I’m running NetBeans 5 on my Ultra 20, using Nexenta GNU/Solaris as the OS. This buys a lot of performance, but I only want to have one screen/keyboard, so I’m routing the UI through my Mac via X11. I don’t know how common a scenario this is going to be, but early indications are it’s a damn productive working environment. I’m discovering some things, so I’ll post them here as I go along in case other people run across some of the same issues. [Update: Keymapping progress, whines, and bugs]

First of all, did I mention that it’s fast? I was idly wondering whether Ubuntu (Linux) or Nexenta (Solaris) ran NetBeans faster, but you’d need a seriously huge project to find out. This 2.6G Opteron is a pulverizer; it builds my little sub-hundred-thousand-line project so fast you wouldn’t be able to measure it.

ssh -Y · ssh -X doesn’t work. Well, it sort of works but when you start NetBeans, it only half comes up and whines about missing X11 extensions and so on.

Anti-Aliasing · For some reason, NetBeans doesn’t anti-alias by default. You have to pick Tools/Options, then switch to “Advanced Options”, then under the Editor settings there’s a little box you can check to get anti-aliasing. It looks quite a bit better, but not as good as it could...

Fonts? · When I drop into Tools/Options/Fonts & Colors, there are only 11 fonts to choose from, of which only one, Lucida Sans Typewriter, really seems to be monospace; and monospace is a necessity. The Lucida is OK but only OK, and when I do an xlsfonts, I see tons of interesting monospaced-font candidates, so I’m not sure what’s wrong.

Keystrokes/Emacs · NetBeans offers native-mode, Eclipse-mode, and Emacs-mode keystrokes. On the Mac, I use native-mode but I have also added the classic Emacs control-N/P/U/D for next/previous/up/down. I can’t find the dialog for changing those on the Solaris version, so Hah, found ’em, they’re under the “Other” header and have names beginning “Insertion point to...” in the keymapping preferences sheet, which needs to be hit with a usability cluestick. There’s a bug where you can’t use the “Command” (Apple) key as a modifier; if you tell it to use Command-A to do something, it does it all right, but it also inserts an “a”.

Firefox · When I was working with Ubuntu, for some reason Firefox wouldn’t run on the Ultra and display on my Mac, but it’s hunky-dory with Nexenta; maybe a little faster than Safari, actually (snicker). And you can even download the Javadocs and tell NetBeans about them, then when you hit “show Javadocs” it pops the X11 window with Firefox forward; exactly as it should be.

Of course, the Javadocs come down as a .zip, and unzip wasn’t there, but a quick dip into Synaptic and then it was. Gotta love that Debian er I mean Nexenta.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 07, 2006
· Technology (81 fragments)
· · Coding (99 fragments)
· · · Java (24 more)
· · Mac OS X (114 more)
· · Solaris (27 more)

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