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Solaris for Java development?

Posted by joconner on September 25, 2007 at 12:08 PM PDT

I'm a long-time Windows user. You just really can't deny that the install experience is good, that hardware drivers are easily accessible, and there are lots and lots of applications. And stability has improved over the years.

I suppose it's only natural that the Windows OS has become my de-facto host for practically all development. In the last year, I've experimented with Mac OS X. The lack of an up-to-date Java Development Kit (JDK) prevents me from using my MacBook Pro as anything more than a nice writing tool. When it comes right down to it, I always go back to my Windows desktop when I want to do much Java development. The JDK is there, all my tools are there. Mac OS X is pretty, seems stable enough, and has great apps too, but I'm frustrated with the fact that I can't really get my favorite development tools running properly. For me that's the latest JDK and NetBeans 5.5.1. Now, of course, I'm looking at NetBeans 6.0, and I'm starting to use it more. These run great on Windows. Have you tried running NB 6 on Mac OS X using Java SE 6? Good luck! This combination doesn't really work for me. However, NB 6 does run great with Java SE 5 on Mac OS X.

So, I'm reconsidering my development platform options so that I get all the best tools with the latest JDK. I know Windows is available, but what else is there? I've tried Ubuntu Linux...that was a good experience for the most part. I've tried Solaris before...with mixed results. I prefer using a laptop computer for most of my work. For that, I've been most successful using Windows, sometimes Ubuntu Linux.

Considering all the tool support, I'm really interested in Solaris again. I noticed that a new version was released yesterday, Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07. It has a new installer that includes drivers for more wireless cards. That seemed to be one of the big hindrances in the past. I know the latest JDK will be there, and NetBeans IDE too. So that's already two big pros to consider.

I've decided to give Solaris another try. There are plenty of other great developer tools included too. I still have limited hardware options -- an old Sony Vaio laptop, but I'll give it my best effort. I'll let you know how it goes.

And by the way, no I haven't forgotten about JavaFX Script. I'm still working with that too, and I'll put out another Learning Curve Journal soon. I have to hook up that UI to some functionality at some point.

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