I just got back from Brazil, where I was honoured to be a speaker at FISL 8. Attended by over 5,000 people, FISL is one of the world's largest Free software events. I gave them an update on progress making the Java platform Free software in an open source community. The reaction was overwhelming - I kept having people come and thank me for Sun's contribution to Free software.
I wondered why so many people were so grateful, and once it was explained I understood. In Brazil, almost all the banks have online banking interfaces written as Java applets; the tax authorities have a tax filing applet; the use of Java is pervasive. This was great - except for people on GNU/Linux. It turns out that making the JDK available in Debian made an enormous difference to the Brazilian Free software movement, since they were finally able to gain the same access to the necessities of modern online life as those trapped on proprietary operating systems.
So I assume they will be delighted with today's announcement, made a little while ago by Sun software EVP Rich Green in a speech in São Paulo. The news is that a full Java developer stack with tools is available from today in the Multiverse repository for Ubuntu 7.04 (that's Feisty Fawn). It includes JDK 6, the Glassfish Java EE server, the NetBeans development environment and the Java DB database. From today, Ubuntu becomes a first-class Java developer platform (just like Solaris Express already is). That also makes deployment easy - having Glassfish or Java DB as a dependency becomes almost trivial. More details on Sun's GNU/Linux page. Ubuntu gets a new colour!