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Red Hat Software Businesses Java Programming Software Linux

Red Hat Joins Open Source Java Project 121

Posted by kdawson
from the cup-of-cooperation dept.
narramissic writes "Red Hat has signed on to Sun's OpenJDK project and agreed to coordinate its own Java development efforts for Linux with the project. Red Hat will align the work it has done on IcedTea (its own implementation of some parts of the Java SE JDK) with OpenJDK. As part of its participation in OpenJDK, Red Hat will eventually create a compatible OpenJDK implementation for its Enterprise Linux distribution and will also use OpenJDK to create a runtime for its JBoss Enterprise Middleware that is optimized for a Linux environment."
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Red Hat Joins Open Source Java Project

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  • mono (Score:2, Funny)

    what about mono?
    • by Alphager (957739)
      what about it? Since when does Sun do mono?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306)
        As you may have figured out, that's not the real Miguel. This is his doppelgänger who tries to be funny. "What about mono?" is obviously a gag based on how hard Miguel tries to push Mono as being a one-true-OSS-replacement-for-Java-that-is-potentially-encumbered-but-you're-supposed-to-trust-Miguel-that-it's-not.

        I dunno. I chuckled. Mods, make your own decision.
    • You may wish to check out IKVM.NET [ikvm.net]

      It's a Java Virtual Machine implemented on top of .NET.

      The author was using GNU Classpath for the class libraries but has recently been integrating the OpenJDK ones.

      Why? To embed Java functionality without a messy JNI layer.

  • by visualight (468005) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:14AM (#21253383) Homepage
    With all the "openness" going on with Java these days will things get even more complicated? I have 3 important commercial apps that run on java, all three have their own run time environments that are incompatible with each other. I have no end of trouble with jre and firefox. I can't count how many times I've had problems with classpaths trying to run java stuff.

    Will the OpenJDK mean another runtime? As in Blackdown, Sun, Open?
    • by bytesex (112972) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @11:22AM (#21254661) Homepage
      That's not the result of the openness of the JDK or the JVM; the specs for both were always open. Sun always gave you the src.zip for the JDK, and they provided the bytecode spec and in what way to run such bytecode openly and free op charge.
      • Ok, "openness" is not a factor, but it is yet another runtime isn't it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by M. Baranczak (726671)
        The src.zip only contained parts of the source code.
        • by LizardKing (5245)

          It contained all of the JFC that was written in Java, the idea being that this was the stuff to look at for best practices in Java coding. The native code was released under the SCSL (Sun Community Source Code License) which is what kick started the Blackdown project and ultimately brought decent Java support to Linux. The native code stuff was largely uninteresting to the average Java coder so I can understand why it wasn't shipped as part of the JDK.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162)
      If you run three different VM:s that are incompatible then something is amiss unless at least one of them is the Microsoft VM that is known to be incompatible.

      Only a few issues makes it harder to run all on the latest SUN JRE, and none of them are considered good programming practice. I suggest that you take that back to the app vendors and tell them to get it right and working on the latest released Java (1.6).

      The major problem I have recognized is actually related more to the centrally distribution of

    • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @12:23PM (#21255435) Homepage Journal
      I think the biggest problem with the original write once, run everywhere promise was this: Java was almost, but not quite, an operating system. If you had a system that worked on WinXP but not Vista, you'd fix the problem; you wouldn't tell your customers to install both operating systems on the same machine because he can't. If I had A,B and C that only ran on Windows versions X,Y and Z respectively, I'd take the trouble to make A and B run on Z.

      In Java I can get by with A, B and C each running only on JDK 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 respectively, but I have to call upon the user, working with the host OS, to deal with any confusion that arises. Now, multiply that by any libraries you use that aren't part of the standard java distribution, and things start to get really interesting.

