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Re: Java problem

On Thursday 03 January 2008, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Lamar Owen wrote:
> > ; he was then and still is a gentlemen, as most of
> > the kernel developers (and Fedora packagers!) are if treated with the
> > respect that they have earned, and not with a 'I want this so you must
> > give it to me this way bwahaha!' attitude.

> It's not a matter of whether anyone must give me something or not, I
> just won't run Linux where it keeps breaking and I'm not convinced that
> anyone can do better at drivers than the vendors that build the hardware.

And, in the specific case of AMD/ATI, once things are completely open source 
you may see the upstream vendor source in the upstream X.org and kernel 
packages, with ATI/AMD people doing the maintenance.  That would be the ideal 
scenario, IMO.  

While it would be very nice, for many people, for the kernel module ABI and 
API to remain a constant, it is plain from the Linux kernel upstream that 
this isn't going to happen; and it's not a Fedora thing.  The Fedora issue is 
where a kernel version upgrade that changes the source code module API is 
introduced inside a release; good grief, can it not wait until the next 
Fedora release, where I EXPECT breakage in this interface?  In F7, the 2.6.22 
to 2.6.23 caught alot of people (and not just binary module people) off 
guard.  Will F8, which shipped a 2.6.23, get a 2.6.24 that similarly breaks 
some things?  After all, the Linux 2.6.x series is a development kernel 
series; there was and there is no stable 2.6.x kernel (now, 2.6.x.y, on the 
other hand, can be fairly stable, from an API/ABI point of view), in the same 
sense as 2.4.x, 2.2.x, or even 2.0.x is and was stable.

> It's a multitasking machine - you should be able to run both [IcedTea and
>  Sun JDK] at once (and you can, if you can find them).

rpm -ql is your friend.  It is more difficult to do so for the browser applet.

> > You do realize that OpenJDK IS the Sun Java of the future, right, Les?

> Yes, but would you try to drive the car of the future while it still has
> some parts missing?

If I were a car enthusiast that is delving into development autos running 
cutting edge biofuels, for testing on a closed circuit, sure, in a heartbeat.  
Fedora is an enthusiast distribution, IMO, and is much like this hypothetical 
biofuel car I might be playing around with.  

Would I run the kids to town for a doctor's appointment in it?  No.  Would I 
drive the Blue Ridge Parkway in the middle of the night in it?  No.  Would I 
drive myself to work in it?  Sure (disclosure: PARI and I are 
next-door-neighbors...my commute is less than 2 miles, even though my house 
is only a couple of thousand feet from my office).  Would I run Fedora on a 
mission critical server? No.  My personal laptop?  Sure, with backups and 
snapshots of everything critical.  What about a development server?  Sure, as 
it gives me a chance to try out some new stuff.

Ah, but now here's the rub: Would I drive a complete biofuels car that could 
not run on straight gasoline or diesel?  The question here is compatibility; 
the answer is "as long as there are biofuel stations along my routes to 
whereever I want to go."  It would be understood that I would be on my own as 
to finding fuel if I'm driving something that cutting edge; it's also 
understood that just because there are no biofuels stations out in your neck 
of the woods doesn't mean that I shouldn't use this car in my neck of the 
woods, and vice-versa (speaking of 'neck of the woods', I'd love to see the 
redneck installer language resurrected....sure beats geekspeak. Nottingham?  
You listening? :-)).

What if it would run on straight diesel, but I had to add a pint of a special 
homemade 'shine to the mix to make it stable?   The question here is 
legality; the answer is "If I can get a license to make or otherwise obtain 
the 'shine legally, sure.  If 'shine will always be illegal, then it depends 
on the likelihood of getting caught and the penalties if I did get caught... 
but, not for anything that might cause problems for my family or employer!" 
(cue MP3 of 'Taps' now....) (Incidentally, for some legal pints of that 
special MP3 'shine, head over to Fluendo, where the mp3 DECODER is $0, and 
where you can legally obtain many other media codecs.)

We in the open source world, and specifically in the Fedora world, have a 
unique and extraordinary opportunity to try out and impact the development of 
our OS!  Running bleeding edge stuff that you can actually tinker with is a 
privilege, not a bugfest!  Instead of just installing the Sun JDK and taking 
the easy way out, should I have time to pursue it, I plan to help the 
development of the next generation out, and feel good about doing it.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I run Fedora X (where X is the current 
version) on my personal laptop, even with the annoyances I can feel great 
about what bug reports and help I can provide to this great group.
Lamar Owen
Chief Information Officer
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC  28772

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