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Posted by editor on November 1, 2007 at 7:12 AM PDT

Bloggers are still steamed about Java 6's absence from Leopard

Regardless of your opinion on the absence of Java 6 from Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), it's hard not to be dismayed by the extent and rancor of the debate. Or, worse yet, the outright falsehoods. Yesterday, an editor from an unnamed magazine (let's just say it's printed on dead trees and starts with the word "Mac"), sent me a link to a blog entry from a site called "Create Digital Music". The blog, Rumor: Mac Java's Demise is Real, and Why That Could Be Good News for Multimedia, claims that "Apple has all but eliminated its Java development team, and future development may (finally) fall to Sun", based on a single tipster who claims to have spoken with a Sun engineer who says that the entire Apple Java team has been moved over to the iCal product, with one engineer left to keep 1.5 stable. The source's source also claims a single engineer was working on the 1.6 port and has left Apple.

It gets better. The blog goes on to claim this is good for multimedia, because it implies that a Sun takeover of Mac Java is imminent, and will usher in a new age of cross-platform multimedia, based on Java.

I usually don't forward rumors except to bash them, and today is no exception. This blog is so ridiculous on its face, that it should be held up as an example of the pathology of posting poorly-sourced nonsense on the web and drawing grandiose conclusions from it. Among other things:

  • This blog is based on third-hand information: the blogger's source says he/she talked to a Sun engineer who in turn has insight into the Apple Java team. Yeah, Apple employees are always so forthcoming with inside information, particularly details about staffing and future products.

  • Sun sources of Apple information don't have a very good track record lately. After all, Jonathan Schwartz asserted that ZFS would be the file system in Leopard, which turned out to not to be the case.

  • The blog claims that there is only one person left working on Java at Apple, but I've seen at least two addresses handling the feedback on the java-dev list, and one of my IM buddies says he can name four members of the team right now.

Besides swallowing the poorly sourced claims, the blog goes on to postulate a, shall we say, highly optimistic series of events in which Sun picks up responsibility for Java on the Mac, JavaFX strongly embraces multimedia (despite Java's poor history in this field), it all comes out on time and works great across all the major desktop platforms, etc. Saving cross-platform multimedia is a whole lot of pressure to put on a Mac Java 7 VM and a JavaFX multimedia infrastructure that doesn't even exist yet.

Oh well, people believe what they want to believe. And some people will have a lot of fun with this report, I'm sure.

If you thought this issue would die down soon, today's Weblogs will come as a surprise, as many of our own bloggers remain interested in the topic (actually, I haven't seen any end-users weigh in on the topic, but developers are still pretty ticked). Alexander Schunk starts by asking what the big deal is. In Java on Mac: what the hec?, he writes,
"So whats this Java on the Mac hec all about? Isnt it the goal of Java to compile once run anywhere you got a JRE installed? And isnt it true that Java even runs on non SUN OS supported systems with a special JRE? Is MAC really that extraordinary plattform Java should not run on anyway?"

John O'Conner says
Good riddance to the Macbook Pro:
"which host OS supports all the latest deployment and desktop integration features the best? I believe Windows wins all around."

Meanwhile, Ben Galbraith takes a deeper look into the issue that really kicked off Michael Urban's angry assertion on JavaLobby that Java 5 rendering is broken in Leopard. Ben's Java on Leopard: The New Rendering Pipeline tries to explain
"why you should accept that the new pipeline is a Good Thing and move on."

We have a new (Not So) Stupid question as our Feature Article, and it's a tricky one because the question it literally asks may shift the focus away from the real issue.

(Not So) Stupid Questions 19: Remote Threaded Event Listener
is about a scenario in which an application wants to listen to events from a remote box and invoke interface methods, which implies a thread to listen for the methods. But how do you invoke those methods when all the threaded work has to be done in the thread's run() method? Can you have a thread without a run() method, or is that missing the point?

In Java Today,
registration is now open for the first Mobile & Embedded Developer Days conference, to be held in Santa Clara, CA, on January 23-24, 2008. The conference is devoted solely to the technologies of mobile and embedded Java platforms and is targeted for application developers of intermediate and advanced skill levels, platform developers, and technical personnel at tool vendors, OEMs and carriers.

Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart reports that GlassFish v2 has been loacalized into seven new languages: Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, Korean, French, and Simplied Chinese. He adds, "for more details and additional distributions, check Ming's note. Note that the translations of the web site go down one level, then they revert to english. And, if you are interested in helping, please participate at g11n @

In response to requests from their communities, the cqME projects (ME Framework and
the cq3G test suite) and the JT harness project will add the classpath exception to their
GPL2 licenses
. The addition of the classpath exception allows a greater opportunity for community members to produce and distribute products based on the software in these projects. If you have any comments or concerns about these changes, please submit them to the project forums: cqME or JT Harness. The licensing changes will be rolled out on November 6, 2007.

In today's Forums,
jesper_soderlund joins the popular GlassFish feature request thread, with the post
Re: GlassFish V3 planning - What do *you* want in GlassFish V3?
"There are a number of enchancements that would make glassfish into an even more competent app server, able to cater to the larger enterprise deployment. Here is a non exclusive list and I'm happy to take this discussion further if you'd like. * Versioned application deployment - There can be multiple levels of sophistication with-regards to this. The basic idea is that application deployments will handled a little more as a source control system which will enable rollback to a previous version if needed * Versioned application configuration - Right now the configuration changes are kept in a single file so there is no way to go back to a "last known good" configuration. Also when doing configuration changes they should be able to be grouped into a "changeset" which is the unit of configurauiton which will be applied and rolled-back..."

Hinkmond Wong asks for porting help in
Re: Nokia N800 Branch.
"Yes it's possible but the port of Java ME Personal Profile (AWT) is not finished yet for the Nokia N800. We are looking for volunteers to help make this happen. Would you be willing to do the work in getting AWT working on CDC/Personal Profile for the Nokia N800? (This is one of the main reasons we open sourced this project, when you find something is missing you participate and help add to the project)."

Finally, terrencebarr shares his ME development experiences in
Re: Is it possible to debug phoneME using microsoft Visual C++ (dsw, dsp)?
"I've used debug builds of phoneME Feature (USE_DEBUG=true, etc.) and debugged parts of the phoneME VM and MIDP implementation code with Visual C++ Express. It basically just worked. I didn't try anything fancy and I noticed that stack traces often produced unreliable results but single stepping, breakpoints and local and global variables were available."

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Bloggers are still steamed about Java 6's absence from Leopard