      In part the problem of Java classpaths is one of an embarrassment of riches. There are so many powerful frameworks and amazingly useful little libraries that are out there, free for the taking. However, once you open that Pandora's box, it isn't simply a matter of write once, run everywhere; you have to deal wit the dependency issues that come out of that box. It can be done, and it's not really all that difficult, it's just one of those craft things that some people seem to have figured out how to do and others seem to leave as an afterthought after all the fun stuff has been finished.

      The embarrassment of riches also applies to the biggest pitfall in Java development: making bad framework choices, which you can do in multiples at the same time on any project. Leaving aside the case where you have a bad framework (the early EJB stuff -- ugh), or where you have made a bad mistake in requirements analysis, there are so many frameworks that are wonderful for one set of requirements and dreadful overkill for others. Working with a set less than optimally chosen frameworks sucks the joy out of a project, as you set aside the pleasure of solving the client's problem for the tedious drudgery of gluing together mismatched bits of architecture.

      • by MinnowGuy (462728)
        You can use something like the OSGi framework to wrap library jars and manage classpaths. There are several solid implementations.
    • by aled (228417)
      I understand that OpenJDK is the open source version of Sun JDK. I'm curious about which are the runtimes that you need to use, or are they 3 different versions of the SUN runtime?
      • A JRE is installed with the apps, and they have start scripts that setup they're own environment in the running shell, except one that adds itself to /etc/bashrc (I took that out and made a new script like the other two though). I'm not at that workstation but I think all three Sun.

        Anyway, there are different versions of different runtimes and not all apps work with all of these variations, and this sometimes makes me want to throw them all out.
        • by LizardKing (5245)

          The answer is not to ship a JRE with your application if it's likely that the user already has one. Alternatively, just ship the most recent JRE, as backwards compatability is pretty darn good with Java and well written code should just run irrespective of whether it was written for 1.2 through 1.6. An example of badly written code is anything that uses the "hidden" sun.com classes, although I have used them myself for signal support.

        • Oh my stars and garters. Editing bashrc directly is begging to break other apps. These modifications should be in /etc/profile.d/jre-[version].sh

          That sort of abuse of the system default settings is another reason I detest the Sun installers.
    • IMHO I think that OpenJDK is an unnecessary effort. Apache Harmony project has the same principle. It would be better to spend that effort in some other open-source project.
  • parallel universe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squoozer (730327) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:16AM (#21253393)
    I must have slipped into a parallel universe or something because it's starting to look like Java might finally make it's way onto the Linux platform in a useable way. Fair enough we have been deploying Java apps on Linux boxes for a while but it's been much harder than deploying a PHP, C, C++, etc etc application. That always struck me as strange because I would have thought that Java was the perfect language for open source projects. Fairly quick, simple to develop in, stacks of libraries, popular.
    • You mean they might pry the installer out of Sun's hands? Great!
      • by aled (228417)
        Didn't you hear? Sun Java implementation is open sourced under GPL. You may want to check jpackage.org if you use an RPM based distribution.
        • Now go look at the SRPM for those jpackage releases. It's fairly nasty to build, and the SRPM's hide a lot of the nastiness. The naming and numbering schemes alone for the different versons of JDK, I mean SDK, I mean "whatever the heck it's called this week" is extremely painful and leads to serious issues with systems that requie two distinct versions of Java for different applications.

          You can work around this with wrappers, but the Sun installation practices make the whole deal pretty painful to deal with
      • Cryptic installers are steadily vanishing. :)

        At least on my linux distro, it's integrated with the standard packaging system and, for first-timers, has an installation guide complete with screenshots [java.net].

        Since it's now being released under the GPL, no doubt the dialog box asking one to agree to a license will disappear.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fairly quick, simple to develop in, stacks of libraries, popular.

      Not to mention it's great for creating slow, unresponsive, hideously ugly GUI's. What's not to love about that?!

