Request for review: Bug 100054: Make building the Nimbus look 'n' feel optional

Mark Reinhold mr at
Fri May 15 04:05:05 UTC 2009

> Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 23:31:58 +0100
> From: Andrew John Hughes <gnu_andrew at>

> 2009/5/14 phil.race at
>> I do think I know what you want. But I consider its a slippery slope as
>> you have no way of knowing or keeping track of the consequences of
>> not building a particular component.
> Sure, but if someone chooses to set DISABLE_NIMBUS then they take that
> risk.  It's much the same as if they turn on insane mode or don't
> build the docs.  It's a tradeoff of having an incomplete build at the
> end against simplifying the process, and one it is down to the user to
> make.  For example, if someone wants to build OpenJDK as a precursor
> to hacking on HotSpot, then they are probably more concerned about
> just completing the build than finding an additional set of
> dependencies for a look and feel they probably won't use.  I don't see
> how arbitrarily restricting choice helps anyone.
>> I suggest its better to fix the local build problem than push workarounds
>> upstream.
> My fear is we will run over this problem again and again.  If people
> working on OpenJDK day in and day out are having issues with this,
> then newbies are going to fare even worse.

I have to agree with Andrew on this one.

Engineers working on the JDK routinely skip building various components,
yet somehow we've survived.  When was the last time, e.g., you built
HotSpot, or javac, or the Windows installer, or generated rpm packages on

There are already lots of ways to disable various components of the
build.  The better ones take care to issue a warning during the sanity
check so that people who carelessly set build variables in their shell
environment don't get tripped up too badly, as long as they make sure to
read the sanity log.

That these happen to be "platform" classes doesn't mean much.  The chance
that a Nimbus-disabled build would be mistaken for a product build is
pretty well near zero, given all the testing that we do.

If this tiny change makes it easier for people to work with our code,
then I'm all for it.

My only comment on Andrew's actual patch is that Sanity.gmk should be
extended to print a warning when Nimbus is disabled.  It otherwise looks
fine to me.

Oh, and if we have somehow become dependent upon a third-party tool
(JIBX) that's so difficult to locate and has such a low commitment to
interface stability, then perhaps we should reconsider that and use a
different tool.

- Mark

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