Ulf Wendel

(Not) Using OpenSolaris 2008.05 for Connector/OpenOffice.org development (I)

While Andrey made good progress with the Connector/OpenOffice.org I wasted my time trying to use OpenSolaris 2008.05 as an OpenOffice.org development platform. OpenSolaris is not on the list of platforms used my the maintainers and developers of OpenOffice.org. Another open technology – JDK 1.5 – has lowered my openness towards new development platforms.

If you are an OpenOffice.org end-user, skip this blog posting: grab a binary package and be happy! That’s better for the world-wide climate because your power consumption will be lower. An Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 class PC needs some 4-6 hours to compile OpenOffice.org. As a plain vanilla user, its better for your notebook hard disk to use a pre-compiled binary. When Georg started his OpenOffice.org initiative he burned his notebook hard disk within short time. Burned means burned: overheated. OpenOffice.org is a monster: du -h […] 2,0G oo.org-m28/.

The posting might be of more interest for developers.

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Milestone 28 will not build with every JDK version. This is documented. In general JDK 1.5 is a good starting point nowadays, but check OpenOffice.org wiki. OpenSolaris 2008.05 comes with JDK 1.6. I was not successful using JDK 1.6 for OpenOffice and I ended up installing a Solaris JDK 1.5 download from java.sun.com. But JDK 1.5 will not work on OpenSolaris. The Sun JDK 1.5 is build against Motif 2.1. Motif 2.1 lacks the magic word “open” which OpenMotif 2.3.1 has to offer. But I did not manage to use OpenMotif 2.3.1 with Sun JDK 1.5 – which is no surprise because the JDK 1.5 explicitly says that it needs Motif.

Lesson number one: No JDK 1.5 on OpenSolaris 2008.05 means that OpenSolaris 2008.05 does not qualify as an OpenOffice.org development platform. The virtual machine has been gzipped and archived.

Lesson number two: The old gap between the GNU and SystemV world is still there. GNU vs. SystemV is all I recall from the Solaris hackers lunch discussions I joined 10 years ago when I was working for NetUSE. NetUSE used to be the #1 address for Sun Solutions in Kiel and probably still is. OpenSolaris 2008.05 installs a good number of GNU tools in /usr/gnu/bin. After years on Linux that’s exactly what you want. If you want to attract Linux users you should not put the level too high and offer a bit of GNU, that’s OK. Personally, I’d appreciate a findutils package very much.

Though, don’t expect too much. The GCC 3.4.* from the SUNWgcc OpenSolaris package is compiled against Sun ld using –without-gnu-ld and it is compiled against GNU as. If you put the GCC into you PATH, its likely that you will be using GNU ar as well. Most of the time things will work just fine. If you compile monster applications that almost ship with their own operating system, be gentle when you hit weird errors. Move over to SunStudio and try again. But then, if you compile a library from the GNU world, try GNU make – the Makefiles might use GNU make specific options.

Meet you again in a year, OpenSolaris 2009.05 ! In theory there is a good chance that you get OpenOffice.org to build with JDK 1.6 but I am running out of time by playing with operating system instead of writing tests for Connector/OpenOffice.org. Solaris 10 is the next in row.

I welcome SuSE 11 in my virtual machine collection. If SuSE 11 would use Sun Java and not GNUish Java (javac = gcc) by default, it would out of the box qualify as a development system for OOo 3.0 …

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