      Seriously, though, Java rocks, but Swing needs to die. At the very least it need to do a wxWidgets and actually look and feel native. The "Native" L&F in Java 6 is much better than Java 5, but it's still freaking ugly and stands out horribly. Even after all of these years and the increases in processor speed an memory, Swing apps still feel very unresponsive. I'm not saying SWT is the an

      • Re:parallel universe (Score:5, Informative)

        by EricTheRed (5613) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @10:29AM (#21253965) Homepage
        The main problem with unresponsive Swing apps, is that most developers do everything within the Event thread, so the app is unable to respond in a reasonable manner.

        If Swing developers remember to move intensive operations off the Event thread and into a background thread, then Swing app's are really nice and responsive. It's not that difficult, but for some reason most developers are either unable to, or unwilling to do this simple task.

        Believe me, I've seen the source of plenty of Swing app's that have been written with everything in the Event thread and the developer (one of whom I had employed at that time) refused to do this because they couldn't be bothered.

        As for the look and feel, it's getting better but it still has a long way to go.
        • by HiThere (15173)
          Like NetBeans?

          Sorry, but NetBeans has convinced me that even Sun selected specialist experts can't write a responsive GUI in Java. The reason why may be debateable, the fact is observable.

          Also, I've heard lots of complaints about the responsiveness of OpenOffice. I'm presuming that these are from people who are using versions that aren't compiled with gcj...but if that's what makes the difference, then it's Java rather than Swing that's the problem. (N.B.: This *IS* a presumption. I've noticed that Ope
          • by EricTheRed (5613)
            > Like NetBeans?
            >
            > Sorry, but NetBeans has convinced me that even Sun selected specialist experts can't write a responsive GUI in Java. The reason why may be debateable, the fact is observable.

            I agree with you. I actually use NetBeans all the time, and it's one of the things that's annoyed me the most that it becomes unresponsive, like during a refactor. Why the hell that's running in the EDT I don't know.

            This does boil down to what I originally said about a lot of developers (and in this case Sun'
          • by chromatic (9471)

            Also, I've heard lots of complaints about the responsiveness of OpenOffice. I'm presuming that these are from people who are using versions that aren't compiled with gcj...

            OpenOffice.org is primarily C++. As I understand it, a few parts of the database layer use Java, but most of the source code is and always has been C++.

            • by HiThere (15173)
              In that case it's *really* strange that the version I installed on Debian was labelled compiled with gcj. And it's strange that the version on the Mac crawled, while The Gimp ran fine. Still, too many variables.
              • by aled (228417)
                Some recent components of Open Office are in Java, like database access I believe. The rest is the old C++ code.
          • by LizardKing (5245)

            NetBeans wasn't written by Sun, they bought out the original developers, by which time it was already a clusterfuck. There's an article by Gosling (can't find the link at the moment, but that's beside the point) where he describes it as a good example of how not to write a Swing app. The trouble is that people see the Reflection API and don't think how inefficient it can be. This is largely Sun's own fault for emphasising the use of Reflection when they started pushing the whole Bean concept.

        • by FunkyELF (609131)

          If Swing developers remember to move intensive operations off the Event thread and into a background thread, then Swing app's are really nice and responsive. It's not that difficult, but for some reason most developers are either unable to, or unwilling to do this simple task.

          Doing trivial stuff on another thread is easy but its a pain in the ass when you need to access a class's members or methods from within an Anonymous inner class. What Java needs is closures, then there wouldn't be any excuse for not using a new thread. I started to program Swing the right way for a while but I'm finding myself doing more and more on the EDT just because anonymous inner classes are a pain.

          • by LizardKing (5245)

            Simply don't use anonymous inner classes. They're the kind of stuff (like the Reflection API) that appeals too much to the former Perl programmer in us all. They may seem to be an elegant feature, but they're more of a hack that's been made to popular by the frequency of their use in example code.

    • Re:parallel universe (Score:5, Informative)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:43AM (#21253555) Homepage Journal

      I must have slipped into a parallel universe or something because it's starting to look like Java might finally make it's way onto the Linux platform in a useable way.
      Java has been available and has worked well on the Linux platform for years. The main problem in trying to deploy Java on most Linux distros is that the more popular distros started putting GNU Java and GNU Classpath as the default Java VM and classpath on Linux. Sun's Java has been available in binary form for as long I've been using Linux (I started using Linux in 1994). I'm not sure when they started offering source, but it's been available, too, and things like Blackdown have been based on it for a long, long time.

