Too stupid to symlink

PLEASE NOTE: This rant is not directed at any free software project I am aware of. My peeve here is with some closed-source, non-free apps.

Really hate apps, especially Java apps, that can’t handle the concept of a symlink (softlink) and insist on configuring using the exact name, including minor version number, of a dependency. It’s the library dependency equivalent of insisting on configuring with IP addresses instead of DNS names.


Not going to name the software here. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. As R. Lee Emery would say, “OK you chuckleheads, listen real carefully because I’m only going to say it once…”

Two choices:

“JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/default”

or

“JAVA_HOME/usr/java/jdk1.6.0_30”

What do you think would be best for a long term software installation?

Come on, think about it (not too hard, wouldn’t want you to hurt something).

On Windows, of course, it’s even worse. I just had to clean out 4 or 5 minor versions of the JDK and reset everything to get the latest Firefox update to work there (and I’m not counting the 3 copies of that software-from-hell, Jinitiator).

Morons, listen: if you’re going to be “helpful” and take care of all the config stuff behind the scenes so I don’t have to see it — do it right!

Of course Oracle’s Java is not the only dependency where this is a problem. I bet if any of you look on whatever Windows machine you’re running you’ll find at least two copies of the .NET Framework there (of course given that it’s .NET, you’ve probably got at least one or more apps hardcoded to use a specific version).

Listen. Here’s the deal.

Once it leaves the lab your software needs to be able to play nice in the big boy world.

Otherwise… well, you know the saying, “What goes around comes around.”