back to article Ubuntu to get open-source Java heart implant

Canonical has been in talks with Sun Microsystems and SpringSource to support one of their open source Java application server stacks in the Ubuntu core, to increase Ubuntu's enterprise adoption. Canonical told The Reg that it is in the process of selecting which open source Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) framework to make …


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  1. Joe Geer

    OK, so back in the old days we ran Java

    And now, in the new days, we run PHP which runs great on Ubuntu as is. so we need this, WHY? Do people still run Java? Slow on the client, dog-like on the server, a great idea for 1998. If you have PHP, MySql and Apache, I think you are pretty well there. Oh I know "mission critical". Hmm. I once ran Sun 4500's, Oracle, Veritas Cluster, Web logic app server AND Java In CHINESE and yes, it ran very well, for the $1.7M we paid for it. It still crashed because of some issue with the quad-connected fibre controller to the A3000. In real life, PHP is smoother, more fun, free and painless with virtually no issues requiring all the fat surrounding Java. Beats C++ I agree, unless you are a "real man" and need to prove things. But in the 21st century, Just write it in PHP and relaxxxxxx. Mission critical simply means it has to work.

    Penguin because I seem to be advocating for some reason.

  2. Martin Paring

    JBoss DOA?

    What's happening with JBoss, seems like it's nowhere to be seen...???

  3. amanfromMars Silver badge

    4 Hai San 2 Too.

    Seems like a Perfect Recipe for a Hiawatha Server ..... Feeding Source HAIawaThetan HyperRadioProActivity ....... ZenSightivity.

    One Server to Server them All @ ur Service..... for Quantum BetaTesting Communications Open Channel Steganography and ITs XXXXotICQ Fare and FAIRWare in Future Software Programs.

    Use your Voice to Shape ITs Games/Beta Real Life Global Impact Scenarios. Media can then Present the Future Sound and Vision for ITs Reality.... which would then be Under Virtualised Control and a Virtual Controller Control. Linking them into a Private Party Network would ensure Beta Private Party Networks 42 Consolidate and Widen the Power in Control on AI Base Private Parties..... Whiter than White Pirates Plundering the Darkness of ITs Abused Treasures for the Sun to Shine on their Face.

    Time for caffeine, methinks. :-) ..... although Tea may be more appropriate here

  4. Steven Dick

    the 2 products are not really comparable

    I do Spring and OSGi development and the two products you are talking about (Glassfish and Spring's App Platform) are not directly comparable.

    Glassfish does Java EE and App Platform does web + OSGi-based stuff. The App Plaform will probably get some EE support with the next revision of the EE spec, but not full support.

    I'd say Glassfish is more likely as it's less bleeding-edge and more what people expect from a Java app server (that's not necessarily a good thing).

    I personally think Spring's App Platform is where we should be going, but we'll have to wait and see if the market agrees.

    OSGi is cool, but the tooling and libraries around it need more development to make it simpler for day-to-day development.

  5. Julian Smart

    RIP 'designed'

    Apparently we don't 'design' things any more, we 'architect' them. Is there a specific reason for using such an ugly word as 'architected'? (Especially if we not talking about architecture.) Ugh.

  6. douglas dooley

    Re: sun and ubuntu

    Apologies for this, everyone:

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Joe Geer

    1998 phoned, and they want their rant back.

  8. Gulfie


    Your knowledge is clearly 1998 vintage, Java in is an excellent performer on the server and is used in many, many mission critical systems where scalability and reliability is important. Ask any bank in the square mile. You then go on to quote a hardware problem as a good reason not to run Java. And PHP would have fixed your fibre controller problem would it? I think not...

    Mission Critical doesn't just mean that it 'just runs', it means that you can scale out horizontally across multiple servers, scale up within your servers, have failover, reliability, security... all of these features are core to Java Enterprise which is why it is used in so many back office systems. Know your facts before you flame... which is why I've not criticised PHP.

    PS @Martin - JBoss is owned by Red Hat, I can't see Ubuntu adopting the JEE server of a rival...

  9. Colin Guthrie

    Until some sort of QA exists....

    .... I'm not putting Ubuntu within 100 yards of my servers....

    While I admire and like a lot of things about Ubuntu, if it wants to compete in a corporate environment, it needs to stop it's concept of distributed packaging and *centralise* things and establish a good QA process. The distributed nature of the third party repos is not something I feel comfortable with from a corporate perspective. It's fine for home and non-mission-critical stuff, but not for the datacentre.

