Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Java Desktop System Review Sun Java Desktop System Review Eugenia Loli 2004-05-21 Oracle and SUN 28 Comments Sun’s aim was to produce a viable alternative to Microsoft’s pervasive Windows and Office products. And you know what, it very nearly succeeded, says PCPro on their review. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 28 Comments 2004-05-21 7:38 am SPECIFICATIONS: Pentium II/266; 128MB RAM; 4GB hard disk space. I would like to run Win XP on that hardware. 2004-05-21 7:50 am …the most popular Desktop interface for Linux” Are you sure? 2004-05-21 8:11 am I noted that too – and that the review is from the uk. Maybe the reviewer is in the US writing for the UK. “Star Office… the word-count feature is buried three clicks away in the File | Properties menu…”. Maybe. What I’ve read is that OpenOffice’s problem is the Windows macro’s. 2004-05-21 8:32 am Nearly can not catch a bird 🙂 2004-05-21 8:38 am GNOME users are certainly not the most vocal of FOSS Desktop fanatics but GNOME is easily the most popular, if the numbers were are hearing about in China are anything to go by: http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5113277.html “Sun announced the deal for an initial half a million open-source desktop office software suites with the Chinese government-backed China Standard Software Company at Comdex in Las Vegas last month.” Maybe GNOME users are so satisfied with their desktops that they just get their work done rather than bitch about in forums cursing the other desktops. 2004-05-21 9:32 am it is the GNOME users who bitch a lot 2004-05-21 9:34 am Sun does have a good chance at corporate desktops, but to challenge Windows as a home users choise….that would take another 10 years at least, and so far I think there are better linux distros out there for the home user. 2004-05-21 9:50 am In every poll I’ve seen on my distro’s (Gentoo) forums, KDE users have outnumbered GNOME users. In the DistroWatch top 10 list of distributions (not the most accurate list probably, but it supports my point so I’m using it), there are 5 KDE-centric distributions (Mandrake, Knoppix, Suse, PCLinuxOS, Mepis), 3 neutral distributions (Debian, Gentoo, Slackware), and only 2 Gnome-centric distributions (Fedora and Red Hat… two entirely separate supporters there ;P ) Just because Gnome has received more press recently does not make it the more popular choice. 2004-05-21 10:53 am what really annoys me about sun JAVA system, is that it is linux based… not JAVA based, as it was originally announced. I was looking forward to seeing what it would be like, but half way through the r&d stage, sun changed to linux DISAPPOINTING 2004-05-21 11:06 am what really annoys me about sun JAVA system, is that it is linux based… not JAVA based, as it was originally announced. release 2 includes full java development environment along with java ide’s, debuggers and such. it also includes java based configuration and management tools for corporate desktops. so in short: you are wrong, not the announcement. i guess you haven’t ever even used JDS and still trolling. 2004-05-21 11:55 am release 2 includes full java development environment along with java ide’s, debuggers and such. it also includes java based configuration and management tools for corporate desktops. so in short: you are wrong, not the announcement. i guess you haven’t ever even used JDS and still trolling. It is based on SUSE Linux as the operating system with a GNOME desktop – no Java there 😉 The addittion of a Java SDK some IDE’s together with a few Java tools do not a Java Desktop make. 2004-05-21 12:18 pm It is the best Linux distribution in the world! 2004-05-21 12:58 pm Is the question “Which desktop is used as default by most distros?” or “Which desktop is used by most users?”. These two questions are not even similar. I could argue that I have 20 Afterstep based distros, one for each member of my extended family ;-). Does that make Afterstep the most popular desktop? Do you know how many SUSE Users, use GNOME, or how many RedHat users use KDE etc etc? Online polls don’t say much either since you only gets votes from those that like to frequent such sites. I can argue with you that KDE wins on most web polls because most GNOME users are not interested in web polls. Unless you can prove that the sampling of the web polls are representative, you can not reasonably conclude that KDE is more popular. Concluding so would just be wishful thinking. Propaganda is only intensified when things are not going as wished. When a group of people are very vocal about how bad the other site’s stuff is, it’s a warning sign of insecurity and lack of confidence or jealousy of the winning side. 2004-05-21 1:17 pm “Given that it’s derived from GNOME, the most popular Desktop interface for Linux” not sure… it kde 2004-05-21 1:24 pm nope I am not trolling when sun originally announces jds, they said it was going to be a COMPLETE JAVA system, not linux with java. They were making bold statements about a NEW system that was not based on windows or linux, but was an os they had designed and built themselves They didn’t instead they repackaged a linux distro. That is why I am disappointed, I wanted to see a NEW os. 2004-05-21 2:27 pm I think, you are slightly mislead there dude. I have been following JDS development since the begining, infact I know quite a bit about it. Yes it is “going” to be a complete JAVA system, in the sense that the development platform for it is specifically JAVA, don’t forget it is just bloody branding! It doesn’t have to just run on Linux, thats the point JDS will also run on Solaris! 2004-05-21 2:52 pm First off, I’ve never used JDS so I’m not going to spout some opinion about whether his conclusions are accurate, but there was something that seemed a bit inconsistent. He talked about the short comings of Star Office compared to MS Office and gave an example. In my experience, when giving an example, you pick the largest disparity like “Star Office is almost as good as MS Office except that it randomly rearranges words in your documents to form Sun advertising lines” (this doesn’t really happen, I’m just making up an example). Instead, the best thing he could come up with is that it takes THREE WHOLE CLICKS to find the word count of your document. I don’t know about you folks, but if that’s the worst thing he could come up with, small businesses should be beating down Sun’s door to get this (it is practically free compared to a Windows “solution”). I don’t know, maybe I’m being too picky… 2004-05-21 2:52 pm pfffft! Everybody knows it’s MetaCity! 