Java for Linux Enthusiasts

Java, like most new technologies built on or around the Internet, has received such a steady bombardment of hype and commentary that it has become difficult to see what it really is, anymore. As an example, my early experiences with Java beginning in late 1995 corresponded with my first-and-last, year's subscription, to ComputerWorld. My initial enjoyment of the pile of brightly-colored information I got on my desk weekly turned to annoyance, and then disgust, culminating in a pair of front-page articles, served up on two consecutive weeks - one stating that Java would take over the industry, the other saying that Microsoft had killed Java. This is pretty typical of the sort of things I still get from managers and semi-involved folks (some of whom read ComputerWorld) about Java. The main problem is this: none of these authors have ever built anything with Java, and the kind of quick-skim that they do of the language and its features isn't enough to understand why it's such a good language, and where its potential lies.

I've been developing full-time in Java for more than 2 years now, and switched to Linux as my primary development platform more than a year ago. Bringing these two technologies together has made me a good deal more productive and happier.

For this presentation, I'll focus on a this simple topic: what does Java have to offer for a developer who is a Linux enthusiast? We'll start with an overview of the language's features, strengths, and weaknesses, and then discuss how to use it under Linux and finish with some examples of Java at work.

What is Java?

Why develop in Java?

What is Java best at?

Java vs. those other languages

Integrating Java with Linux

Examples and demonstrations


JavaJavaJava... Beverage break.