JDK 6 with Leopard today !

So I have been one of the vocal voices that protested to Apple a few weeks back that Leopard does not bundle JDK6, it's been a disappointment compounded by the fact the JDK5 that ship with Leopard is quite incompatible with previous versions. Hard to say if my favorite Java Apps are incorrectly written or they just broke the compatbility but it is clear that IntelliJ for instance does not run on Leopard. 

Of course it starts fine but soon it fills up the system.log with stack traces and your machine will soon spend a lot time indexing these messages, bringing it to its knees. It was first reported by this now famous post and we all shared some anger at the situation.

Anyway, Soylatte have now ported OpenJDK (the now Open Source Java implementation from Sun) to Leopard, so the show will go on ! Of course this is not an acceptable solution for end users, running this port which actually use the X11 port instead of the Apple native UI has its draw backs :

    - it's poorly integrated with the rest of the operating system

    - no Aqua integration

Fabrizio blogged how to use Netbeans 6 with this port, it pinched my curiosity about my other daily tool, IntelliJ IDEA.

    - I download the linux version of IntelliJ, and decided to give it a try... and ...

 


 

Ok so this is probably not the panacea but for the developer it has a few redeeming qualities, for instance
the non visual aspects of the port are working just fine, I can run GlassFish V3 with jdk6 without a glitch
So I am now developing exclusively using the linux version on the mac, after setting the fonts to BistreamVera Sans with Antialiased and Bitstream Vera Sans Mono for editing, switch the theme to Alloy Glass and it's almost bearable...

To start IntelliJ, you just need something like

export IDEA_JDK=/Users/dochez/java/tools/jdk6
sh /Users/dochez/java/tools/idea-7364/bin/idea.sh

One last thing, the ALT key is not mapped correcly in X-Darwin, that is until you modify the .Xmodmap with the following entries, this will nicely swap your option and command key to map linux-style keyboards...

clear mod1
clear mod2
keycode 66 = Meta_L
keycode 63 = Alt_L
add mod1 = Alt_L Alt_R
add mod2 = Meta_L

So this is not perfect, but it has some advantages, they key bindings are Solaris/Linux style which for folks like me who get exposed to multiple OS is a blessing. I think Kohsuke will pay me a beer or better sake for that one, and we might see him hacking on a mac soon... Then again, after his "build this maven module" plugin contribution, I am in debt.. 

One last thing, I could not get ~/.xinitrc to work with X11 on Leopard : X11 would just not start any longer. Maybe a bug, not sure, feedback appreciated... so I have to run the xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap command manually once at each X11 startup.

Overall this is not perfect but for people like me that need JDK6 for development, it works great. Kudos to SoyLatte folks !
 

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