2004-05-21 2:56 pm Why wait, check out http://sourceforge.net/projects/jdx/ 2004-05-21 4:11 pm SPECIFICATIONS: Pentium II/266; 128MB RAM; 4GB hard disk space. I would like to run Win XP on that hardware. Why write software today for hardware of yesterday (or hardware of 6 years ago)? I’m just not seeing the big deal with yet another Linux distro. There are good ones out there…this might be another…but doesn’t seem to be anything other than that. 2004-05-21 4:30 pm I still don’t think JDS is a serious product. I think SUN is fishing with it to see what the response will be. IMHO JDS suffers from a major flaw..having a suse linux base. If they were serious about this product and linux in general they would have scratch build SUN Linux. I beleive their original intent was to build JDS on Solaris x86 i also beleive that future versions will be based on Solaris x86 once they create better driver support. So look for JDS+Looking glass built on top of Solaris x86 in the near future. 2004-05-21 4:53 pm Try running Linux + GNOME + OpenOffice.org + Mozilla on a 128M box. It isn’t pleasant. And having a 233 MHz chip would make it unbearable. Meanwhile, WinXP seems to run on the kind of hardware you mention: ——- “Here’s What You Need to Use Windows XP Professional * PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended * 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)” 2004-05-21 5:23 pm Actually, bringing up word count is important, because it is a horribly crippled component of Star Office / OpenOffice. The word count functionality is so bad (as is much of the rest of the UI) that it renders the product basically unusable for professional writing. 2004-05-21 5:54 pm Every time one of these reviews is done I am told that some Linux on the desk top is just not quite good enough to beat out Windows. Why, because some nifty Windows features are not as well implemented on Linux. Never once is a mention of places that Linux just blows 2000 or XP out of the water. Fact 1. The install process is much easier for Linux. The last cold install I did for W2k took about 9 hours. This included time wasted finding driver disks, MS office disks as well as other software disks. I’ve lost track of the times that I have surfed the net with a crippled machine looking for hardware drivers. Many times I have had to boot Knopix just to figure out what drivers were needed to complete a Windows install. I routinely install SuSe or Red Hat in just two hours. When faced with install problems with one Distro of Linux I have been know to switch to another Distro on that machine. Fact 2. Easier to maintain. For over a year now all new workstations we are placing are Linux. With the completion of this deployment we are in the midst of We will have 3 Linux workstations for every 2 Win2k Workstations. Yet Win2k problems consume 80% of the software maintenance work around here. Fact 3. Viruses, worms & Trojans. This is the one that sells all non-techie users once they can grasp it. For most people having these problems go away is more than worth any minor loss of functionality. As one of my friends put it He does not have to call me nearly as often to help with Hardware/software installs on Linux as he did to help him get rid of the crap that he collected before I switched him from Windows. Fact is 98% of the people barley if ever used any of the features that give Windows an “edge” over Linux. Fact 4. Lower cost solutions. I get truly good performance out of $250.00 white box computers when loaded with Linux. Also because Linux installs quickly I do not need to keep all my boxes the same to permit ghosting OSs on to drives. This permits us to minimize hardware purchases thus saving money. 2004-05-21 7:47 pm Strangely I found myself agreeing with your opening comment. but then came this! >>Fact 1. The install process is much easier for Linux. The last cold install I did for W2k took about 9 hours. This included time wasted finding driver disks, MS office disks as well as other software disks. Even someone with a simple MCP would be aware of the importance of planning in a production environment. In what way is Windows responsible for your evidently poor organisation skills? >>Fact 4. Lower cost solutions. I get truly good performance out of $250.00 white box computers when loaded with Linux. Also because Linux installs quickly I do not need to keep all my boxes the same to permit ghosting OSs on to drives. This permits us to minimize hardware purchases thus saving money. You would roll out an OS across a network by Ghosting! Me! I would use RIS. 2004-05-21 7:55 pm Never once is a mention of places that Linux just blows 2000 or XP out of the water. becasue there aren’t any. Fact 1. The install process is much easier for Linux. The last cold install I did for W2k took about 9 hours. 9 hours? I have installed windows(most versions) countless times. I have had problems (mainly with NT 4) but never spent 9 hours on a windows install. This is obviously USER ERROR. What the zealots fail to take into account is that Microsoft made real alot of the standards for business software uses used today. People have been using these standards for near a decade. Don’t get me wrong, Linux is doing an awesome job, but you are not going to break a decade long pattern of usage in just a few years. 2004-05-22 1:31 pm Sun’s “JAVA” desktop is nothing but ripped-off SuSE. That advertisement, pretending to be an article, makes it seem that Linux is something sun created. 2004-05-22 7:13 pm They were making bold statements about a NEW system that was not based on windows or linux, but was an os they had designed and built themselves They most certainly did not. They advertised it as “Java-enabled” and pre-configured to run with their Java Enterprise System server stack, which actually is mostly Java-based. They said it was going to be Linux from the start, from when it was called “Mad Hatter”. That is why I am disappointed, I wanted to see a NEW os. Right, so you can have more trollfests on OSNews about whose is better.