I updated my development platform to Java 1.6.0_18 and noticed a disturbing font alteration in all Java applications. I'm developing in Ubuntu 9.10, which currently bundles Java 1.6.0_15 (in the sun-java6-jdk package), so I manually installed the latest for testing.
I have yet (since yesterday) to investigate whether this is Ubuntu specific. Font configuration changes were noted in the Java 1.6.0_18 Release Notes
, associated with a particular bug
Preliminary investigation implies that Java's attitude toward font consistency has changed over time. Early Java 1.3 Physical Fonts
documentation makes clear that:
The SDK's physical fonts offer ... Consistent Look and Feel: Your applications will look the same on all platforms because they will be using the same fonts. This makes testing, deployment, and support easier in a cross-platform environment.
In contrast, a more recent bug submission
was thoroughly thrashed for suggesting that fonts should remain consistent across platforms and versions. This seems to contradict one of the primary tenets of the Java platform: "Write once, run anywhere"
In the future, I'll be looking into explicitly loading a specific font set, possibly by embedding custom fonts within my application.
This article describes a Java-related assertion failure apparently due to a recent video driver update in Debian (and Ubuntu). The assertion dumps a backtrace to the console, but the Potential RPG Alpha client appears to be otherwise unaffected.
The remainder of this article describes the problem and how to work around it. Read the rest of this entry »
I'm often amazed how much processing can be performed in a few milliseconds, even in the face of sloppy algorithms. Graphic processing, on the other hand, seems to be another story. Any excess painting can be significantly detrimental.
For the record, I'm developing this game
in Linux (Debian) with no accelerated graphics drivers, and I am determined for it to run well on my platform of preference. Sun promises
a vastly improved graphic pipeline with its upcoming Java update release, but this only helps with DirectX in Windows.
It's easy to unjustly blame sluggish graphics on Java or Linux. So far in my burgeoning graphics experience, I've found that performance problems invariably indicate that I've done something horribly wrong. Reading an article on Swing animation
last week inspired me to vastly improve my graphic processing.
Without getting into the technical details (unless there's an interest), the conclusion is that Java on Linux can certainly drive graphic content, as long as you're meticulous in your implementation. While Java's general software performance is exceptional, only so much graphic excess can be swept under the rug.