So the thought occurs to me...

After pulling down the Solaris Developer Express 9/07 VMWare image, that it would make just too much sense to install Mercurial, grab the OpenJDK sources, and get the OpenJDK build going on that VMWare image and re-release the image back to the world, so those who wanted to build the OpenJDK and have an out-of-the-box ready-to-go experience could do so. (I'd love to do the same for Windows, but there's obvious licensing problems there.) Then, because the VMWare image would already have the Sun Studio 12 and NetBeans IDEs on it, one would have a complete debugging and profiling platform for spelunking the OpenJDK code base.

Thus far,though, I'm running into a significant snag, in that SDX doesn't want to run Sun Studio out of the box: it complains that it can't find CC on the PATH (which is on the PATH, as near as I can tell). Putting it on the PATH and re-launching the IDE (as suggested in the error message) has no effect, nor does modifying my .profile and logging-out-and-back-in-again.

To make matters more interesting, when kicking off Make, it throws a Java exception claiming "out of free space", which shouldn't be the case at all, since the drive the project lives on has a couple of gigs free. I've posted the errors to the Sun Studio 12 forums (after noticing that somebody else posted the exact same problems back in October, with no replies, which is discouraging), but was hoping one of the folks who listen in on the blog has some suggestions to try to fix this. Note that when using "dmake" (Solaris' native make, it seems) from the command-line, it works flawlessly. Help?

Update: Stepen Tilkov comments, "My apologies for pointing out the ridiculously obvious, but you *did* 'export' that PATH, didn't you?" Never apologize for pointing out the ridiculously obvious, Stephen, because not only is it the right answer half the time, the other half of the time, it's not obvious to the guy who needs help, either because he got lazy and forgot to check it (which I'm guilty of a lot), or because they genuinely didn't know it. In this case, though, I don't think that's the case; it appears to be there when I open a Terminal window. That said, though, I have only a vague idea of the scope and lifetime of environment variables under X (compared to within a terminal session), so there's a distinct possibility I'm not getting it set in the GNOME environment around me when I log in. Any good resources to figure that out?

Overall, the SDX environment looks pretty clean, though I can’t say I’m comfortable with all the places that Solaris likes to install stuff; why, for example, do they want to put Sun Studio into /opt? It just seems strange to do so, though I guess it’s no stranger than Mac OS X’s /Applications directory.

Speaking of which…. From the “Why didn’t I think of this before now?” Department: Given that the JDK source base is now completely unfettered and free, what holds up the Mac JDK 6 release? I can somewhat understand if Apple doesn’t want to pursue the Mac (I said understand, not empathize or agree with, mind you), but why doesn’t Sun take the necessary steps to bring a Mac port up to snuff? Or, alternatively, where is the Mac-toting Java-loving crowd? Granted, getting AWT and Swing up to snuff on the Mac might not be a trivial exercise, I’ll grant you that, but a large part of the JDK beyond those elements could be ported over without too much difficulty, it would seem to me, particularly given that the JDK compiles with gcc on the Linux platform, and Mac OS has gcc as well. What am I missing here? (Oh, and if you thought of this before me, kudos-and-why-the-hell-didn’t-you-say-something-earlier? It’s a really good idea, it seems, at least in theory.)

Personally, I think Apple should get off its lazy ass and get Java6 done already. That, or authorize a third party to do it. Java5 is soooo 2006.