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Apple possibly deprecated Java: community, this is a nice test for you

Posted by fabriziogiudici on October 21, 2010 at 1:56 AM PDT

The news are taking mailing lists by storm:

"As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of
Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is

This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at
the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X.
The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X
10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the
standard support cycles of those products."

Waiting for a possible announcement by Oracle, I think that it's a pretty good test for the community. I suppose that all the people that don't trust Oracle should have lost all the residual faith in Apple; and those that are advocating an OpenJDK fork now start focusing on SoyLatte... right?

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Oracle provides JDKs for

Oracle provides JDKs for Windows, Linux, and other platforms. They are best suited to supply the official Mac JDK. As Steve Jobs said today:

"Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it."

Mac Java developers have ALWAYS complained about Apple not keeping up with official JDK releases.

OpenJDK is another option, but every project I have worked on has chosen to use the Sun supplied releases. This may change in the future given the agreement between Oracle and IBM.

I love to develop on Mac hardware. With Parallels, I have any version of Linux or Windows I may need available on the same machine at the same time. Also, since I mostly work in UNIX/Linux distributed environments, the Mac has all the tools I need and the vast majority of them are free. Who likes to install CygWin on their Windows boxes?

Let's not mention that you have Windows Office (now with real Outlook) and all the Adobe Creative Suite products.

Call me a fan boy. Sticks and stones...

I just hope Larry E. gets Oracle on the Mac JDK thing soon.


which way we going?

which way we going?

Maybe Oracle steps up to the

Maybe Oracle steps up to the plate and delivers a JRE for Mac OS X that uses the native UI, by next summer. Then there is nothing to worry about, right? Then again, maybe that won't happen. Those people who use their Macs as iTunes repos, web browsers, resume typewriters, and movie editors won't care. Who will care? Developers.

Over four years ago, I wrote in these pages: I often hear the argument "I saw the (caution: oxymoron ahead) coolest dudes at a tech conference running Macs, so I should get a Mac too". There are three simple reasons to switch to Linux instead...

I don't like to say "Told you so...", but there we go again. Someone somewhere decides, for reasons that are not your reasons, to do something with their proprietary platform that isn't working out for you. This happens all the time. Linux may not be a great iTunes repo, but it is a pretty decent development platform, and it gives you a great deal more control over your destiny than those proprietary platforms.

Same reason for which I wrote

Same reason for which I wrote this two years ago. And now a sequel is coming, with a further degrade for Mac OS X.

There is no solution except

There is no solution except dropping the Mac platform. The increasing popularity of Mac with geeks, especially well-known FOSS and Java developers, always amused me - I never swallowed that even in the glory days of early OSX when Apple promoted Java and got all Sun engineers using macbooks.

I remember when any self-respecting geek would dismiss Windows (Win3, Win9x) as lipstick-on-a-pig - a cute face over a crappy DOS-based OS. Today, the OSX is the OS in that relative position. Yeah they've got a decent microkernel and POSIX subsystem, but it's nothing remotely close to state of the art. Under the hood, Windows 7 demolishes OSX as the product most advanced, "serious", OS-level technology - kernel, filesystems, graphics stack, networking, security blah blah blah - you name it, Win7 is several years ahead. (And Win7 is not even the best general purpose OS out there, I would give the gold medal to Solaris 10 if its desktop was worth anything.)

Add that to the fact that OSX is one the most tight-ass closed platforms in existence, I'd say as much as anything from IBM (AIX etc.). The microscopic open source kernel in its core, and the limited POSIX compatibility (real apps must use tons of proprietary Apple APIs), are certainly not good enough for OSX to pass as an "open" platform, even for the most generous definitions of openness. Ironically, the PC platform (Wintel) is massively more open, not in FSF's definition but at least in the traditional sense of open systems.

Whats the license behind the

Whats the license behind the Apple JVM? Any chance they might give it a compatible open source license so their custom Swing Look&Feel changes can be ported to OpenJDK?

Apple JVM is proprietary, in

Apple JVM is proprietary, in the sense that they got a license from Sun for taking the Sun JDK and adding the specific Mac OS X integration. I think that they aren't interested any longer in Java, but wouldn't boycott it (for now), so they could sell their integration code to somebody that wants to buy it. I only see Oracle as the only entity that could want to do that.

OTOH, we have SoyLatte, a complete port of OpenJDK 6 to Mac OS X, that uses X11 bindings rather than Cocoa. I think that a community effort to add the specific bindings shouldn't be too difficult. BTW, the Quaqua open L&F provides an excellent Aqua L&F with native code. In any case, if the community fails to do that, this would cast even stronger doubts on the community ability to ever sustain a complete fork of the OpenJDK.

X11 isn't really good enough,

X11 isn't really good enough, think theres any chance Oracle could pull together their own MacOS runtime for Java 7? just in case Lion (Summer 2011) dosen't have any JVMs. Oracle seem the only logical choice here, to keep up with all the security fixes and all the other changes in Java 7 & 8. Ideally it'd be available an easily installable from They're going to need something more advanced than X11 and compatible with JavaFX 2.0 & Prisim around the same time.

Probably going to need an update process, Web Start, Safari & other browser plugins and tools to create application bundles if Apple don't contribute their own code. My Gut tells me thats quite a lot of work if this has come as any surprise. Wonder how long we'll have to wait for an official response..?

Even then it dosen't sound like any Java applications will be eligible for their app store, relegated to second-class citizens.

I currently use a Mac (via my

It's the desktop that counts on the Mac

I currently use a Mac (via my employer) for server-side, command-line, and desktop development, with VMWare Fusion to give me access to Windows and Linux (giving me an all-in-one solution). For non-developer types, I can only see use of Java for desktop applications on a Mac (there's Mac OS X server, but if it doesn't do "official" .NET or Java, it's in a niche).

If indeed the only real non-developer use for Java on the Mac is for developers, then for desktop java deployment to remain relevant, OpenJDK or whatever would need something similar to what can be achieved with eAWT (access to the application menu, screen menu bar, packaging up in ".app" format for dock integration). That's a lot of effort. Swing on the Mac is quite nice indeed, what with client properties and so on. Nimbus is okay as a look and feel, but won't solve the other aspects of desktop integration.

Apple used to be the luxury option, it's now becoming an expensive toy.