Back in 2000 I was writing a Java-based portable environment I called Portable Java Environment, or PJE. Catchy name, right? My goal back then was to use Java to replace the regular Unix desktop, using only the lowest level X libraries for displaying the graphics portion. When it wasn’t running on Unix (Solaris) or Linux, it would be running on Windows as a regular application, but with all the same tooling. Thus you could switch back and forth, be reasonably productive, and not worry about differences between desktop environments. Such were the dreams back then…
The main component of that environment was the desktop which I called J-Desktop. I started to share it online, and the name morphed into Jesktop (see here and here). I tried to keep it going, but the job pressures mounted and then 9/11 came along and I drifted away from the project.
Flash forward to 2014, and I’m in need of a place to put the Arch Linux ARM images I’ve been slowly piecing together for others to download. So today I create Project Rubus and uploaded both the base and base+twm 8GB images (compressed via zip) up to Sourceforge.
The circumstances between 2000 and now are very different. My girls are now in their mid-20s and out on their own, and my job responsibilities have changed drastically. Although, ironically, I’m back at the same facility I was working at in 2000, on the same program. But the circumstances are radically different, and the program has long since shipped, and is in use.
I’ve added my Sourceforge project link to the top menu. So if you don’t want to read my rants you can go straight there and see what I’ve added to the project. Note that I’ll always blog about it here, so it might be useful to read what I have to say about the code or tools before you grab you copy.
The project has a wiki, and I usually put small announcements there. I did this time for the Groundhog Day Image Release.
As for that PJE/J-Desktop tooling, I wonder now if it would run sufficiently well on the ARM-specific java that’s available from Oracle. It’s been fourteen years since I started that project, and Java has changed drastically, especially its performance (it’s increased drastically). I’m not too crazy about any of the desktop environments that are available to run on the Raspberry Pi. Sorta makes me wonder…