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Eric Bruno

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Java on Mac OS X

October 22, 2010

Two days ago, with the release of the Java SE 1.6_22 update from Apple for Leopard and Snow Leopard, Apple distributed a deprecation notice for Java on OS X going forward. Although a little vague, this implies that Apple will not continue to port Java to the Mac platform.

In a way I don't blame them; it's not their software, and a lot has changed and continues to change in the world of Java. However, not having an option to run Java on a Mac is heart-breaking to me. I just love my MacBook Pro and OS X in general, and I'm not ready to switch away. However, as a Java developer, if Oracle or some other vendor doesn't step in to provide Java on the OS X platform, I may have to switch after all.

Apparently, after reading through some material online, Steve Jobs replied to a user email saying that Apple's release cycles for Java don't match Sun/Oracle's, and that may not be the best way to go about it in the future. This implies, to me, that Apple really would like Oracle to take over the job of porting Java to the OS X platform. If that's indeed what Steve wants, I would agree that it's the best situation, as Oracle will assuredly keep the OS X version of Java as up-to-date as the Windows and Linux versions.

Are you a Mac OS X user? What would you do if there is no solid plan for Java SE on OS X in the future? With the Apache Harmony project status questionable (yet still optimistic) the situation may be even more dire.

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