      And there are plenty of nice Java apps and environments on Linux -- Eclipse is one of the big ones, obviously. The bottom line is that gcj/gij gave Java on Linux a bad name because standard Java apps and programming examples never have worked on it right. Install Sun's JRE/JDK or Blackdown, and you'll find that Java works great on Linux.
      • The reason they used the wacky GNU Java is that Sun's licensing made it hard to include their Java on free distros. This is now changing, fortunately. In Ubuntu, you can now install the Sun JDK with apt-get, just like any other package. (I think you have to activate the Universe repo first... it's been a while.)
        • The reason they used the wacky GNU Java is that Sun's licensing made it hard to include their Java on free distros.
          Hence the reason for the existence of Blackdown: it was created specifically to allow the free distros to include a Sun-compatible JRE and JDK.

          I imagine with Java going Open Source, the need for Blackdown will end.
          • by chrb (1083577)

            Hence the reason for the existence of Blackdown: it was created specifically to allow the free distros to include a Sun-compatible JRE and JDK.
            No, it was created because there was no Sun JDK for Linux. Blackdown predates Sun's official Linux port.

            I imagine with Java going Open Source, the need for Blackdown will end.
            The Blackdown project has already closed.
          • by chrb (1083577)

            The reason they used the wacky GNU Java is that Sun's licensing made it hard to include their Java on free distros.

            Hence the reason for the existence of Blackdown: it was created specifically to allow the free distros to include a Sun-compatible JRE and JDK.

            Red Hat wanted an open source Java stack that they had some control over, so that they could do development, bug fixes etc. Neither Sun's JDK or Blackdown were open source, so they heavily invested in gcj and classpath, porting Openoffice to use both

      • by heffel (83440)

        Sun's Java has been available in binary form for as long I've been using Linux (I started using Linux in 1994).

        Quite an amazing feat since Java didn't come out until 1995. When I first started working with Java (1996) there was no official Sun Java under Linux, there was a port from BlackDown [blackdown.org] (their web site seems to have gone AWOL recently).

        I can't remember exactly when Sun added Linux as an officially supported platform, however I know it wasn't from the get go. As a matter of fact, the number one bug in

      • Assuming you are using a x86, then yes, Java is available for you on Linux. Don't try to be cute using 64 bits, if you do so you'll start to see the limitations.

        Also, the Linux jre has a different set of bugs from the Windows one, and since both sets aren't small (try to do anything different from what the designers intended and you'll see them) Java tends to not be very portable.

        • by LizardKing (5245)

          Utter bullshit. I develop on NetBSD, using a native build of Sun's JDK from the SCSL sources. I deploy to Linux on x86, x86_64, ppc32 and ppc64 as well as Windows, Solaris and Mac OS X. I've never once run into a problem with portability with my own code, and only once in someone else's code (which used com.sun classes - which is frowned on anyway). Compared to coding in C for POSIX platforms, Java's a fskcing dream when it comes to portability.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The problem with you argument is SUN never managed to create a good installer. People didn't use gcj because they preferred it they used gcj because red hat/fedora/debian packaged it and (unlike SUN) knew how to create working linux installers

        So SUN gave Java on Linux a bad name by making its stuff harder to install than alternatives
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by noldrin (635339)
        Actually Sun precompiled Java consistently causes processes to hang and I end up needed to kill -9 firefox. Now that I have the open source sun java compiled by Fedora the system is rock solid and haven't needed to kill -9 firefox once. I've had the same results with flash vs gnash. Besides being overly restricting, closed sourced software just tends to suck more.
      • You also couldn't compile the Sun Java: the RPM installers, for example, were simply wrappers and the binary blobs from Sun. Didn't we have that argument about the NVidia and other binary blob installers?
    • by Wolfger (96957)

      Fairly quick, simple to develop in, stacks of libraries
      You're talking about Perl, right? I would not call Java "fairly quick" or "simple to develop in". When a Hello World takes more than one line of code, it's most definitely not simple to develop in.

