Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

AppFuse distributed with Gentoo Linux?

According to the Gentoo Java Roadmap, AppFuse is on the list of apps to integrate. Nice! I'm going to rebuild my Windows 2000 Server as a Suse 9.2 box in the next couple of weeks, but I might have to reconsider and go with Gentoo. I was going to buy a gig o' RAM for the box, but it looks pretty spendy.

Today I added another item for AppFuse 1.8 in the roadmap: create an installer using MyJavaPack that can install Ant, AppFuse, MySQL and Tomcat. Basically, give developer's a way to install and start developing with AppFuse in under 5 minutes. Let me know if you're interested in helping out with this.

Posted in Java at Jan 15 2005, 03:30:10 PM MST 4 Comments
Comments:

I have a love/hate relationship with Gentoo. It's a huge pain to install, because there is no installer. You have print out and follow a guide to bootstrap the system (or just bring it up on another machine). It's interesting the first few times you do it, since you get to be part of the bootstrapping process, and get to choose what syslog and cron daemons you use, etc. But it seems like I always miss a step and have to go back and fix things.

Once you get it up and running, it is a nice distribution - especially for power users. It's fast and because things are compiled you don't have as many dependency problems as other distributions.

But it's not without it's problems, emerging (compiling) packages often fails with strange error messages, requiring you to visit the forums to find the fix. I've noticed some are actually concurrency/race issues because in the install guide they recommend you configure parallel make to improve the build speed, so just restarting the build will often fix things.

My biggest gripe is that the reason I switched to Gentoo was that they had a reputation for releasing packages very quickly. Which they do in some cases, some versions of KDE were released for Gentoo the day they were announced on KDE's site. But I had to wait weeks for Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 1.0, which were probably the most anticipated software releases on Linux this year.

I really like KDE - it seems better integrated than Gnome did the last time I used it. I also got burned by Gnome/Ximian's poor quality control one too many times, but after playing with Ubuntu Linux, I may end up switching to it (and back to Gnome).

Still, it is cool that they are including AppFuse. I haven't had a chance to play with AppFuse yet, I was considering trying out on my personal project, but I've decided to use Spring+Acegi+Apache Axis (SOAP) and write a front-end in Swing. At the start of the project I wasn't familiar with any of those technologies, so I'm learning tons.

Posted by James A. Hillyerd on January 15, 2005 at 09:12 PM MST #

I agree with James, that gentoo take a while to install but with this distribution comes the one of the best documentations i've ever used.
After carefully reading the installation-guide (and having some experience with linux) it shoud be no pain to install gentoo and you can choose the binary packages, if you have a slow machine.
I have 2 gentoo-boxes, one dualboot with Win-XP and the other is my fileserver with samba and backup-machine. I really love this distribution, one example why: a few weeks ago i made (after protecting some config-files and some files under /etc/portage/) an
'emerge --update --deep world'
--> this does a complete update with all dependencies of your whole system, see gentoo-handbook .
There are tons of good software in the portage tree and if they are in the portage-tree, they are very easy to install with all (necessary) dependencies. The mailing-list are really good and the IRC-Chatrooms also. You should find help on all topics very fast.

For the work with AppFuse i think i'll switch from the portage-tomcat5 to one i'm installing myself b/c i don't need the init-scripts for it and want to start/stop it with eclipse-tomcat-plugin. Also with this, i don't have to change the userrights for tomcat.
All in all: Gentoo needs some time to get involved but after that you don't want to switch back to another distribution, that's my experience.

Matt, tons of thanks for your work with AppFuse! On Monday i'll have a meeting where i introduce AppFuse to my colleges and boss so that the other developers can switch to AppFuse for coding new apps.
Next week(s) i want to put my 1.6 app to 1.7 with using Acegi and cleaning up some code b/c i learned so much from spring-live and the AppFuse mailinglist.

Keep on going!
Torsten

Posted by Torsten Schmidt on January 16, 2005 at 01:23 AM MST #

i've been a gentoo user for a little over a year now, and am quite pleased with it. i didn't find the setup to be that much of a drag, if only because it's not that much more complicated than installing many Linux packages. the biggest drawback to me is the compile time, which depending on the hardware can be significant (on my thinkpad X23, open office takes around 14 hours or so), but server side that's less of an issue. if you can deal with that, i think it's the best distro for hands on users. most importantly, the user forum has - for me - been outstanding. when i had a problem with a modem driver, one of the users actually installed my exact kernel image just to help me debug. tough to beat that.

Posted by stephen o'grady on January 16, 2005 at 01:42 PM MST #

I ran Gentoo on my laptop for more than a year since it was the only distro which decently handled the roughness of the IBM TP R40e. It worked great, but I grew tired of the compilation and the fact that I honestly did not know what the compiler settings I was using really meant. Don't tell anyone. Since RPM-based distros are out of the question, I briefly ran Arch, which was good to me, before stumbling across Ubuntu which is now all of my client computers (except the workstation at work which needs a 2.4 kernel since I most unfortunately needs to run IBM JDK 1.3.1 which crashes in a ball of fire on 2.6 kernels). It is awesome, everything just works - CD/DVD burning in Nautilus, the hotplug using HAL. I should also mention that I am running the unstable Hoary branch which is actually pretty stable.

Posted by Marcus Ahnve on January 16, 2005 at 03:39 PM MST #

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