(The following is shamelessly yanked from the blog post I just made)
As has been previously announced, we are officially part of Google's
Summer of Code. I've decided to step up to be a mentor, and in
particular, to mentor projects related to Java on Linux.
A few ideas follow. The 1a and 1b are listed already on our SoC page to
an extent, but the idea is elaborated further here. If you plan on
proposing one of these ideas, I really would expect you to even further
Build most of our Java packages with free (libre) virtual machines and
free implementations of public APIs.
Currently, we really only support using a proprietary virtual machine
(ie sun, blackdown, ibm, etc), because packages are likely to fail for
various reason with the open ones.
For many open apis, such as javamail, java activation framework, etc, we
have binary packages of Sun's proprietary implementations. In a number
of cases, there are open implementations. However, our packages compile
against and run using the proprietary implementations.
For reasons why one would want to be using Free Java, see the article on
the Java trap <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.html>.
As for a practical reason, use of proprietary packages from Sun and IBM
can annoying for the end user, because in both cases, it requires
placing a fetch restriction on the distfiles. To the end user, this
means that an emerge gets halted until they agree to a license, and
download the files.
* Build/run all/most packages using free virtual machines
* Build/run all/most packages against free implementations of public
* Might want to target specific big name packages, like eclipse,
* Be able to select between different implementations of the same apis
* Work with upstream of packages that use propertary classes from
the virtual machine (ie com.sun.*, sun.*)
* Work with upstream of virtual machines and packages when packages
don't compile or run with using free java
* Find and package open implementations of public APIs
* Lots of Java packages (300+). It is unknown how many will need to
* Upstream might not care about free java
* Might not be open implementations of all APIs
Native compiling with gcj
GNU Compiler for Java (gcj) allows for compiling Java code to native
machine code, as opposed to Java bytecode. Fedora/Redhat has done this
to an extent for some time. It'd be great to be able to do this under
Gentoo as well.
* Create a 'JDK' which uses gcj as a backend. In this case, JDK
really means providing a javac, javadoc, jar, etc
* Have a way of keeping track of native bytecode
* Integrate methods for native compiling into the current build
system for building Java packages on Gentoo (ie eclasses)
* Target native compilation of high profile applications, ie azreus,
Build maven <http://maven.apache.org> entirely from source.
We currently only provide binary packages of maven, due to the fact that
it is a bootstrapping nightmare because of the monolithic nature of the
build process. The build system, at its basic level, does the following:
* Build the 'core' maven functionailty using ant
* Build the 'core' maven functionality using maven
* Build all the plugins using maven
The problem with building all the plugins at once is that there are a
ton of plugins, with many, many dependencies. Because of these
dependencies, it would make it impractical to have a monolithic package,
which would be used to build other packages.
* Have modular packages for maven
* Have one package per plugin
* Have a 'core' maven package
* Have a 'minimal' maven package, which is core + minimal packages
for compiling, javadocs, and jarring
* Have a 'full' maven package which is all the plugins
* Would need to work out a way to make the build much more modular
Build packages using maven
Many packages, particular Apache projects, have been switching over
The main issue is getting jars from a maven repository. The normal
behavior of maven is to download dependencies from a maven mirror. First
of all, things at build time should not be using the network. Secondly,
dependencies should be provided by jars from packages that have
previously been emerged.
Another issue is that maven 2 repositories contain metadata
(specifically, pom.xml files) about the packages contained within. This
is normally fetched from the repository, but since we don't want to be
pulling from there, the question remains open as to where the metadata
is gotten from and how its stored on the system.
* Have a system to have maven use jars that we have built through
* Update packages to use maven when possible. These should have fine
grain control to the plugins that are available at build time.
Packages should depend on the minimal install, and whatever extra
plugins they might need, and only those should be available at
/Possible solutions for dealing with maven repositories:/
A) Create a maven-repository like structure, and have it populated with
jars from the system
B) maven (2.0 at least) has a mechanism for providing alternative ways
of fetching dependencies. We could then create an alternative way that's
backed by portage.
C) Find a way to tell maven not to fetch dependencies, and hope that
there are the appropriate classes available on the classpath
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