    Packages are copied blindly from Debian and little additional QA are done on them (OpenSSL anyone?). Arguably this was Debian's fault but if things like that are going to slip through the Ubuntu QA then I certainly don't want it on my servers! Trust has to be earned, not presumed.

  10. Antony Riley
    Thumb Down


    Vendors should not be packaging sodding Java projects, it always ends in tears.

    Java projects always move too swiftly and you end up in the situation where you need to manually download the latest version of $project and uninstall the shite version which comes with the sodding Linux distribution.

    Packaging of Java projects has always been a nightmare, the only sane solution is a third party installation source which more closely tracks project versions and supports multiple Linux vendors (see Maven and/or JPackage). What is shipped with the operating system only affects students and junior programmers who don't know what they're doing.

  11. Chris

    @Joe Geer

    "Do people still run Java? Slow on the client, dog-like on the server, a great idea for 1998."

    No Joe, it's your claims of Java being slow that are reminiscent of 1998. For typical Java and C++ code (in other words, written by a mere mortal) the former performs better because the JIT compiler can optimise on the fly. Java byte code is an ideal intermediate language that can be optimised at run time, whereas traditional compiled languages are optimised once at compile time.

    When it comes to cost, my financial outlay for software is nil when I choose Java. The definitive JDK, from Sun, is free. My build tool, Ant, is free. Tomcat is free, and version 6.0 is pretty much comparable performance wise with WebLogic or Resin. My IDE, NetBeans, is free. JUnit and JMeter are free, as well as analysis tools such as Checkstyle and PMD. If I want free, high quality third part libraries then there's the Commons, and if I want a full J2EE stack then there's JBoss - yup, it's also free.

    As for PHP, it encourages bad programming practices, has an inconsistent API, is prone to security problems and doesn't scale well. It's OK for small web applications, but it's a pig to program large applications in it, and maintainability is also difficult. Add in the poor quality of development and test tools for PHP, and I'll stick to Java, Tomcat and Spring.

  12. Roger Lancefield
    Thumb Up

    To infinity -- and beyond!

    The Ubuntu project is going from strength to strength and it's wonderful and heartening to see. It appears to be very targeted and methodical about which areas to concentrate its resource within. If it (together with the greater FOSS community) could just crack the games nut, I think we could realistically start talking about the end of the era of proprietary OS domination (yes, yes, I know...)

    Like many, I'm waiting slightly apprehensively to see how the proprietary software players (oh alright, Microsoft) will respond to Canonical's rise. It regularly targets the likes of RedHat and Novell, but Canonical has so far escaped its attentions. Obviously, having fewer commercial offerings helps keep the target small, but I'll be surprised if the big guns aren't trained on it soon.

    I don't think FOSS can be beaten ideologically or technologically, but there's still the very real threat of government-corporate partnership measures aimed ostensibly at controlling "copyright piracy" (e.g. measures such as these: ) which could easily be employed cynically (or ignorantly) to cause problems for users of non-commercial and non-proprietary software in general.

    This I feel is a very real possibility, not least because of the influence of the professional lobbyists working on behalf of IP holders and those that regularly donate large amounts of hardware and commercial software to schools and other worthy recipients. It is clear that such lobbying and other forms of pressure influenced the measures outlined in the document I've linked to above.

    We've already seen high-profile examples of both the UK government and police force misusing the powers bestowed upon them by the Terrorism Act. I have little confidence that comparable powers aimed at controlling alleged copyright infringement wouldn't be similarly misused - and such misuse could have serious ramifications for all users of free software.

    But anyway I'm digressing, and people are making increasingly animated gestures at me for having ignored the red light on the podium for so long...

  13. Gruff
    Thumb Down

    More of a scoop for Java, not Ubuntu

    "Enterprise Java, though, would help Ubuntu power applications like online banking."

    Don't make me laugh. There's a widely-held misguided belief that "big" projects need a big clunky multilayered behemoth of a Java framework. There's already a wealth of open source components that will beat the pants off any Java framework and they're already available on Ubuntu, or any other Linux distro, and used in many many "big" "enterprise" applications.

  14. Joe Cooper
    Thumb Down


    PHP is a language designed by people who don't know what an "array" is.

    It's API makes no sense. Like these functions from the Strings API:




    They just splash in underscores and abbreviations with no rhyme or reason. It's totally random.

