How to handle non-free parts of a free software project

Toshio Kuratomi a.badger at
Mon Nov 11 23:08:10 UTC 2013

On Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 12:22:16AM +0200, Elad Alfassa wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 12:13 AM, Manuel Faux <manuel.faux at> wrote:
>     NetBeans 7.4 requires a file called jnlp-servlet.jar which is part of
>     the Oracle JDK and itself non-free licensed. The file is not required
>     for building, but for specific functions of the software. 
>     More concrete, the file is required if "one wants to build a packaged
>     war file of JNLP version of a suite".
>     It seems like only the class jnlp.sample.servlet.JnlpDownloadServlet is
>     required, but I could not find it in the OpenJKD.
>     How is this normally handled? Should we add a file to the docs which
>     describes that for this specific functionality that file is required?
>     Manuel
>     --
>     devel mailing list
>     devel at
>     Fedora Code of Conduct:
> The answer is simple. Remove the file. Don't distribute it in Fedora. Have a
> README.fedora file in /usr/share/docs/netbeans (or whatever) which explains
> that this file was removed due to licensing issues and how to get it.
Depending on the license, you may just need to remove the file in the spec
file or you may need to clean it from the tarball before that tarball is
uploaded to the lookaside cache (via fedpkg new-sources).

You may also need to patch the software so that it gracefully handles the
lack of that file at runtime.  Perhaps removing the menu entry that won't
function or popping up a dialog to explain that the netbeans we ship can't
use that non-free functionality.

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