      Now popular I'll give you... but I don't think popular == good.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        public class HelloWorldDemo {public static void main(String args[]){System.out.println("Hello World");}}

        How many lines?
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          At least 5, but you apparently had a problem converting from unix to dos line endings before you posted. Also, it contains a bug, as the title of your post is not the same as the class name.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Dragonslicer (991472)

        You're talking about Perl, right?... When any program you can possibly imagine takes more than one line of code...
        Fixed that for ya.
    • That always struck me as strange because I would have thought that Java was the perfect language for open source projects. Fairly quick, simple to develop in, stacks of libraries, popular.
      But not foss leading to poor integration with linux distros.

      Hopefully it won't be too long before the remaining encumbered components are properly replaced and opensource java becomes a part of all major general purpose linux distros.
  • by downix (84795) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:22AM (#21253431) Homepage
    Open Sourced Solaris, SPARC, now Java... Halleluiah cries the OSS choir.

    But seriously, this business move by Sun has made it far more attractive to my company, enabling us to test out Solaris on our existing server before we perform a rollout. In addition, having the source code for the UltraSPARC T1 has enabled us to do research into how the chip functions on a lower level, with an eye to further optimizing our software to perform even faster on it. Sun, you might win over my heart just yet.
    • by trjonescp (954259)

      Sun, you might win over my heart just yet.
      I don't think they care about your heart. It's your wallet they are going after.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by publicworker (701313)

        Sun, you might win over my heart just yet.

        I don't think they care about your heart. It's your wallet they are going after.
        For most geeks the way to their wallet is via their heart.
  • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saija (1114681) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:24AM (#21253443) Journal
    The official news on the red hat site:http://www.redhat.com/about/news/prarchive/2007/sun_java.html/ [redhat.com]
    because i can't find references on the sun & openjdk site.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @09:25AM (#21253445)
    Why? Sure, it was a novell idea to try and create an open sourced java but the whole arguments which backed it up were false. Many people seriously believed that Sun was not opening up the Java source code period, while in fact that was a mere lie. The Java source code was available but simply licensed in such a way which didn't really go well with some. And so they simply declared it "closed source" and fooled many people into thinking that the Java sourcecode wasn't available period.

    Why I mention this? Because it was perfectly legal to adopt certain pieces and sniplets of code, check the way things were build an adapting those ideas. All of that might have made a difference for the gcj/gij projects. Personally I condemn those 2 projects, but having said that I will have to admit that they did make a good effort.

    But the main reason I hate this stuff with a passion is because its not compatible with Java, and it is my belief that all the nonsense (gcj/gij + the bs about the closed source java) has left Java with a bad name / reputation on the Linux platform. Which I think is unfair and an utter shame. Would this have not been the case I think Java could have lifted some interoperable development movements to higher levels. Sure; it has already done this to some extend and Linux is still a big market for Sun, but when the bs was still spreading you could already easily download binary installers (self extractors) to install Java on Linux. But I have met simply way too many people who had problems to "do java on linux" and when you started disecting the problems it all boiled down to Linux distributions shipping gcj/gij thus resulting in non-working Java software. And as well all know; a good user doesn't blame his tools but the product he's trying.

    I once spend 45 minutes on the Sun Java tutorial and couldn't get some examples to work. Eventually I tried on another platform, that did work, and so I knew where to look. Eventually I ended up dumping gcj/gij and replacing it, unfortunately I think many others ended up dumping Java.
    • Yes, but a (maybe minor) feature of GCJ is its ability to build self-contained Java applications, i.e. to compile some Java source code into an executable which does not require any previous JVM installed, etc...