    It's such a bitch to remember anything that every two minutes you're interrupted to check the manual.

    Ironically, it's like Java in that there's ten thousand morons who think it's the greatest thing on Earth, suitable for every task. The people who used to say "You can do anything in Java!" now use PHP.

    It's only real advantage is it's own popularity; it's well documented and includes APIs for lots of relevant things.

  15. John F***ing Stepp

    Optimized at runtime?

    P code is dead; a stake through the heart, a clove of garlic in the mouth, the head cut off. . .

    (sigh; but evidently the developer didn't burn the source.)

    I think of JAVA and dream of PASCAL and think why in the hell can't people understand C; never mind C++; just keep track of your allocations and have some clean code.

    Is this too much to ask?

    Is everyone else out there using some code writing assistant?

    Ah, well, 40 years of this is too long; I could have worked my way up a different career path and be somebody. Somebody that doesn't have to put up with this crap.

  16. marc

    @Joe Geer

    You've obviously never coded Java or used Java EE.

    PHP has more in common with QBasic than Java or c++. Lot's of seemingly random functions that don't belong to any class hierarchy. It's ok for quick and small projects, but when you have multiple tiers running on separate servers, all needing security, asynchronous messaging and fallbacks, PHP becomes a bit unstuck!

    Seriously, just use Hibernate for a week and then try writing you inline SQL code again. Horrible.

  17. Chris

    @John F***ing Stepp

    You seem to be advocating Pascal and C. I can't speak about Pascal as I know very little about it. However, I consider myself a very competent C programmer but I still choose Java for most of my work. The reason why is that I don't have to spend time with tools like Purify or Valgrind, hoping that I've fixed every possible memory leak.

  18. A J Stiles


    Sometime in the past, didn't Sun announce to much fanfare that they were relicencing Java under the GPL?

    So what happened? Where's the "GPL Java" tarball that we can just ./configure && make install and that should have just been turned into a set of .debs?

    By the way, the reason why PHP is the way it is, is because everything it has got was shamelessly borrowed from disparate libraries. Just stick to Perl -- at least it doesn't think that "22" + 4 = "224" nor a type error.

  19. Niall


    We use JBoss exclusively here, on CentOS. I like Ubuntu desktop a lot, but bundling an app server we don't use will make me want to move to Ubuntu server less.

    @Joe Geer- PHP vs Java, I think there's space for both. However take note that Java is the most popular programming language in the world:

    ... so by claiming it's slow [citation needed] or "dog like on the server" [citation needed] isn't going to get agreement from its many advocates!

  20. Bronek Kozicki


    See, if only you had learned C++ and used some smart pinters instead of explicitly calling free() you wouldn't have to use Valgrind or Purify ;)

    No, seriously - Java seems to encourage bad practices on its own, like leaving everything for GC (including handles and connections) or building overcomplicated architectures where everything is created-by-some-factory-that-is-a-singleton-selected-at-runtime-by-reflection-depending-on-configuraiton-data-and-some-extra-settings-passed-by-other-means-accessed-by-four-leyers-of-indirection. Not to mention that average Java programmer seems not to understand that there are not only other languages out there, but also other programming paradigms and other APIs to learn and use.

    Mine is the one with ISO 14882 in the pocket.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    I have web apps written in Java running on IBM's WebSphere platform which give me sub second response times, >100TPS, and at the same time, it's invoking webservices and querying databases containing more data than the library of congress. Java scales very nicely to enterprise level. We could not do what we do in PHP or Perl.

    On the other hand, I have a family website where I need some interactivity and dynamic content. It is relatively low volume, but has to work and has to be hacker proof enough not to have some russian script kiddies hijacking it. For that I use PHP for some things and Perl for others. I'd love to write my code in Java, but my hosting solution is cheaper for PHP and Perl, and gives me acceptable performance in my timesliced memorysliced disksliced hosting accounts.

    Our Church uses Joomla. I've set up another Church using Mambo.. Both PHP products, both very nice, fast and secure enough for the purpose...

    Pick the right platform for the job - don't just select one based on the flavor of the month!

  22. Tarun Ramakrishna Elankath

    Reponse to "Java is Slow" commenter

    "Do people still run Java? Slow on the client, dog-like on the server, a great idea for 1998."

