Building hsdis?

Andrew Haley aph at
Thu Dec 28 10:48:20 UTC 2017

On 27/12/17 11:26, Volker Simonis wrote:
> There are two different problems here:
> 1. It is not possible to build and redistribute because of
> GPLv2 and GPLv3 license incompatibilities.
> This problem could be easily solved by re-licensing hsdis.{c,h} under
> GPLv3. That would allow it to others (e.g. the AdoptOpenJD project) to
> provide pre-built version of for various platforms and
> versions of OpenJDK. This will be definitely of great benefit for the
> OpenJDK community, especially taking into account that many popular
> tools like JITwatch or JMH use or depend on hsdis.
> 2. The second problem is wether and when a program and its plug-ins
> are considered a single combined program.
> This is a long standing problem [1] and without being a lawyer (which
> is probably an advantage :) I'd consider the usage of hsdis a
> "borderline case" (because HotSpot and hsdis dont't share any complex,
> common data structures - they just pass a byte stream forth and back).
> But that's just my opinion.

Right, but there is substantial functionality which depends on binutils.

> We can not easily solve or decide problem 2. But we can resolve the
> first problem and give everybody the freedom to decide question 2
> for himself.

I believe that anybody distributing the resulting would be on
shaky legal ground.  Maybe it'd work in some countries, not others, I
don't know, but we shouldn't be trying to find clever schemes to evade
the clear intent of the FSF, the binutils copyright owner.

> Without resolving the first problem (i.e. re-licensing hsdis.{c,h}
> under GPLv3) most people won't even face problem two (if this is a
> problem at all) because they simply don't have a version of hsdis.

We need to seek a better way to solve this problem.

Neither of us are lawyers, but I don't like it, and I would be very
reluctant to be involved with any organization trying to get past
the FSF's copyright terms in this way.

Andrew Haley
Java Platform Lead Engineer
Red Hat UK Ltd. <>
EAC8 43EB D3EF DB98 CC77 2FAD A5CD 6035 332F A671

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