Isn't it time for GCJ to die?

What's the motivation for gcj these days?  Originally, everyone wanted a GPLd JVM so gcj kinda made sense.  At least in spirit.  It's never been a functional equivalent for an actual JVM, though.  I've seen nothing but problems with it for years in IRC channels.  It's partial implementation of the spec has led to endless confusion for uncounted newbies coming to the java channel for help.  It doesn't help that the ideologues at Debian, et. al, continue to package gcj as if it were java.  Well, we have a  GPLd JVM now.  Everything about it is open source (or just about done...). GCJ, as I see it, serves no more useful purpose than allowing those in charge of it to hold on to some ideal (or maybe pride).  I know this is inflammatory for a good number of people, but why persist?  Is it the native compilation you like?  The slow, misbegotten catastrophe that it is?  It's slower than running java bytecode and seems to eliminate several key features of Java (like dynamic classloading).  Even before Sun GPLd their (our?  I'm a Sun guy after all...) JVM, gcj adoption was miniscule at best.  So, what's the point?  Can't we move on from gcj?  Or at a minimum, stop packaging it as the default JVM when it's not actually a java implementation?  That'd work for me.  I'm just tired of seeing newbies getting tripped up by some distro's ideological navel gazing.

IDEA 8 on Java 6 on the Mac

That's a lot of "ons" for just a title but it's descriptive at least.  I've been having some problems launching IDEA 8 on my macbook pro since upgrading to 8.0 final (the RCs were fine strangely enough).  I tracked it down to a plugin that had been built against Java 6.  Unbeknownst to me, IDEA 8 is hard coded to launch with Java 5.  I have no idea (ha!) why but I know how to fix it. If you open up the package contents (right click, show package contents) and open the "Contents" folder you'll see a file called Info.plist.  Edit this file with your favorite editor and change the line that says "1.5*" to say "1.6*"  You'll also need to update the JVMArchs entry to list x86_64.  Save the file (but don't close it in case you need to roll back this change) and start IDEA.  When it's done starting up, click on the "Intellij IDEA" title in the menu bar and select "About InteliiJ IDEA" option.  The window that pops up should now list your VM as some 1.6 variant.

Now, I'm sure that JetBrains had some good reason for tying to IDEA to 1.5.  This change might break something down the line.  I haven't used it enough to see if I hit anything like that but so far so good.  Your milage may vary and, of course, I can't guarantee this won't trash your source files.  But it seems to work so far.  If you run into any issues, please leave a comment and tell me about it.  I'm guessing if we run into anything it'll be some odd swing bug.  Good luck with it.


A friend mentioned some menu rendering lag after trying this tip and fixed it by increasing his permgen space.  Another pointed out the VMOptions IDEA plugin to help with editing those options.  No more tracking down that file.