Java News from Tuesday, June 15, 2004 is back up after a three-month absence. I still need to set up the virtual hosts on that server (,,, get the servlets working, and update the page itself; but overall this seems to be going a lot more smoothly than my experiences with Linux in the past. This time I installed Debian. Apt is a very nice program, but what really makes a difference seems to be installing a bare minimum of functionality and adding the rest one package at a time as I need it. Debian's bare minimum is still too maxxed out for my tastes. For instance, "vacation" is hardly an essential package. (I removed it.) I also manually installed the key programs I wanted on the server past the minimum: Apache, Tomcat 5, JDK, etc. This way I have a lot more control over what's running and how it's configured than I did by installing distro packages.

I reiterate my call for distro vendors to stop competing by seeing how much junk they can squeeze onto a CD, or now a DVD. I suggest they carefully select the packages they include, and hew to the maxim, "Less is more." One GUI toolkit, not two. One kernel, not three. One window manager, not seven. One text editor, not seventeen. No servers running by default. No office suites. No games or graphics editors. Do make it easy for users to install extra functionality they happen to want. (Apt seems to do this quite well.) However, installing everything any user might ever need does not accomplish this.

The Eclipse Project has posted the second release candidate of Eclipse 3.0, an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for Java. It also doubles as a base platform for your own applications, an alternative to the AWT and Swing, and a powerful floor wax and dessert topping. RC2 is a pure bug fix release. There are no new features since M9. Linux, Windows XP, Solaris 8, AIX, HP/UX 11i, or Mac OS X 10.3 or later is required. Earlier versions of Mac OS X are not supported. Earlier versions of Windows may work but are not tested.