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Apple Deprecates Java

by Alex Blewitt on Oct 21, 2010 |

As well as yesterday's back to the Mac presentation, Apple released a number of updates, including Java for 10.6 update 3, which brings the Java version to 1.6.0_22 and fixes numerous security holes.

Significantly, in the release notes, Apple signs its exit to the Java licensee space with this comment:

As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated.

This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.

It lays out a structure for installing 3rd party VMs in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines or ~/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines, presumably aimed at consuming OpenJDK builds for the Mac in the future or other ports such as SoyLatte. It also notes that this reorganisation may cause some problems for IDEs (presumably, Eclipse and NetBeans since Xcode is an Objective-C application):

In testing, some Java IDEs have shown problems navigating into the new JDK bundle structure, and persisting the location of the new JDK bundles. Some IDEs may have to change how they prompt users to locate a JVM on Mac OS X, and should ideally present a list of JVMs generated from /usr/libexec/java_home --xml, which outputs each discovered JVM, and orders them according to the user's order in Java Preferences.

Whatever has caused this change of heart, it's not the first time Apple has caused pain for Java developers. Back when Leopard was coming out, the 64-bit JVM and development on 10.6 was halted in preference to Snow Leopard; leaving PPC users out in the cold with an antiquated version of Java. Going further back at WWDC 2001 Steve Jobs presented OSX as the best platform for Java development, including the WebObjects port to Java which for a considerable period of time ran the Apple store.

The exact reasons behind this deprecation aren't known; it may be that Apple aren't willing to license Java from its new owners, or it may be a result of the continued eviction of non-Apple software from the core platform. Recently, it has been claimed that Java exploits exceed that of Adobe Reader; whether that's accurate or not, Java on OSX has had its fair share of security vulnerabilities that have been patched much later than on other platforms, leaving Mac users especially vulnerable (and leading to advice on how to disable Java in WebKit permanently). Even the new MacBook Air doesn't ship with Flash; a sign of things to come in 10.7 OSX Lion. Whatever the reasons, Java developers are likely to be caught in the cross-fire once again.

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Community comments

Oracle by Victor Costan

Oracle's acquisition of Sun is probably the reason why Java will be removed from OSX. Ubuntu also removed Sun's JVM from multiverse, as of Ubuntu 10.10.

use of "deprecates" by Christopher Brind

How is this "deprecates"?

Deprecates means "expresses disapproval of" or in software terms is generally accepted to mean "discourages use of". I don't believe Apple are discouraging the use of Java, they are just saying that most likely they won't be providing a version in the core OS in the future which is fair enough because as you say there are alternatives meaning one less thing for them to have to worry about.

Re: Oracle by Ivo Limmen

Oracle's acquisition of Sun is probably the reason why Java will be removed from OSX. Ubuntu also removed Sun's JVM from multiverse, as of Ubuntu 10.10.

That is not correct. Since Ubuntu 10.10 the Sun JVM has been moved from the regular repository to the partner repository where Adobe Reader can also be found.

Will anyone maintain a cerified OS/X JDK? by Rob Elliot

Soylatte isn't Java certified, and Sun/Oracle don't have one; if Apple aren't going to maintain one this really leaves Java devs out in the cold on the OS/X platform unless Oracle decide to take the job on. I don't suppose Apple would see their way to donating their code to OpenJDK...

WebObjects in Java by Pascal Robert

BTW, the Apple Store still run on WebObjects, it's just that they are using rewrite rules so the /WebObjects is not visible anymore. Apple is using WebObjects for at least 80% of their external and internal Web apps, so Apple do need a JVM to run their WO apps, so either they are keeping a Apple JVM just for them, or Oracle or someone else is going to provide a JVM to Apple.

Another nice twist by Gerald Preissler

is that Java apps seem to be forbidden from the new appstore for Mac outright. Other runtimes that depends on the JVM (JRuby, Clojure, Scala ...) are not mentioned specifically, but the only way I can see would be to pack a JRE with each and every app.

Re: use of by Ryan Slobojan

"Deprecates" is the term Apple uses - from the press release:

"the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated."

Re: Will anyone maintain a cerified OS/X JDK? by Henri Gomez

Apple didn't realize the potential impact on Java community. By dropping its official support from this platform, Apple let Java community without any solid development foundation.
Many Java community leaders are Mac OS/X fans and users and example make many Java developpers to do the switch to OS/X, at works but also at home.
Without foundations, developpers will have to select a new platform and since many switched from Windows to OS/X, Linux may be the good choice for them, all JVM vendors providing JDK/SDK on Linux.
And to works on Linux, nothing more than a regular PC is required, no more expensive Apple hardware.

I do the choice to switch from Windows to OS/X last year, but if I was aware at this time of Apple decision, no doubt, I avoided this platform.
I need a solid Java platform first, nice OS/X second and good looking hardware in fine.

I'm really disappointed by this new Apple move to 'closed world' and won't recommand Apple machines to Java developpers anymore ;(
It's sad to see Apple still didn't learn from in late 80 mistakes.

Re: Will anyone maintain a cerified OS/X JDK? by Stuart Charlton

I don't think this is a sign they haven't learned of their 80's mistakes. Certainly Java developers sell them a number of laptops. The question is, how much does it cost to maintain that JVM vs. the sales it generates among developers? Will it show up in the stats?