      I admit that there are few Java applications (at least on Debian) which are compiled by GCJ and packaged as plain old binary executables. Of course, this means avoiding some fancy Java tricks (the dynamic class loader, some reflection abilities, etc...).

      Still, I believe GCJ does have at least such a niche market (for those few applications which don't want to depend on a JVM being installed).

      Besides, GCJ is GCC based, and GCC is still a nice project (even if it is old).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ed Avis (5917)
      Well, quite. If Java doesn't have a good-quality, free implementation then I'll dump Java and use something else instead. gcj and gij are heroic efforts but they were always trying to catch up to a semi-proprietary standard.

      'closed source' is an inane term. I don't think anyone from gcj or gij was describing Sun's Java as 'closed source'. It's non-free, which is what matters. Merely being able to look at the source code doesn't mean you have freedom to use, share and change the software.
      • Sun Java was not open source by the original meaning [opensource.org] of the term, which was simply a new more "business acceptable" phrasing for the term free software.

        It is true that the gcj/gij "camp" probably didn't call it closed source, but that is because they were part of the GNU family, who preferred the original term (free software) with all its connotations.

        Later the term "open source" has been diluted on message boards byt people trying to "reverse engineer" a meaning from the name. But this is no different fro
        • by Ed Avis (5917)
          I think that calling it 'not open source' is fine but the term 'closed source' sounds lame (IMHO) and is just likely to confuse people.
    • I truly hope for the end of gcj/gij

      I think there is still a place for gcj as a native java compiler. What's stopping them now compiling against the OpenJDK class libraries instead of classpath? Should be a huge improvement for compatibility.
    • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @10:31AM (#21254005)
      Actually, instead of the end, this is just the official beginning: From the intro at [gnu.org]http://gcc.gnu.org/java/ [gnu.org]

      Compiled applications are linked with the GCJ runtime, libgcj, which provides the core class libraries, a garbage collector, and a bytecode interpreter. libgcj can dynamically load and interpret class files, resulting in mixed compiled/interpreted applications. It has been merged with GNU Classpath and supports most of the 1.4 libraries plus some 1.5 additions.
      From TFA:

      Red Hat has signed Sun's OpenJDK contributor agreement and will now align the work its done on its IcedTea project, which was its own implementation of some parts of the Java SE JDK, with OpenSDK, said Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management for JBoss. IcedTea brought together the Fedora project with key Java technologies in a Linux environment, and currently provides open-source alternatives for the few remaining proprietary sections in the OpenJDK project, he said.
      Yet looking into the IcedTea project [javalobby.org]:

      Red Hat has launched the IcedTea project, with the goal of creating a hybrid fully free Java implementation based on OpenJDK and GNU Classpath. The project replaces binary plugs that are still non-free with code from GNU Classpath "We have been working within Red Hat to replace these binary plugs with free software based on GNU Classpath and to remove the need for bootstrapping with unfree software. This is important for a number of reasons, the most pressing being that only free software may be used to build operating systems like Fedora", said Andrew Haily on an OpenJDK newsgroup.
      Also, Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] references "Wielaard, Mark [klomp.org] (2007-06-07). IcedTea [wildebeest.org]. Retrieved on 2007-06-09":

      IcedTea replaces the binary plugins with the equivalent GNU Classpath code, compiles it all using GCJ and optionally bootstraps itself using the HotSpot Java Virtual Machine and the javac Java compiler it just built.
      So again, this is not the end of end of GCJ but part of its validation.
      • IcedTea replaces the binary plugins with the equivalent GNU Classpath code, compiles it all using GCJ and optionally bootstraps itself using the HotSpot Java Virtual Machine and the javac Java compiler it just built.
        That wikipedia quote is neither entirely accurate or entirely up to date

        Initially icedtea was built with ecj as the compiler running on gij (a close relative of gcj and often packaged with it which may be where the idea that it was built with gcj came from).

        Right now icedtea only builds with old
        • "Initially icedtea was built with ecj as the compiler running on gij (a close relative of gcj and often packaged with it which may be where the idea that it was built with gcj came from)."

