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From Cameron McCormack <...@mcc.id.au>
Subject Re: Public domain code
Date Mon, 28 Aug 2006 01:36:38 GMT
Jeremias Maerki:
> 1. the LZW patent
> A question for you to derive from this is: Is it worth entering a zone
> of uncertainty to support a basically obsolete format?

Probably not.  I was just looking for an easy animated image format to
use as a first format for 'video' elements.

> Personally and with my PMC chair hat on, I'd not add any LZW-related
> code to software at the ASF without first having received a go by the
> ASF's legal council. Alternatively, you can access all subimages of an
> animated GIF through ImageIO which effectively shields Batik against the
> patent. Of course, it means that you only get support for animated GIF
> on J2SE >=1.4. But would that be so bad?

Ah I might just use that then.

> Interesting links:
> http://burnallgifs.org/archives/
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF
> http://www.unisys.com/about__unisys/lzw

According to that last link, the relevant patents have indeed all

> 2. the GIF format
> Personal opinion: Don't use GIF, use PNG (or TIFF withut LZW). Burn all
> GIFs! :-)
> Problem: PNG does not (directly) support multiple images. MNG and APNG
> are possible solutions but they are not very popular. :-(
> Links:
> http://www.libpng.org/pub/mng/
> http://www.vlad1.com/~vladimir/projects/apng/

After 30 seconds Googling, the best I could find was LGPL MNG
implementations.  If there were some usable Java implementation I would
just go with that instead of GIF.  I’m just looking for the easiest way
to get a simple animated image format.

> 3. GifDecoder.java
> Kevin Weiner puts the class in the public domain. Ok so far, but what
> about this: "LZW decoder adapted from John Cristy's ImageMagick."
> ImageMagick is GPL so you could argue that Kevon Weiner is not even
> allowed to remove the GPL even if he rewrote the code in Java from code
> in ImageMagick. The reason I say this: The developers of GNU Classpath
> and Harmony have very strict rules about how the software is to be
> implemented. Nobody is allowed to work on the two projects who is
> "tainted by the source code of the Sun J2SE implementation". You may not
> look into the Sun J2SE source code when you're working on either GNU
> Classpath or Harmony.
> I see a big question mark here which needs to be reviewed by the ASF's
> legal council. I don't give my go on this class just like that. It's too
> suspect. Sorry, Cameron.

Ok, fair enough.

> Links:
> http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php
> 4. Using public domain code
> If some source code is in the public domain and safe to use (legally,
> see 3 above), then generally it is possible to include the source code
> in our repository provided that the origin and legal info is properly
> documented. I think some info would have to end up in the NOTICE file.
> Reminds me that I have to add a few things to FOP's NOTICE file.
> Here's what HTTPD does: http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/httpd/httpd/trunk/NOTICE


I’ll try the imageio route for now.

Cameron McCormack, http://mcc.id.au/
	xmpp:heycam@jabber.org  ▪  ICQ 26955922  ▪  MSN cam@mcc.id.au

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