Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Mar 2007 22:27 UTC
Java "Although the .NET vs. Java war is basically over for control of the Windows desktop, where .NET is sure to become the managed language of choice for new Windows desktop applications, there is a new battle brewing. That battle is for the Linux desktop. Now that Java has been open sourced under the GPL, even the most strict of the 'free software only' distributions can start bundling it and integrating it into their Linux distributions out of the box."
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It is a debate as to whether the memory requirements and cpu utilization is worth it. I can understand these objections to a degree, though I feel that Java is viable on the desktop. But I do object to your characterization of Java's memory usage. Java memory usage is higher than a C application, but not THAT high.

Let's take some examples of fairly heavy apps:

1) Eclipse with the following plugins WTP, TPTP, MYLAR, LDAP, Quantum DB, Subversive SVN, SpringIDE, CDT, and AspectJ. I do not know the exact size of the projects but I have the entirety of JXTA in my current workspace and I assure you that is a significant amount of code. Memory usage: 126MB. (With a lot of editors and extended use it sometimes grows to about 200-250 MB, but 126 MB is my usage right now as I am winding down my day.)

2) JBoss 4.05 running 4 moderate sized applications: 148MB

3) Netbeans: only the SVN plugin and 3 smallish projects (~15K lines of code): 178 MB

And a lighter app:

4) jxplorer: A fairly simple LDAP GUI: 33 MB

With the exception of jxplorer none of these apps are what could be termed "light weight" but only one exceeded what you termed the least amount of RAM that a Java app uses. That is blind dismissal of the platform for reasons that just plain are not valid.

The machines I use are fairly powerful (1.6 GHz CoreDuo Laptop, a 1.4 GHz Pentium D, and an E6400 Core2Duo desktop) but I do not have much problems with startup time. The only application that I note taking a long time to load is Amarok. (likely due to my use of XFCE4 instead of KDE.)

I grant that I do not use Java too much on the "Desktop" except for Eclipse. This is simply because the Java applications have not been the ones that filled my needs. On a low memory machine (under 256 MB) I would probably hesitate to use a java GUI application, but not a cli one.

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