Friday, May 16, 2008

Compiz effects causing problems for Java Swing applications

As a Java developer I use IntelliJ's IDEA Java IDE, which is itself a Java Swing application. Unfortunately, after upgrading to Hardy Heron I noticed that some IDEA dialogs weren't being displayed as empty windows. This turns out to be a known bug with Java Swing and Compiz.

I tried two workarounds:
  1. Setting the environment variable AWT_TOOLKIT=MToolkit. This solved the problem with empty Swing dialog windows but introduced a new problem with windows losing keyboard focus.
  2. I also installed Sun's JDK6.0 update 10 beta (build24) and used this to run IntelliJ IDEA. Compiz now works correctly with IntelliJ IDEA.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rhythmbox segmentation faults

After recently upgrading from Dapper Drake to Hardy Heron I noticed that Rhythmbox was intermittently crashing (segmentation fault).

The problem appears to be a known bug.

Meanwhile there is a work-around which involves (re-)enabling the cover art plug-in. This worked for me.

Update 2008-06-06: unfortunately the problem persists. Let's hope the recent update (0.11.5) solves the problem.

Dapper Drake to Hardy Heron upgrade

I took the plunge and decided to upgrade from Dapper Drake to Hardy Heron. I was motivated by the fact that Hardy is a Long-Term Support (LTS) release and finding that fewer third-party software packages were being released in a format compatibly with Dapper.

I kicked off the upgrade with a simple:

sudo update-manager -d

and then clicking the "upgrade" button listed in the update manager. The upgrade notes suggest you can do this via gksu but I found I had to use sudo from a terminal command-line.

I ran the upgrade overnight so am not sure how long it actually took as there were user prompts waiting to be answered the next morning.

After upgrading I had only one major problem:
  • the Nvidia video driver wasn't working, which I fixed after a lot of hassle,
and a few minor problems:
  1. No sound from the Firefox Flash plugin if another audio application was running
  2. No NFS client
  3. Thunderbird Lightning extension not working (fix)
  4. Rhythmbox intermittently crashing (workaround)
  5. Java Swing applications, e.g. IntelliJ IDEA, now working with Compiz (workaround)
which were easily fixed.