Friday, April 02, 2010

You too eclipse!

'Not even eclipse is so benign' was what I discovered when I was battling deadlines to patch up a project submission due later that day. Eclipse is one of the few OpenSource tools that I've respected for its utility and its awesome support community. Name a distribution of OS, and you are almost certain to find a suitable build of eclipse ready as ever to be downloaded and used by the click of a button. Well, so I thought, until now..

I wasn't trying anything out of the oridnary: just download one of the numerous pre-built archives that eclipse provides you with. I extracted the archive and wait.., let me back off for a moment. This is a technical post and hence I am at the liberty of adding in more details ;-). Ahem, So, I recently decided to run into "karmic koala' and had to undergo the process of builing my dev-tools from the scratch - hence the eclipse installation and hence the post. So, as you would expect, I extracted the archive into one of the folders and did a

pnsn@ubuntu: ~/dev/eclipse$ ./eclipse 

And bang came the surprise:

bash: ./eclipse No such file or directory

I went - what the hell?  Just to make sure I was in my sense I did an ls, chmod, and all the tricks that I could think of - even an exec!

pnsn@ubuntu: ~/dev/eclipse$ exec ./eclipse
bash: ../../../eclipse: No such file or directory
bash: ../../../eclipse: Success 
And as I was 2mm close to nirvana, I thought I should perhaps try out what my version of java said it was., and

pnsn@ubuntu:~/dev/eclipse$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_15"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_15-b03)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 14.1-b02, mixed mode)

And so I figured out the culprit - the java was a 64bit and I was trying a 32bit version of eclipse. And the realization dawned - not even Eclipse can be benign! There's no way that you can identify the problem without an error message and there's nothing that can drive you mad than a queer error message that is not obviously related with the actual issue. Perhaps, there's an obvious difficulty that prevents the eclipse folks from figuring out these incompatibilities or  redirect to a more helpful message. Not my cup of tea- in either case. There's something that I can do, for the sake of my brothers-in-arm of the programming community who might face this very problem, inching closer to insanity and stumbling on to this page - without any further attempt at modesty, I'll be benign.

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