So far so good. Feisty certainly rocks in many aspects as you see from my previous posts, but here comes a biggie. Feisty is probably the best system to get going with Java development out of the box. And here is why and a few gotchas.
Ubuntu is a very user friendly Linux version and installing Java is very easy. All you have to do is sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk and off you go. You can also just use the synaptic package manager, if you are too lazy to open up a command line and want to do some mouse clicking. Thats certainly easier than manually downloading and running setup.exe with question here and there. And it is Java 6, which is more performant than Java 5 and offers better desktop and user interface features. Certainly the way to go for normal users. They can then just go of and user Java webstart on all sorts of cool applications.
A much touted feature of Feisty is the inclusion of the NetBeans IDE and the Glassfish app server. Although I think that both products are actually great, the Ubuntu integration is somewhat suboptimal.
For Netbeans you need to download the tar from the netbeans website first, copy it to /tmp and then do the package install. What a pain! The same ridiculous procedure is actually necessary for the Sun JDK documentation package. From my experience with creating a binary package of Squirrel SQL Client (soon to be release on this site) it would have been easy to wrap it all together. Apparently there are some copyright issues and a fix for this in the works. Anyway.. if you are serious developer and want to give NetBeans a spin I would suggest to head over to the NetBeans site and get a milestone release of NetBeans 6. Compared to this upcoming release NetBeans 5.5 sucks. NetBeans 6 seriously rocks as an IDE for Java, Ruby and more.
The Glassfish install turned me off since it required Java 5 although I had Java 6 already installed. Should only be a bug in the packaging – as far as I can tell the dependency to the JRE is missing the option for Java 6. I have to find out where to post the bug yet. Any ideas?
All in all the Feisty release is a GREAT step forward for Java and Linux. Now the packaging of all the cool Java apps can begin in serious.