SkySpark Installation Guide

Published on 02 Mar 2021 by Emma Eynon

SkySpark Installation Guide

Walkthrough Steps - Install Java

  1. Install Java.

    Check if you need to install Java. SkySpark will run on Java8 or higher.

(Read the information below if you need help with this.)


Why do I need Java?

SkySpark is written in a computer programming language called Fantom.

The Fantom language itself is written in the programming language - Java.

So to run Fantom programs (like SkySpark) you need to have Java installed.

More specifically, you need a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed, SkySpark does not require the full Java Development Kit (JDK). But to the un-initiated, choosing which Java to use can be quite a pitfall!

Note:

JREs just run Java programs, whereas JDKs let you compile Java source code into Java programs.

JDKs include a JRE. Only a JRE is required to run SkySpark, but either installation will work fine.

Which Java - paid or free?

Java 1.0 was created by Sun Microsystems in 1996. Sun was subsequently taken over by Oracle in 2010, who now own the rights to the Java language.

The issue with installing Java is that the official version of Java, as supplied by Oracle, is not free. Well, some versions are, some of the time, for some uses. It's all terribly confusing, but Oracle do offer a paid subscription for tried and tested Java Standard Edition updates.

The good news is that there are free and open source versions of Java, called OpenJDK, which are nearly identical. The downside is that there are lots of variants of OpenJDK, each with their own Open Source licencing nuances, and special features.

Do you choose Amazon's Java? Or Azul's? Or BellSoft, or Eclipse, or IBM, jClarity, Red Hat, SAP, and so on!? I told you it's a scary pit of pirhanas!

The Blog post below has been put together by the Java Champions community of independent Java leaders and experts and this "24 minute read" extensively outlines all your free Java options.

Java is Still Free 2.0.3

  • https://medium.com/@javachampions/java-is-still-free-2-0-0-6b9aa8d6d244

We at Fantom Factory training cannot advise whether a paid or free version of Java is better for your company, or which flavour suits you best. But we will say, that to get up and running quickly, you can do a LOT worse than installing AdoptOpenJDK.

Adopt a Java!

AdoptOpenJDK hosts OpenJDK installers, for many Java versions, for lots of operating systems and architectures. OpenJDK 11 is a popular choice, but so is OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 14. "HotSpot" is the common JVM, but again, any will do.

Click "Other Platforms" to download a JRE as opposed to the full JDK (default).

JRE installs are around 30 ~ 50 MB, whereas a full JDK install is 150 ~ 200 MB. Either installation is fine to run SkySpark, but given that JREs are 4 times smaller, they may be easier to manage.

The LTS suffix seen on some Java versions stands for "Long Term Support" (LTS) and means that particular version will continue to receive security updates and bug fixes for a long time to come - making it the popular choice for production servers.

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