How to lose independence – Java bloatware

von sparrow242

Some days ago I rediscovered the trading-card-game „Magic The Gathering“. No, that is not the story ;)

After I bought the first cards, I was looking for a software to manage my collection. MagicAssistant seems to fit. It ist written in Java – exactly: a set of plugins for the Eclipse framework.
My first thought: jibbi – platform independent, should run under linux. My second: oh wow, Java bloatware using a bloatware framework.

You can write software in Java in a way to make it runable under windows, Linux and other OS, which have installed the Java Virtual Maschine. Sourcecode will be compiled into binarys for the JVM (so called class-files) and Java ships also with its own Toolkit and SWING ist not so bad. So long the theory.

MagicAssistant uses (like Eclipse) SWT instead of Java’s SWING, and there is a Linux-Version on the Download-Page. After the fist start the splatscreen apears, then I must choose a „workspace“. And then? Nothing. An empty window (or frame).

After some research I found the answer: you have to install XULRunner 1.9.2, none other version, and append the following line to the .ini-file of MagicAssistant:

-Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.XULRunnerPath=/path/to/xulrunner

So, Java is bloatware in my eyes, with an official virtual machine which is popular for its security problems. And using this language with a framework, that is not less bloatware and need other dependencies, which not shipped with the fat JVM and the framework, sounds like hell.
But it shows the abyss between the first idea behind Java (write/compile once, run everywhere) and the unuseable thing Java became in the last years.
So I’m really glad to use Python, which is much nearer to this idea than Java today.

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