Skip to main content

More on Leopard's Java 1.5: The Release Notes Michael Urban Should Have Read

Posted by javaben on October 31, 2007 at 4:24 AM PDT

I recently blogged about the recent Mac whining from the Java community. Subsequently, I browsed through OS X 10.5 Leopard's Java release notes. Wow!

I think most people have by now realized that Michael Urban's straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back example of how Apple has regressed Java 5 is actually a step forward (i.e., the Aqua look-and-feel uses the *right* icon in message boxes now), but it gets much better.

Some of my favorites include:

  • "It is now possible to create a circular indeterminate progress indicator from a JProgressBar in Swing. Setting the "JProgressBar.style" client property to "circular" will create a small round indicator when the progress bar has been setIndeterminate(true). Please see tech note TN2196 "New Control Styles available within J2SE 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.5" for more information."
  • "Horizontal scroll events are now delivered to JScrollPanes as Shift+ScrollWheel events, since there is no horizontal scrolling API in Java. Horizontal scrolling mouse events will now move the content view horizontally, along with Shift key modifier events."
  • "There has been no way to specify smaller versions of the default Mac OS X Aqua controls. Many JComponents now change their default size, appearance, and font when the "JComponent.sizeVariant" client property is set to "small" or "mini". Please see the tech note "New Control Styles available within J2SE 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.5" for more information."
  • "JTextFields can now be converted into search files using the "TextField.variant" client property set to "search". Please see the tech note "New Control Styles available within J2SE 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.5" for more information and additional options to configure JTextField based search fields."
  • Apple introduced a 64-bit JVM with Leopard along-side the 32-bit JVM.

And, as anyone who has spent any time playing with the JRE will have noticed, the release notes omit many smaller features related to polish in their ground-up rewrite of the Aqua look-and-feel.

There will always be the whiners about Java 1.next; Apple is Apple. As the snake says in the proverbial parable, "you knew what [Apple] was when you [bought your MacBook Pro]." Whine about this to someone who cares.

But those who complain that Apple has lessened their support for Java at a time when Apple has done more to make Java a first-class peer of Cocoa and other dev environments--you could not be more misinformed.

UPDATE: I posted follow-up comments on the new rendering pipeline in a new blog entry.

Related Topics >>