A very small review of Ubuntu 8.04

After switching back to Windows XP for a .NET  project, I did not boot my Ubuntu partition much. It has been almost 8 months or so, since I did not take a look at Ubuntu front.

Why go back then? Well, the Apache Axis problem I’ve written about, just made me crazy. I could not accept the fact that I can not “compile” a piece of software, that should not take more than 10 instructions to do. The problem appeared to be with the unit tests, which blew when a temp server was started. So I thought this might be another java on Windows problem, and decided to give Linux a try. I also wanted to take a look at latest Ubuntu release, which has been doing a wonderful work for me in the server side (that’s another story)

So I’ve installed 8.04, and bingo, Axis compiled without problems (well at least 1.4 did so, 1.3 is still a no go). I took a look at the overall feeling of 8.04, and it appears that Canonical is working hard to make each release better than the one before. One thing that I immediately noticed: this is fast!! What made me gasp is that Eclipse is really, really faster than the previous releases in this one! That’s a huge plus. The performance of swing designer in MyEclipse  (a port of Matisse to Eclipse actually) is noticebly better.

Canonical has integrated many of the small things to do into default installation, so you do not have to deal with setting up drivers to mount NTFS drivers, or downloading NVidia drivers for compix and messing with xorg server setup files.  Combined with Firefox 3.0 beta 5, this release is almost complete for a Java developer. Considering that my primary tools are Java, Python and R these days, I guess I’ll be staying with 8.04 for a while. I have not tried the wireless setup yet, which has been a trouble allways, but I have high hopes for it.

Oh, to be fair, I have to add that the classical trouble with Linux distros is still here: changing versions of shared object libraries. Some project updates their shared object library name, or changes something, and another one blows because of the dependency problems. A distro is made up of thousands of different projects, and the  level of dependency problems  is acceptable, but it is still there. However, these are the problems I’ve encountered while setting up some develoment tools, so it would not be fair to say that the avarage user is subject to them.

Good work Canonical, really well done with this one..

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