          Isn't it "a part of", rather than "a close relative to"?

          GNU Interpreter for Java (GIJ) is a Java bytecode interpreter for the Java programming language. It is part of the free software GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ). GCJ is the compiler counterpart to GIJ.

          And in fact, to make it really confusing, since the GCJ is part of G

          • Isn't it "a part of", rather than "a close relative to"?
            Not sure, they are seperate binaries in the gnu compiler collection (gcc) but I think gij is part of the gcj project.

            But to me "built with gcj" implies built with the gnu java compiler not built with some other compiler that happens to be running under gij/classpath.

    • by chrb (1083577)
      You are glossing over many of the legitimate concerns people had with Sun's Java. Your argument basically boils down to "Linux users were stupid, they tried Java but got GNUs gcj, didn't realise the difference, and complained that it was Java's fault. Every problem they had stemmed from gcj, not Sun's Java, which rocked and had no problems". Well, that's one possibility. You might like to also consider some others: that Java was marketed as high performance but found lacking [debian.org], that distributor's couldn't shi
    • by HiThere (15173)
      This is a part of the confusion over the term "open". "Free" would have been more appropriate, but would have had it's own sorts of confusion.

      Sun's license was "open" in the sense that you could see the code. It wasn't "free" because you couldn't redistribute it. This made it unuseable by Linux distros. To avoid confusion over price, they said the code wasn't open. Technically the wrong term, but free would have caused as much, or more, confusion, and many more people would have thought that they were
  • by tji (74570)

    My problem with the Sun JRE is that it is HUGE. Why do I need 100MB+ to run a simple Java application?

    Are there other good JRE options for Linux? Maybe something geared towards embedded environments?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Saija (1114681)
      Thats the reason because sun is working in what they call "the consumer jre", please check this pages: http://weblogs.java.net/blog/chet/archive/2007/05/consumer_jre_le.html/ [java.net]
      and this https://jdk6.dev.java.net/6uNea.html/ [java.net]
      • by damaki (997243) *
        This stuff is the fucking java holy grail. I develop mostly java applications and was always astonished that there is no way to lazily load the core libs as separate parts and not as a huge stinky whole. Sure, once it's loaded, it's fast, but I really would prefer a faster load of the needed classes and small hiccups when I dynamically try to load a partial lib.
      • From that page

        "The fix, then, is for us to take advantage of the disk cache to make sure that the memory pages on disk that we must read at startup have already been loaded before we need them. How do we do this? We cannot magically pre-load the pages just prioir to launching; unfortunately, the VM currently lacks the ability to see into the future to detect when the user will be launching Java (we would love to have this feature in the future, but it is not yet present). But we can pre-load at some earlie
    • by drig (5119)
      There's Kaffe at http://www.kaffe.org./ [www.kaffe.org] It's an optimized version for embedded uses (either embedded in devices or embedded in a larger program). It's not 100% compatible, but I believe it's more than usable for many purposes.
      • by drig (5119)
        Of course, I forgot J2ME. That's the "mobile" edition, designed for space/cpu constrained mobile devices.
    • by quintesse (654840) on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @10:34AM (#21254071)
      That number is a bit exaggerated, my install of the latest Java 6 JRE is about 80MB (and the download is only 14MB).

