Eclipse on gcj

Chris Gray
Sat Oct 29 20:02:00 GMT 2005

Hi all,

[to many of you: long time no see, I had 'flu for FOSDEM 2005 and couldn't 
make it to the LinuxTag or whatever, hope to see you at FOSDEM 2006 if not 
before ...]

I'm busy working on the functional spec for a device which will serve as a 
service delivery point for domotics apps. The VM and OSGi framework are 
already chosen, but we also have to specify a development environment which 
can be used by service providers to develop and test their apps. We have a 
free hand here, and there are good reasons to go for GNU/Linux and Eclipse. 
The question then is: should we go for a gcj-compiled version of Eclipse? And 
if we do, does this influence our choice of GNU/Linux distribution?

The development environment has to be reasonably easy to set up, and it will 
be used by Java programmers who may or not know something about domotics, but 
they are unlikely to be gcc/gcj/linux buffs. So installation of the 
development environment has to be as simple as "install the GNU/Linux 
distribution from CDs 1--n, then put CD n+1 in the drive and double-click on 
install". And no funny stuff when they use it, either.

Are we now at the stage when pre-built Eclipse/gcj binaries can be installed 
this way and used by mere mortals, and if so for what distributions do such 
pre-built binaries exist? My customer is used to Suse, I myself mostly use 
Debian, but I'm open to suggestions.

For the sake of clarity: Eclipse will be used to generate standard .class 
and .jar files, and the libraries to be compiled against are those of the 
selected VM. The question is purely one of how to execute Eclipse: whether to 
use a Sun JDK or gcj. I don't think Freedom as such is sufficiently important 
to the customer to go for a solution based on e.g. JamVM, we would need to 
offer speed as well and I'm hoping that gcj can provide this. (Any numbers?).

I'd like to be able to make some small contribution to the cause of world 
freedom in this way, but I don't want to end up with egg on my face (and such 
an outcome would not be beneficial to gcj).

Best wishes,


Chris Gray        /k/ Embedded Java Solutions  BE0503765045
Embedded & Mobile Java, OSGi                         +32 3 216 0369

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