Tuesday, August 18, 2020

No Java? No Problem!

For the 2020-09 Eclipse Simultaneous Release, the Eclipse IDE will require Java 11 or higher to run.  If the user doesn't have that installed, Eclipse simply won't start, instead popping up this dialog: 

That of course begs the question, what should I do now? The Eclipse Installer itself is an Eclipse application so it too will fail to start for the same reason.  At least on Windows the Eclipse Installer is distributed as a native executable, so it will open a semi-helpful page in the browser to direct the user find a suitable JRE or JDK to install rather than popping up the above dialog.

Of course we are concerned that many users will update 2020-06 to 2020-09 only to find that Eclipse fails to start afterwards because they are currently running with Java 8.  But Mickael Istria has planned ahead for this as part of the 2020-06 release, adding a validation check during the update process to determine if the current JVM is suitable for the update, thereby helping prevent this particular problem.

Now that JustJ is available for building Eclipse products with an embedded JRE, we can do even better.  Several of the Eclipse Packaging Project's products will include a JustJ JRE in the packages for 2020-09, i.e., the C/C++, Rust, and JavaScript packages.  Also the Eclipse Installer for 2020-09 will provide product variants that include a JustJ JRE.  So they all will simply run out of the box regardless of which version of Java is installed and of course even when Java is not installed at all.

Even better, the Eclipse Installer will provide JustJ JREs as choices in the dialogs.  A user who does not have Java installed will be offered JustJ JRE 14.02 as the default JRE.

Choices of JustJ JREs will always be available in the Eclipse Installer; it will be the default only if no suitable version of Java is currently installed on the machine.

Eclipse Installers with an embedded JustJ JRE will be available starting with 2020-09 M3 for all supported platforms.  For a sneak preview, you can find them in the nightly builds folder.  The ones with "-jre" in the name contain an embedded JRE (and the ones with "-restricted" in the name will only install 2020-09 versions of the products).

It was a lot of work getting this all in place, both building the JREs and updating Oomph's build to consume them.  Not only that, just this week I had to rework EMF's build so that it functions with the latest platform where some of the JDT bundles have incremented their BREEs to Java 11.  There's always something disruptive that creates a lot of work.  I should point out that no one funds this work, so I often question how this is all actually sustainable in the long term (not to mention questioning my personal sanity).

I did found a small GmbH here in Switzerland.  It's very pretty here!

If you need help, consider that help is available. If no one pays for anything, at some point you will only get what you pay for, i.e., nothing. But that's a topic for another blog...

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