Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns the Giant Java Tree?
The authors of the code and other content of the tree.
This is clearly spelled out in the
General Public License,
which all content of the Giant Java Tree must be licensed
under in order to be included.
Who owns the Giant Java Tree domain names?
The domain names 'sourcetree.com', 'sourcetree.org',
and 'gjt.org' are currently owned by myself.
However, I intend to somehow GPL the domains. This is
a new concept for me (has anyone done that?!), so I
am investigating what it will take. However, rest
assured that I have no intention of controlling
the domain names, other than to ensure that they are kept
in reserve for the developers who use the namespace.
How do I get an account?
Accounts are given to anyone who contributes code to the
Giant Java Tree.
How much does an account cost?
Accounts are free.
How can I help out?
Send email to
We need web site developers to help develop
the website. We need graphics designers who want to get
their work on a high volume site. We need documentation
specialists to help literarily challenged programmers
with their User Manuals. We need programmers to contribute
source code to the tree. If you want to write some code, but do
not have anything in mind, send email. There will also be a
category of the GJT bug reporting system that will allow people
to submit code suggestions, so you will be able to review the
items in there soon.
Does my code have to be 100% Java to be included?
The short answer is "no".
If you look at the tree, you will notice com.ice.jcvs,
which includes native Win32 applications, as well as
com.ice.jni, which provides JNI based Win32 native packages.
The qualification for the inclusion of java native sources
is whether the application or package can still be used across
all platforms without modification. Even this requirement is
not required for native interfaces that are aimed at a single
plaform, such as com.ice.jni.registry, which provide a JNI
interface to the Windows Registry Database.
Of course, applications which use native interfaces simply because
the programmer is being lazy will likely wither on the tree,
as other developers are unlikely to want to reuse the code.
It is recommended that all Java development be 100% Java, where
that makes sense. However, to exclude applications and packages
that include native interfaces would seem short sighted and of
little value to this project. The GJT is different in this respect
from projects such as the Java OS, which are by their very
definition 100% Java.
I don't have code to contribute, can I still use the Giant Java Tree?
Yes. You can access the anonymous cvs server to checkout and
track any of the code on the tree. You can view the source
code with your web browser via the cvsweb and bonsai servers.
You can also FTP the entire tree, any package, and pre-packaged
applications and other projects.
Are there any mirrors of the Giant Java Tree?
Not yet. We have two standing offers to mirror the site. We
would like to have a handful of mirrors to help with bandwidth
across the globe, but first we need to finish the site so that
the mirrors are not plunged into chaos.
I want to mirror the GJT, who do I contact?
Send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Describe your setup
How can you afford this?!
Well, currently, I find myself fully employed at very reasonable
rates. I have also managed to keep the cost of raising my family
to a minimum. This allows me to contribute lots of spare time and
small amounts of money. I also manage a dedicated connection for
my business, which has generously donated bandwidth and server
space to this project. If the project grows beyond my modest means,
then this question will have to be re-addressed. We currently have
one offer for a tremendous mirror site, and we have another offer
for a new higher bandwidth home site.
Why do you do this?!
This is a question whose answer is large in scope. The primary
reason that I started the Giant Java Tree was my absolute love
of Free Software. When I saw the potential for Java to meld the
entire concept, source, doc, package domains, I realized the
potential for a Java source tree of Free Software.
If the concept of Free Software is new to you, you should spend
a little time at the
Free Software Foundation,
which describes the origins of Richard Stallman's efforts on GNU
and the FSF. It is a rich history that has validated Stallman's
If you wish to see an example of a hugely successful free software
effort, you might like to check out
the Linux project.
Linux is an operating system that is very much like UNIX.
When one considers the scope of the Linux operating system and
the software that has been ported to run on it, it is almost
mind boggling. To think that this was all done for free is
even more so. However, this is the essence of Free Software.
It is difficult for any entity, be it a coporation or other
organization, with its defined resources, to compete with
potential legions of programmers interested in making their
The vision for the Giant Java Tree is to create a source
respository containing Java packages that can accomplish
almost anything a Java programmer might wish to do. With
source code, autogenerated documentation, automatic packaging,
and other supporting tools. The place to check before you
start writing any Java code.