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Java on Fiesty Ubuntu - will anyone notice?

Posted by calvinaustin on April 20, 2007 at 5:48 PM PDT

I've been busy working on our Web 2.0 release so didn't have time to update my laptop until now. I was generally happy with my Ubuntu breezy 64bit install, I had the JDK on there, Java worked in firefox 32bit, I could remotely display my screen to a projector and my broadcom wireless card even worked with ndiswrapper.

Now I had a few days to spare I decided to upgrade my system. I didn't get off to a good start going from breezy to dapper lost some of the packages I had. I then went from dapper to edgy but then my wireless would not work with ndiswrapper (kernel module had DMA allocation issues). Even the new bcm firmware cutter utility would freeze the OS and I had to remove the module from the module list.

I decided to continue with my final goal of getting to Fiesty. First it took all night, and then hung when the bcm cutter was installed. I repeated my previous removal of bcm43xx by booting into the live cd to get to my disk and then continued my update. ndiswrapper was not being loaded so with a quick modprobe ndiswrapper my wireless came to live!

Now for Java, I went to my firefox to http://java.com, the site appeared to be temporarily down. I then did java -version, hmm gcj not Sun Java. I then looked through my package maanger and found Sun Java. Both Java 5 and Java 6 could be downloaded. I went for Java 6

The install was straightfoward compared to the mess of faking ubuntu java dependencies before. I had to accept the DLJ license which was a little confusing as it referred to its own license version (1.1) instead of the Java I was using.

However, how many Ubuntu users will be actively looking for Sun Java. Maybe a clean install will ask but I think many developers will be oblivious to this new effort.

So now I have wireless and Java 6, If only there was now a 64bit browser plugin. I have been very tempted to cut my own, Juergen at Blackdown did a great effort but ran into many browser api compatibility problems. The painful part though is that the plugin is hardly a plugin at all, its essentially the JVM running embedded through some now very outdated APIs. While different groups did own the mozilla/netscape/java relationship before at Sun I think this got lost through many years of layoffs. Now maybe no-one owns it, or has little say to get the 64bit interface nice and clean :(

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