Thursday Jun 26, 2008

Build NetBeans on OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris is on path to become a compelling development environment. Once in a while I use my local installation that runs on my MacBook (under Virtual Box) to experiment with different tasks. Yesterday I tried to build NetBeans on OpenSolaris. With that in mind I knew I'll need the JDK (for the compiler), ant to build the sources, mercurial to pull the sources from the NetBeans open source repositories, etc.

In a terminal I became root and started looking for packages (e.g. pkg install mercurial - but this won't work). I found out that at this point the naming is not yet consistent. You can look for software like netbeans or openoffice by name, however for something like mercurial and ant, one has to use SUNWmercurial and SUNWant respectively.

Pulling from the NetBeans repository is simple:

hg clone

The next step calls for going into the <nbsourcedir>/main/nbbuild/ directory and looking for build targets using ant -projecthelp. "All" seemed an intuitive so I tried it. The bad part is that NetBeans requires ant version 1.7.0 and the version I installed earlier was 1.6.5 :-(. At this point I gave up and I'll ping the NetBeans community for help.

Friday May 30, 2008

Virtualization using Sun's solution

I recently played with Sun's Virtual Box. The score card is mixed. Here are the highlights.

First installation of Virtual Box (1.6.0) on Leopard failed. The installer pointed me to a log that did not exist. A bug. The bad part is that is crashed my MacBook Pro and Java no longer worked as expected until I un-installed Virtual Box. The bad part is that I did not realize that I had a problem with Java and it killed a presentation to some of the Sun folks in Korea. I almost gave up, however Steve encouraged me to try it again ... with feeling:-) I took the advise and I re-installed. This time everything worked well and I was able to install Ubuntu Hardy and OpenSolaris 2008.05. I installed off .iso images that I previously downloaded on my notebook. After the install, both systems behaved as expected (including networking on OpenSolaris, did I say that wireless worked as well - - I've been pleasantly surprised, Tim has now a fan :-)).

Quick note: installing software on OpenSolaris is easy and similar to what one does on Ubuntu. This document gives you a mapping, in case you are a Linux user

Friday May 09, 2008

Java uber alles

IMHO opinion the '08 Java One had many themes. The event took place right after the OpenSolaris launch and unlike last year when Sun introduced JavaFX, this year the conference had Java + You as its motto. My take is that Java is poised to become more of a consumer brand. It is not hard to see why. Java is part of every day life wether we realize or not. Phones, entertainment devices - PS3 (Blue-ray), desktops, web apps, etc. Basically all the "screen" with which we now interact leverage Java.

NetBeans has been focusing on dynamic languages, especially since there is an opportunity to run Ruby, Python, PHP on the JVM. It is likely for this trend to continue, since Sun is a position to offer optimized deployment for applications that use dynamic languages. This is true now more than ever since most of these languages leverage MySQL and Sun will do its best to tune the database on Sun systems.

The most entertaining session that I attended was Todd Fast's. That were I learned that 1.0 developers are an endangered species :-) Thanks God that I am now in management. I should also hedge my bets and become a casual developer. All I need is a 2.0 development environment and I ready to go.

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

NetBeans and OpenSolaris

NetBeans is widely distributed nowadays. You can get it from as part of the Java SE or EE bundles, as well as from Ubuntu makes it available in Universe (starting with Hardy) and the community contributed NetBeans to the Debian repositories (for more details on the Linux distributions that include NetBeans, take a look here).

The latest open source product that makes NetBeans (version 6.0.1) available is OpenSolaris (2008.05). I am in the process of kicking the tires of the RC2, that was recently produced in anticipation of the Community One event which takes place next month in San Francisco. I am still struggling with the OpenSolaris install, however I have an atypical configuration: MacBook Pro, partitioned with Boot Camp; I am trying to install in a partition where I previously installed Windows Vista.

Here are some of the issues that I am running into:

<snip from installation log>
Set fdisk attrs
fdisk: fdisk -n -F failed. Could't create fdisk partition table on disk c5d0
Couldn't create fdisk partition table on disk
Could not create fdisk target
TI process completed unsuccessfully
 </snip from installation log> 




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