Some of you might have noticed that Ubuntu 7.04, code-named “Feisty Fawn”, has officially been released yesterday, providing quite a set of visual and technical changes compared to the “last stable” 6.10 version. I switched my notebook to use 7.04 pre-builds quite a while ago and am rather pleased with its overall working and performance (even though from an end-users point of view, changes are not _that_ big if you decide “just” to use your old desktop / environment configuration with the new distribution).
However, one thing notable about it is that, by now, Ubuntu package repository comes with a full set of up-to-date Java development tools, including the Java 6 runtime and development packages, the NetBeans and the Eclipse IDEs, the apache tomcat – servlet container and the glassfish JEE server. By now, this already is quite nice given that you can get up and running using Ubuntu and Java out of the box in almost no time.
And, looking a bit further (or, should I say, “dreaming” a bit): Given that sooner or later there will be a completely GPL’ed JDK available and this maybe make its way into the Ubuntu-main repository, building and distributing applications tailored to run on a Linux (desktop) machine would become incredibly easier as everything needed for that might just come “batteries included” with the distribution base installation. Maybe even better one day, looking at Nexenta GNU/Solaris, even users who care about Free Software could have the best of todays technologies in terms of operating system (OpenSolaris), development environment (Java) and system administration / package management (Debian/Ubuntu) in a single, easily accessible package. I’m watching and waiting… 🙂