investigation report: alternatives to JRE for running our java modules (like HSQL)

Noel Grandin noel at
Thu Jul 12 01:06:32 PDT 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that we compile our java modules 
(like HSQL) into EXE's and distribute them like that, as a means of 
overcoming dependency on an installed JRE.
As a consequence, I was requested to do some investigation :-)

These are the available options - sorted from worst to best in terms of 
suitability for our purposes.

(*) Clang-vmkit
Looks like it's still in alpha, and there is no windows support.

(*) GCJ for Java
Apparently, it works for some people, but the mailing list is dead 
quiet, and while someone appears to have gotten it working with cygwin, 
it's not part of the official release, so windows support is lacking.

(*) Excelsior JET
Apparently, they will hand out a license for non-commercial open-source 
Although this is the tool I am most familiar with, I think the licensing 
is going to be a problem.
I did not investigate further.

(*) Avian
Avian is a much less ambitious project than the others, which I consider 
a bonus.
It does not try to support the full spectrum of java APIs, skipping 
support for the GUI stuff.
But since our primary use cases (HSQL and LanguageTool) rely on the 
LibreOffice UI, this is not a problem.
The upside is that it seems to support our 3 primary platforms (Linux, 
Windows, MacOS) fairly well, and it's in active development.

I recommend that we install Avian alongside LO and use it to execute our 
Java code

I have further comments about an exact build/install path to achieve 
this, but I thought I'd leave that for a later email.


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