By "Sun is dumb" I only mean Sun-the-company and their Java licensing. The Java policy seems to put a lot of importance in compatibility and certification and whatnot, which would be fine for people who care about that stuff (a rapidly diminishing number of people), except Sun keeps people from fixing their packaging and distribution as a result. If you are serious about Java you figure these things out -- you run their installers, set up your CLASSPATH, etc. If you aren't serious (like myself) you don't figure these things out, and you ignore Java as a platform. If it was easy for me to run test suites on Jython I would. There's lots of other platforms that I'm not serious about that I use regardless, because they are easy and well integrated into whatever OS I'm on (since that OS is often Debian-related all the more reason this licensing causes problems). Java is not one of them.
Sun's concern about the cross-platform compatibility of their platform is outdated. The only real malicious forker (MS) has dropped Java for .NET. And I don't think Sun every really delivered in a practical way on the write-once-run-anywhere promise anyway. Maybe their accomplishments would mean something to someone coming from a proprietary C background, but it's thoroughly unimpressive to anyone using Python, and not even very impressive compared to open source C projects (where compatibility is achievable through feedback, not restrictions). It's created a situation where Java seems hostile to the host platform, hostile to packaging systems of all kinds, and ultimately hostile towards users. But every system has flaws; the problem with Java is that Sun won't let other people fix those flaws.
I don't have any of these problems your talking about so I guess were on different pages of the universe. :) Ive been using Java on my Linux Suse distro for 4-5 years and Ive never had a problem installing the software. For someone who develops with Java it is important to me that my app(s) will run on Windows as it runs on Linux, and they do. So the cross platform compatibility is a plus for me. I don't know if you pay much attention to what goes on in the Java world but there definately is work going on to provide better integration with the native platforms. You can look at the JDIC project for example.
gotta run! leouser