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Netbeans 7 without JUnit, legally speaking

JR0cket (1986408) writes | more than 2 years ago

Oracle 0

JR0cket writes "Trying out the latest Netbeans 7 beta 2 release, you quickly see the gentle influence of the Oracle lawyers have had on the Netbeans development team. JUnit testing framework is no longer distributed with Netbeans 7 onwards.

All is not lost though as the first time you run Netbeans 7 you are immediately prompted as to whether you want to install the JUnit testing framework into Netbeans, via the Netbeans plugin for JUnit. As JUnit is pretty much standard for all Java development these days, it seems a strange thing to ask, but when legal concerns get in the way of common sense I guess these things happen. You can still install the Netbeans plug-in later on if you choose not to do it straight away, or if you are not connected to the Internet and therefore cannot connect to the Netbeans "app store" for plugins.

As has been previously reported by NetBeans Platform Architect Jaroslav Tulach, Oracle lawyers are concerned by the overly constrictive conditions of the Common Public Licence used by JUnit and have caused a hold-up on the Netbeans 7 release. This CPL license could be interpreted to mean that if Oracle ever sues a contributor to JUnit for patent infringement, then all patent licenses granted to Oracle by that contributor could be revoked. So the license certainly seems restrictive if you are in the litigation business.

According to Kent Beck, if the CPL license is a big enough problem to get lawyers involved, then its an important enough reason to buy a commercial licence. Unless Oracle wants to pay for a commercial license, pay to get JUnit re-licensed or forget about suing anyone contributing to JUnit, then I guess the Netbeans team will have to keep their work-around.

At least it seems that Netbeans 7 is back on track now and fingers crossed that Oracle decides it will not sue anyone who contributes to JUnit."

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