Ubuntu Edgy, Eclipse and Subversion

I know, I know… I haven’t posted for a long time. But be honest, would you have read it? See!? That’s the reason why ^^’

OK, so why do I break the silence? I am currently setting up a linux system as base for my diploma thesis. As I like Debian but wanted to have some more comfort I installed Ubuntu in its newest version 6.10, called Edgy. Dapper Drake (6.06) still is the LTS release and Edgy is known to have some problems but overall everything worked fine for me.
I downloaded the DVD, started the Live Ubuntu version and installed Ubuntu to my harddrive just by simple clicking. Some 30 minutes later everything was ready to run. And it runs fine!

Debian’s APT/DPKG system is just superb. Combined with the nice given user interface its just plain great. You can select from a large amount of good software to install without the need to compile or configure anything. Ubuntu is currently probably the best approach for a Desktop Linux overall. And in my opinion with all its comfort and the typical Linux software features it can stand up to Windows, MacOS X etc and outperform them.
I do not know how to describe it, but I am some kind of addicted to Ubuntu now. It just gives me everything I need and more. Features I haven’t even thought about that are just there without slowing down the machine while eating up my performance. I am happy…

…until now! For development I am using Eclipse. A great and free IDE especially for Java development and more. Fast and supportive with a large amount of plug-ins to use (a post about those is coming, too ^^). Again, Eclipse 3.2.1 made absolutely no problems during its installation with Ubuntu’s own program installer/deinstaller.
As I am developing in Java I needed a JDK. JDK 1.4.2 was already configured and ready to use but is out-dated. As JDK6 is the newest installment I wanted this package. Apparently, even if final for some time now, Debian still counts it as unstable. So your only chance is to get the binary from Sun’s official homepage with an own installer given (so no problem here) or to add the unstable packages sources to your source.list and install the “unstable” package (runs fine!!!).

Everything worked, you might say. What is he complaining about, you might ask. Those were no real problems, you might state. And you are right. BUT development is nothing without code. And code is often stored in a repository, in this case a Subversion repository.
Tigris, the Subversion developer, brings an own Eclipse Plug-In called Subclipse. It offers easy access for checkout, commit, update, delete etc. By using the Eclipse Update Manager it is an ease to install it. Strictly speaking Eclipse is doing the work while you are getting another java (damn… I couldn’t withstand this joke!).
Subclipse uses the JavaHL adapter by standard, which is part of the Subversion project and used as native API (per JNI) to access Subversion. Again, it’s just package that can be installed with the synaptic package manager. I did so, installed it, installed the libapr0 as needed too and thought everything will run fine now. WRONG! Eclipse did not start anymore.

What has happened? System is clean. 5 seconds ago it was still running. Now it crashes while loading the Subclipse perspective. Why, oh why?
First of all I cleaned Eclipse from the Subclipse installation. Eclipse started again but after installing Subclipse again I had the same problems again. So I reinstalled the complete Eclipse SDK after cleaning every configuration. After updating to Subclipse Eclipse was still running and could be started. But after changing to the Subclipse perspective it crashes. Damn, I thought. What is the problem?
Google BartI asked my magical crystal ball (also known as Google) what the problem could be. And it gave me an answer straight away. It was neither Eclipse nor Subclipse but libsvn-javahl in addition to libapr0 that caused the error. Ubuntu Dapper Drake (6.06) had no problems with its JavaHL compiled package. Eclipse, Subclipse and JavaHL work fine. But since Edgy the package seems to have problems with apr. Those problems are well known but still the package was officially opened to Edgy (at least so it seems).
So long story short: After trying to figure out what the problem was, I could locate JavaHL as the root of all evil. I deinstalled it and am using the Subclipse Java SVN API. That may not be the best solution but it works. There are some “howto’s” that explain ways to compile your own JavaHL with another apr that will work with Subclipse but I am just too lazy.

So, what do we learn from this? Never trust a running system: If it’s running, it can still crash! And of course, always ask Google before complaining on a Mailing List.

One thought on “Ubuntu Edgy, Eclipse and Subversion”

  1. “And of course, always ask Google before complaining on a Mailing List.”

    OMFG you just violated rule number 1 and 2 of stupid nerdiness. Never ever use a search engine to probably find a solution by yourself (rule #1), but far the worst is your posting containing a kind of solution for this problem. You can describe it and then conclude with something like “Forget about it, problem solved.” But never mention the solution!!!!

    Never mind…

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