      One of the reasons it's so big is because it has a LOT of functionality. But you're right of course when you say that you don't need all of that to run a simple Java application. So Sun decided to do something about that: in the upcoming Java 6 Update N (what was previously called the "Consumer JRE") only a relatively small "kernel" will be installed which has only the most essential components. The rest will be downloaded "when needed".
      • It's probably too late for java to overtake flash in that market segment, but if Sun had originally done this, they would have probably won the web war. The two biggest complaints about java are, the JRE is too big to download, and the programs take too long to start. This is 99% of people's impression of java. They don't care that it's perhaps one of the best general purpose languages out there right now. They care it takes 10 seconds longer than flash to run a simple program. Sun should have never half-as
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Dude, you should know by know that "embedded" and "garbage collection" don't go well together. At least for most embedded applications I'm familiar with - flight simulators, heart monitors, anti-lock braking and engine control systems, etc. Real-time performance and "oh, I'm just gonna spend half a second over here reclaiming memory, don't mind me!" just don't go together. Yes, I know there's been talk of real-time friendly garbage collectors, but .. well, I won't believe it until I see it in action, and if
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bberens (965711)
        If you need Real Time efficiency use specialized hardware, OS, and not Java. If you're making a little app that you want to be able to run on virtually any cell phone on the planet... use Java. Use the right tool for the job. How difficult is that?
      • by nuzak (959558)
        There isn't just "talk of real-time gc", it's already out there.

        Pardon moi if I would rather not deal with someone forgetting to free mallocs because they decided to shave a few microseconds off something already running within 50 milliseconds of deadline. Especially when the controller is buried under 10 tons of concrete.

        Anyway, the research that's all the rage these days is static garbage collection. It works just like manually freeing memory, but you never have to actually do it yourself. It just inse
    • by deander2 (26173) * <`public' `at' `kered.org'> on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @10:44AM (#21254199) Homepage
      My problem with the Sun JRE is that it is HUGE. Why do I need 100MB+ to run a simple Java application?

      you don't. a simple stroll over to java.sun.com will show you that the JRE [sun.com] is 14M for windows and 18M for linux.

      the "100M+" is if you're also downloading all their development tools and documentation (and possibly netbeans, depending on the link). not atypical in the least.
    • "Download the final release of the .NET Framework 3.0 Runtime Components" results in a 50.3 MB executable being downloaded. Surely this is compressed. Does anyone know if JRE is as large as the .NET "RE"?
      • From MSDN:
        Deployment in Visual Studio
        Deploying Prerequisites (Visual Studio)
        In order to successfully deploy an application, you must also deploy all components referenced by the application. For example, most applications created with Visual Studio 2005 have a dependency on the .NET Framework; a required version of the common language runtime must be present on the target computer before the application is installed. The deployment tools in Visual Studio 2005 enable you to install the .NET Framework
  • How do you folks intelligently and objectively choose between Python and Java? Or at this point is it a subjective decision?
    • by jpfed (1095443) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .leipsredef.yrrej.> on Tuesday November 06, 2007 @02:14PM (#21256861)
      They each have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the great computer language shootout [dada.perl.it], Java is faster by an order of magnitude, but is more verbose and usually consumes about twice as much memory. The ultimate decision depends (at least) on your application's needs and the capabilities of the environments you're targeting.
    • Only one of them has static typing. That alone ought to be the deciding factor for most people, one way or the other. Some people hate static typing, others can't live without it.

      Personally, I find static typing annoying for small programs, and godsend for large programs.
      • by dbIII (701233)
        Also in one whitespace has meaning and in the other it doesn't. Some see that as a big drawback and others as a major advantage. Personally I don't like enforcement of readablity to be another source of potential bugs but on the other hand more readable code is easier to debug.
        • Also in one whitespace has meaning and in the other it doesn't.


          Whitespace has meaning in both -- if you don't believe that, try compiling any Java file after removing all the whitespace. Its just that in Java, any contiguous block of whitespace outside of a string literal usually has the same meaning as any other contiguous block of whitespace would in the same place, though there are some exceptions.

    • by LizardKing (5245)

      Unfortunately Python's threading is a bit of a joke at the moment, but work is being done to sort this out. Until then, Python's performance is pretty poor compared to Java, although if I had to use a "traditional" scripting language Python and Ruby would be my first two choices with Tcl a distant third and Perl a definite no.

    • Why choose, you can have both [jython.org]! :)
  • RH interest in OpenJDK has some interesting side effects: they're actively working on porting it also to powerpc, both 32 and 64 bit.
    Gary Benson, main RH powerpc developer, is keeping a journal [livejournal.com] about his work, quite interesting stuff.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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