite made it into all of the distributions.
> We only do trial use for new specs; once something is required, it 
> doesn't go back.
> We used to have "optional" modules, which were close to the same 
> thing.  The difference is that "trial use" isn't optional from a test 
> perspective; whatever tests we provide for trial use modules must be 
> submitted along with everything else.  This gives us data about the 
> quality of the spec and how well the distros are aligned with it.
> But from an ISV's perspective, trial use == optional.  (We may do 
> something about this for LSB 4.0.)
Got ya (and thanks).  I now understand and agree with your process.

- jek3 (Joseph Kowalski)

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