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It isn't much extra work, just the download. For plugin support you do need to either repoint things via alternatives or via path and symlinking, but that is pretty easy. Especially early on when the open source java implementations were incomplete or wonky, and certainly when they came up slower on my benchmarks, it just seemed like the way to go. ( Though back in the days of green threads, the blackdown jdk was clearly the way to go; but that was a long time ago :D )

FWIW, I also roll my own RPMS of groovy based on codehaus tars because I find the fedora/rhel versions to be really annoying. Ditto for JBOSS and Tomcat ( which I need to integrate with Terracotta, but even so, the RedHat deployment with 900 dependencies is ungainly and overly rigid for anything but the simplest uses ). In general I go with what the distro gives me, but some times the distro is spun in ways that cut against my needs.

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