The future of Java on the Mac

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News: The future of Java on the Mac

  1. The future of Java on the Mac (13 messages)

    Hopefully, by now, everyone knows that Apple joined the OpenJDK project last year. What does that mean?

    • Apple will contribute the code that they used for their private Mac Java builds as GPL code to OpenJDK
    • Oracle will take over the stewardship of the Mac port of Java
    • Over time, the Mac platform will become a completely first-class citizen in the Java world

    This is good news for Java developers who want to develop on Mac. It's also good news for Mac users - as it means that, for example, the native Aqua look-and-feel will continue to be supported - so Java desktop apps on Mac will look lovely. I, for one, can't wait to see what Nimbus look-and-feel will look like under native Aqua.

    Over the last few days, there have been some developments - for example this wiki page, detailing the progress of the Mac port, has appeared. Buried at the bottom of the page is a link to a page where the open bugs for the Mac port are being publicly tracked (as they're ported across from Apple's internal system).

    Development is focused around JDK 7 - the basic idea is to take a fork of the community-maintained BSD port, and add Apple's code to it, to produce a Mac-specific port. Relevant bug fixes should be able to go both ways between the two related ports, where possible.

    All of this is likely to take time, however. The official line from Oracle is that JDK 7 will GA with Windows, Linux and Solaris as first-class supported operating systems, and the Mac will release as soon as possible after, with the hope that at some point in the future updates for the Mac version will be released at the same time as other OSes.

    This applies to the Oracle-supplied binary builds. Of course, the OpenJDK code (which Oracle regard as the reference implementation) will be available (and GPL) for anyone who wants to build their own binary.

    At java7developer.com, we think that we could be looking at roughly a 3 month gap between Java 7 GA and a Mac release - so maybe October 2011 if all goes well. For now, we're pretty happy running the community-provided OpenJDK builds. There are occasional problems with non-fatal X11-related exceptions clogging up standard out - due to some of the Mac's uniqueness, but on the whole, it's not bad at all for a pre-release product.

    Have you tried any of the community builds? Let us know what you think in the comments either here or at the original post.

    Cheers,

    Martijn (@karianna, @java7developer)

    Threaded Messages (13)

  2. From recent interviewing I've found that most of the Java shops in the Silicon Valley use Macs as development machines. If Oracle wants Java 7 adoptment, it should get it on Macs _first_.

  3. The future of Java on the Mac[ Go to top ]

    From recent experience I've found that most of the Java shops in India are not using Macs as development machines. If Oracle wants Java 7 adoptment, it should avoid getting it on Macs _first_.

  4. The future of Java on the Mac[ Go to top ]

    Totally agree with Moz and Jordan on that case :)

  5. The future of Java on the Mac[ Go to top ]

    From recient experience, I've found that shops in Europe use both Macs and Linux boxes. Therefor it should be released on _both_ Mac and Linux first.

  6. I got the strong impression from Oracle that they will make the Mac release a first class citizen for future versions of Java. I think that they're still learning after having taken over from Apple, hence the delay for Java 7.  Once they hire the right resources for the Mac OpenJDK port and get to grips with creating the binary builds I suspect we won't see this delay in future.  If we do then I for one will be letting them know that it needs to be prioritised for developers :)

  7. Remember that Apple uses Java to write their www sites : their WebObject framework was wrote in java.
    hence java is strategic for Mac.

    In fact they do not have a corrispective ".Net", thus they must invest on java in order to open the mac to (java) web developers.

    On Windows you can write sites in .Net, Java and Php, on Mac only on Java and Php; if they want not to close themselves on php in future you will still have good java versions on mac and without too delay.

    From the point of view of a web developer this is the reason why java is so popular on Linux and Mac (?over and above of the excellence of the  VM and the language!).

     

  8. WebObjects[ Go to top ]

    WebObjects is a good weathervane for Apple's attitude to Java.

    Originally it was a native Obj-C system, then ported to Java, but still dependent on Apple's development tools - and then slowly Apple have pushed support out of XCode towards Eclipse.

    (Equally over the same time we've seen it go from being enormously expensive to 'open source').

    As I understand it, Apple's web presence is making increasing use of Ruby at the back end these days?? (Although I suspect the performance sensitive parts will be Java for a long time - although I wonder if these are WebObjects based either??? And I'm sure the Apple site isn't run on OS X servers but possibly Solaris??)

  9. The future of Java on the Mac[ Go to top ]

    I did try one of the Mac community builds a short while ago to experiment with the join/fork framework. I did not try much else (yet) but it worked perfectly for this!

  10. Android[ Go to top ]

    And when Android will be supported? The train is already going, Adobe Flex(runtime) is ahead. Oracle shoud not undervalue role of this platform. Android will change rules of the wintel hegemony :-)

     

  11. Integration with Aqua?[ Go to top ]

     

    Do we really think integration with Aqua (or whatever it will be called in the future seeing that the aqua part is going away soon) and Mac OS will be as deep as before?  

    Can those outside of Apple really do as "good" a job as Apple did?  Will Apple still be "helping" with this?  I tend to think Java on Mac (wrt GUI) will become more like standard Java.

     

    Cheers,
    Ashley.

     

  12. Integration with Aqua?[ Go to top ]

    So, Apple has actually joined the OpenJDK and will be helping directly.  How much?  We simply don't know until we see the number of commits and otehr assistance coming directly from apple.com addresses.  It seems that Larry and Steve are on friendly terms, so I'm hoping the investment from Apple will be serious.

  13. RE: Android[ Go to top ]

    And when Android will be supported? The train is already going, Adobe Flex(runtime) is ahead. Oracle shoud not undervalue role of this platform. Android will change rules of the wintel hegemony :-)

    Android will be supported when Google decides to support Java and drop their Dalvik fork, Adobe Flex will be a winner when Apple starts supporting Flash in the iOS (at which time HTML5 will have made it obsolete anyway) and the wintel hegemony... Well, it's not the first time I've heard that someone is here to "change the rules". Amiga, Mac, Novell, OS/2, Solaris, RedHat, Ubuntu,... Not necesarilly shilling for Microsoft, but you can't fault their staying power.

  14. RE: Android[ Go to top ]

    I spent most of my adolescence years arguing in favour of the Amiga, against my wintel-fanatic classmates. If everyone had not been so stupid, everybody would had realized that the Amiga was the best 80's platform (I'm just kidding, oviously I was the fanatic one).