Sunday 17 April 2011

Joli OS

I was introduced to Joli OS a couple of months ago. Its a combination of online desktop and browser based operating system that allows you to have a single view of your web applications across multiple machines. If (like me) a lot of your time is spent using web applications (e.g. Salesforce, Google Mail/Apps) then its a good way of reviving ancient machines or giving yourself a fast boot environment.

I find development of Visualforce and Apex a bit clunky using the Salesforce UI - I much prefer to use an integrated development environment.  Unfortunately I haven't received an invite to try out Brain Engine yet, but that looks highly promising for development in the cloud.

For now though, I need another solution. It turns out that Joli OS is built on the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which means that the IDE can be installed.

Pressing ALT+F1 opens a terminal. Typing "java" at the command prompt shows that Java isn't currently installed, but also shows which packages java is available from and the command to install. I chose to install the IcedTea Open Source JDK.

Once Java is installed, you simply need the standalone IDE and you are set to go.  I got a few warnings that there may be unavailable features due to using IcedTea, but I haven't noticed anything untoward as yet.

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