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From "Roger Vaughn" <rvau...@pobox.com>
Subject RE: Automatically importing a directory of .jar files.
Date Wed, 25 Jul 2001 17:23:56 GMT
> I use it all the time - occasionally I need to make changes to what's
> where, but very rarely. I'm sure it entirely depends on what you're
> developing, but as I say, I rarely find it a problem. (When it *is* a
> problem, it can be a nasty one to work out, admittedly.)

I'll freely admit, it can work for some people, if you're developing in a fairly stable environment,
or if you dedicate a VM to each different environment.

For my uses (which I don't think are too atypical) I work on too many different things with
different requirements and don't want to install that many different VM's - or continuously
change my environment settings to point to the right one.  I did try extdirs when they were
introduced - the idea seems attractive - but it failed miserably for me.

> You mean like they already have?
> See http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/docs/guide/extensions/versioning.html
> 
> I should point out I've never seen this actually *used*, but I haven't
> looked, either. I wonder how much notice WebStart takes of it...

Well, um, yeah.  Actually, that's a start, but it's not the important half of it.  The other
half is that the requesting application should be able to ask for a particular version of
a jar and get it from the VM.  Version *stamping* is easy.  Version *requesting* is more difficult
to implement.

I haven't seen this used, either.

IMHO, this is one area Sun needs to do some serious work.  My HD tends to fill up with multiple
installs of VMs (every application wants to install its own), multiple versions of jars, even
several copies of the same versions of jars (again, because each app wants its own).  Don't
even start me on vendors repackaging jars in their own names....

This is something the UNIX world worked out years ago in the with the so/lib versioning scheme.
 Conflicts happen, but they seem rare.  The way Sun does jars today - especially with extdirs
- they're leading us into yet another DLL-hell type arena.

....but now we're way off-topic.  :-)

roger



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