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Sun Java vs. Kaffe

J Mangual
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 15, 2008
Posts: 16
Before I installed Sun Java, my console was suggesting I download things like Cacao or Kaffe. I realized these were open source alternatives to Sun's version. Ultimately, I got the Sun version which is free anyway.

What are the pros and cons of downloading something like Kaffe? I am not going to do anything too fancy. Can I use it to write networking applications like sockets or java swing applications? I am hoping Kaffe has many of the generally used Java features and maybe not some of the most recent changes.
Piet Verdriet
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2006
Posts: 266
On the right hand side of the home page of Kaffe, some pros and cons are given (more cons than pros if you ask me!).
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24166
    
  30

A complete Java runtime is a fairly complex piece of software. There are a few in existence -- Sun's and IBM's in particular, but there are a few other commercial offerings which are in this category too -- which are well-implemented enough to use in production. Kaffe, GCJ, and the other grassroots open-source JVMs are all quite impressive accomplishments, but in my experience none of them are robust enough to use for serious work.


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39529
    
  27
Now that the JDK is being released under the GPL, the benefits of using something like Kaffe (and the GNU Classpath libraries on which it depends) are minor, IMO.

Note that the last release of Kaffe was almost a year ago, and of Classpath more than 7 months ago. So I don't think a lot of work is going on there.

As to compatibility, Classpath has about 95% of the Java 5 APIs, and I doubt that it's ever going to implement the Java 6 APIs.


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