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The Fragile Army

Posted by editor on April 30, 2008 at 6:40 AM PDT

Java 6 (finally) for Mac... now what?

Long after its Sun-developed debut on Windows, Linux, and Solaris, Java SE 6 is finally available for the Mac. As I posted to the Mac Java Community's features feed:

Available via to Software Update, Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 1 adds Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_05 to your Mac. This version of Java is only for Mac OS X v10.5.2 and later, and only runs on 64-bit Intel machines. Developers may want to check out the release notes, which detail major new features including an API to work with the Dock icon (getting and setting the image, adding a badge, setting a dock menu, etc.), the ability to provide document-modal dialog sheets, support for Java DTrace probes, AppleScript as a supported language to the javax.script API, and more.

So... what to make of this? There's been a whole lot of unhappy with the long delays getting Java 6 to the Mac. It's somewhat inexplicable, considering that back in 2006, Apple had actually been tracking the JDK 6 betas pretty closely with developer previews of their own, but after JDK 6 went final in late 2006, the updates stopped. Many assumed that JDK 6 would be in Leopard, but then that OS update slipped from early 2007 to late 2007 because of iPhone demands, and then to everyone's surprise, Leopard shipped without JDK 6, a year after a more or less complete JDK 6 b88 was offered to developers. Conspriacy theorists, Apple kremlinologists, and ticked-off ranters have had a field day over the last six months, but now that JDK 6 final is out -- to say nothing of the very encouraging work being done on the open-source Soy Latte Java runtime for Mac OS X -- it's all water under the bridge, right?

Well, apparently not. Apple's new JRE runs only on Mac OS X 10.5.2 or higher (sorry, Tiger users), and only on 64-bit Intel hardware. PowerPC and 32-bit Intel machines aren't supported. Fabrizio


Actually, i do have a session with Mike Swingler (Swing / AWT lead for Apple VM) on Tuesday evening. You can see more details here.