    Looks like you are still living in 1998. Tell that to eBay, Amazon, linkedin and dozens of the world's most humongous and heavily trafficked sites that use the Java platform.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Java Slowness

    Java is popular and sells lots of hardware. It is wonderful.

  24. A J Stiles

    @ AC

    Perl can do anything Java can do, and will generally wipe the floor with it ..... **as long as** you don't try to do un-Perl-like things. $_ exists for a reason! All non-Perl-types who insist to store things unnecessarily in variables when $_ would do, and use extraneous round brackets around function arguments, are missing the entire point of how Perl works. Their code runs a little bit more slowly because they are doing it wrong. All those "little bits" add up ..... and you end up thinking the whole language is no good, on the basis of the bastardised dialect you learned to speak.

  25. ben edwards

    re Colin Guthrie

    I see you need QA due to your proclivity for using it's when its is required :)

    Java isn't just a fancy shell tool. Check out

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Gawd, is the beast still making headlines.

    Python bitch slaps all you buggars *cue evil laugh*

    ok i'm done.

    import tardshield


  27. stizzleswick

    @A J Stiles & Joe Geer

    Joe: Wake up. PHP is nice for some things, but can't do everything. And it scales like a brick.

    AJ Stiles: Point taken. Now, write me an MPEG-4 video editing and compression tool in Perl that works out of the box. Good luck on that one.

    Mine's got the coffee bean print on the back...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh god, not Python

    Python is probably the best way to undo every single effort that has ever been made over the entire course of history to attract more women into computers. It's quite simply the malest programming language I have ever seen.

  29. John Clingan
    Thumb Up

    GlassFish v3 is more than Java EE

    Follow up on some of the comments here, we agree that having multiple languages in the toolbox is important. GlassFish is more than Java EE, with JRuby/Rails and Groovy/Grails support. We are actively working on improving Jython support as well.

    PHP is a harder problem to solve (given C-based libraries), but we continue to be interested in PHP on GlassFish.

    We welcome feedback on how to improve support for dynamic languages in GlassFish.

    John Clingan

    GlassFish Product Line Manager

  30. Pheet

    PHP vs Java

    I program in both, and I like (and hate sometimes) both languages. They're very different languages, with different background and design intent. It's the old apples vs oranges thing...

    PHP -> interpreted scripted language derived from Perl for dynamic web pages.

    + Fast development, large library, plenty of libs, quick to learn, free.

    - namespace is a nightmare as someone pointed out earlier (getting bit better since v5 though), doesn't scale too well, though in its context of CGI not a huge problem (load balancers upfront, database pool on back) unless you're the size of yahoo/google/etc.

    Java-> compiled to byte code, c++ influence, orig. for embeded systems, w/ sandbox for web applets.

    + Straightforward to learn if you've a C/C++ background, no pointer headaches, "complie once run anywhere"tm, large sandard lib, plenty of free code avail., free.

    - Bloated VM and standard lib these days, verbose factory get instance create object stuff sometimes, slower development cycle, requires more resources.

    I _could_ write a jabber client in PHP, and use Java to pull data from a mySQL DB and display it on a web page, but I'm not going to :-)

    My ideal language would be Pascal with OOP and automagic GC, but that's just me :-)

  31. The Other Steve

    PHP makes me want to scoop my eyes out with a stick

    PHP is, quite simply, a crawling horror. It was conceived as a filthy hack by people who couldn't get their heads around PERL* but who somehow felt that, despite this, they were competent to specify a language and write a parser.

    They were wrong.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, there were lots of other people in a similar position, and they flocked to it, as web developers are wont to do with whatever the trendy 'next big thing' happens to be. But as any fule kno (and any freetard will repeatedly explain to you until you bludgeon them to death with something), just because something achieves widespread adoption and market domination doesn't mean that it's any good.

    If PHP were a song, it would be the bastard child of two bottles of thunderbird and a rhyming dictionary.

    Really, it's that bad.

    *HINT: This is why the PHP syntax is almost, but not entirely, quite unlike PERL.

  32. Keith Smith
    IT Angle

    Java Huh

    Every JAVA project I've been involved with has been:

    Painfully slow in development.

    Painfully wasteful of resources.

    Painfully slow in action.

    Painfully unstable.

    Painfully unable to scale up.

    And we want to run this awful stuff why? Java apps can instantly turn a screaming fast ferrari into a yugo with a bad clutch. My motto is anything but Java (ABJ all the way).

    This ranks right up there with Who gives a sh.....!

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