I notice looking for the jinput library on Debian (I believe the "j" here implies this is a java specific library, and not a simple wrapper), that there are two packages that might apply:

libjinput-java/stable 20100502+dfsg-7 all
  Java Game Controller API

libjinput-jni/stable 20100502+dfsg-7 armhf
  Java Game Controller API (jni)

Notice this is an ARM system. I know other languages sometimes have two implementations of something, a faster one which requires compiling and a "pure whatever" (in this case java) which does not. The latter seems an unlikely possibility here, but I don't know for certain; the fact that the first one shows up as a package applicable to "all" platforms is interesting vs. the second one, which is an architecture specific listing.

So what is the difference, in Debian nomenclature, between a -java package and a -jni package?

I'm now guessing the -jni package allows this library to be used "in reverse", i.e., from C/C++, if someone could confirm or deny that...


libjinput-java and libjinput-jni are built from the same source. The -java package contains the architecture-independent, pure Java JAR, and the -jni package contains the architecture-specific library which provides the native functionality required by the Java package. Notice that libjinput-java depends on libjinput-jni: they're not two different implementations of jinput, they're two parts of jinput and both are required for jinput-dependent software to work.

The package separation is simply a case of splitting up architecture-independent files from architecture-specific ones.

(JNI is the Java Native Interface, which allows programs running on a JVM to call code in native libraries.)

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