Chronicle of a Release Foretold

2008-05-02

Java 6 is finally out on the Mac, officially supported by Apple. 

Apple, whom we would like to keep loving’ – Apple, who really pushed it on this one – Apple, who still makes computers for humans – Apple, who still provides a fine, well-integrated Java on their platform without stringing it up in any proprietary doodads. Well, not like Windows once did, anyway.

I believed it was forthcoming, but I think the wait was excessive this time. It is their platform, so I could either just walk away from it if I don’t believe in their Java commitment anymore, or I could threaten them into taking me on so I can fix it myself. Only, I don’t think it’s good for me to get down with all the native code it takes to get a JDK up, wiring it up with the underlying platform and so on. 

Java on the Mac works great overall – it’s just that the soon-to-be-infamous lag could kill it. That would be a pity, because Macs are popular with developers now, and a lot of them do Java a lot. Java is directly pitted against .NET – which is really the battle between the platforms Windows and Java. Java is the best safeguard against Windows becoming an essential platform for some types of applications. You know, web-based stuff, stuff consultants do, and suchlike. This should be a good enough reason for Apple, who seem out to displace Windows gradually, to embrace Java – not instead of, but along with their own Objective-C-based platform.

And in the meantime, we should support the third-party porting initiatives, along with the OpenJDK, as best we can.

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