"Last November we announced a goal to integrate Java and GlassFish into Ubuntu," Shuttleworth told ZDNet in an interview Tuesday, "but we've exceeded that." The Linux community has shown a great deal of interest in Java but up to now has "missed out on the surge of Linux adoption," he says. That's about to change, because of the steps that Sun is taking to make Java friendlier and more accessible to free and open source developers.
Jeet Kaul, VP for Java Developer Platforms at Sun, says the new packaging will allow developers to "get Java, build, and deploy applications in a matter of minutes." Eventually, as Java 7 comes into play, Java will move into the "main" repository and become a core part of the Ubuntu distribution. This should help level the playing field with Mono (an open source port of Microsoft's .NET platform), which has been gaining mindshare with Linux developers.
"The goal is ubiquity," says Ian Murdock, Chief Operating Systems Platform officer at Sun. Murdock is the founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution on which Ubuntu is based (he's the "Ian" in "Debian"). That's why today's announcement has implications beyond just Ubuntu. "We can't achieve that by targeting a single distribution," he acknowledges, predicting that that within a matter of months Java will be available everywhere as a first class GNU/Linux citizen.
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