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Kvetch and Ye Shall Receive

Posted by editor on February 3, 2004 at 7:39 AM PST

Mac OS X is now officially up-to-date with Java, as Apple has just released a substantial J2SE 1.4.2 implementation that catches up with the latest release version from Sun. Panther (ie, Mac OS X 10.3.x) users can find it in their Software Update. For those wanting a stand-alone installer (hello, sysadmins!), one is available here. The download is about 28 MB.

The big news in this update is the support for JavaScript-to-Java communication, aka LiveConnect, when used with the also-updated Safari web browser. This hitherto-absent feature has been the subject of more feature requests / complaints / angry screeds than I'd care to remember.

Comments on the MacBytes/MacRumors site indicate that users have seen some performance improvements and greater compatibility in some cases, though there have also been reports of breakage (particularly of the file-sharing application Acquisition Lite, which looks for Java 1.4.1 and can't find it, since the 1.4.2 installer removes it).

The developer talk on the java-dev list is more focused on Eclipse compatibility and certain scenarios that can cause problems when upgrading to the final version from various combinations of betas and other limited-access pre-releases.

Developers are also noting the disappearance of javadocs and the src.jar file, but those are provided by the "Java 1.4.2. Developer Package" (50.6 MB) that has been posted to the Apple Developer Connection site. After installing the developer package, src.jar is in /System/ Library/ Frameworks/ JavaVM.framework/ Versions/ 1.4.2/ Home. The javadocs are now in two places: docs for core Java are at /System/ Library/ Frameworks/ JavaVM.framework/ Versions/ 1.4.2/ Resources/ Documentation/ Reference/ doc/ api, while docs for Mac-specific classes are in /System/ Library/ Frameworks/ JavaVM.framework/ Versions/ 1.4.2/ Resources/ Documentation/ Reference/ appledoc/ api . (note: spaces included in these giant paths only to keep your browser from horizontally scrolling)

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