These days, that's debatable. The Java language is nearing end of life, from a consumer-use perspective, anyway, sometime over the next few years. No one builds Applets anymore - that was the whole point of Java on Mac OS X. Oracle's not fun to work with. Arguably most developers that buy a Mac wind up programming on Python, Ruby, or Objective-C. It is likely vast majority of Java developers are in corporate IT with corporate-approved PC's.

That said, plenty of developers run Linux and OpenJDK. So I don't think this really destroys the ability for Mac + Java fans to continue their craft. Apple's just saying they want someone else to run with the ball now, as they're off to other pastures. And it's not like they're pulling the plug - a deprecation is a pretty good step to test out the reaction out there.

Looks like I’ve bought my last Mac by William H

I guess cross platform app development was useful when Apple was struggling to compete. Now they’ve reached a size where developers might choose to target their platform natively I guess they’ve calculated that isn’t worth licensing and maintaining their own JRE any more. Maybe Oracle will step up and do it, but Apple sure isn’t giving them much notice

I was about to replace 3 of my machines with Macs because I really like OS X. Glad I waited to see what the next OS X version looked like. Looks like I’ll be switching back to Windows.

Couldn't this be a good thing? by Fox Touche

Couldn't this be a good thing?

It seems that Apple is saying that they no longer wish to maintain their own port of Java. But it also seems to hint at being open to third parties providing this port instead.

Since the Apple port of Java is always so delayed, perhaps this will give Oracle (or OpenJDK, etc) the opportunity to release a Mac version of Java simultaneously with the Linux and Windows versions.

Re: Couldn't this be a good thing? by Pascal Robert

It could be a good thing... if the "new" JVM binds Swing on Cocoa and not on X11. Let's hope Oracle will announce something fast because right now, it's just chaos.

It's OK to learn another langage by vic c

More: developer.apple.com/library/mac/#releasenotes/J...

I like Ruby, Mono, Go, D, Neko and event Qt.

For example compare speed of Eclipse with speed of FlashDevelop IDE, the non java FlashDevelop is much faster. It's time to move on.

Re: Oracle by Mike C.

@Ivo Limmen, @Victor Costan is half-right, as are you.

LucidLynx/ReleaseNotes:
For Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the sun-java6 packages have been dropped from the Multiverse section of the Ubuntu archive. It is recommended that you use openjdk-6 instead.

If you can not switch from the proprietary Sun JDK/JRE to OpenJDK, you can install sun-java6 packages from the Canonical Partner Repository.

Re: Couldn't this be a good thing? by Charles Humble

Yes I think it could, but only if Oracle decide it is worth there while to take it on, and if they. When Apple’s Java support first started lagging behind everyone elses in about 2007 Gosling blogged that Sun didn’t do it “because Apple wanted to do it. They've wanted to do all sorts of customization and integration that only they could do - because they own the OS.”
blogs.sun.com/jag/entry/solaris_and_os_x_continued

As an aside my current main client is a European government agency that builds all of its bespoke software in Java and deploys on Linux. They give Mac desktop to developers and architects since it is a nice *nix environment to write Java in. I don’t know how common this is, but if Oracle doesn’t step up to the plate I guess they would have to switch everyone over to Windows PCs again, which seems a pity. I do like OS X myself, but whilst I tried to use a Max as my main developer machine for a while I ended up giving up on it because the Java support wasn’t great and almost all my work is done with Java.

Switching back to.... windows? by Olaf Geibig

Why so many of you consider now switching back to windows? I don't understand. Why don't you consider to move on to Linux?

- You can continue to buy Macs. If you don't want to abandon Mac OS just make the machine dual boot for work and for private use.
- The Gnome desktop is much closer to Mac OS than the windows desktop.
- You have a native bash console and the toolchain and of a real *nix OS. C'mon, do you really want to feel the pain of using cygwin?
- Linux offers everything a JVM based developer needs.

Will Google reconsider buying OSX machines? by Dean Schulze

Earlier this year Google announced that they would stop buying computers with Microsoft operating systems because of the problems with viruses. New computers would be either PCs running Linux or Mac with OSX:

www.dailyfinance.com/story/google-windows/19498...

If Apple isn't going to support Java on OSX I wonder if Google is going to reconsider whether they want to offer MACs as one of their options for new computer purchases.

If Google threatened to stop Mac purchases if Apple doesn't commit to including an up-to-date version of Java for OSX that could get Apple to straighten up.

It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Alexandre Verri

It makes no difference. Sell your Mac and buy a great notebook with intel i7 processor. Why to have a MAC!? Personally, I realize that Apple products are just beautiful, but too expensive for what they do. Have you ever seen a laptop with i7 processor, running Linux? Apple to me is synonymous with consumerism.

Re: Another nice twist by Vitaly Mikheev

but the only way I can see would be to pack a JRE with each and every app.

Or pack only the required part of JRE.

In addition, Java Web Start will work for many usage scenarios.

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Frederic Simon

Totally agree!
I switched from Ubuntu to Mac OS X more than 2 years ago because the price/performance of a Mac Book Pro at the time was quite good (only 20% more). But 2 months ago when buying a new Laptop I finally took a Vaio with i7 and SSD with Ubuntu 10.10 and my Java development is so much better than the new MBP.
And by the way a new MBP (with less powerful specification) is 50% more expensive than mine :(

I'm really happy to be back to Linux...

Re: Another nice twist by Charles Wise

They're not just singling out Java. They're forbidding the use of anything that isn't self-contained. They want applications to be independent of anything that doesn't come with OS/X, and since Java won't be coming with OS/X 10.7, Java is out. The bigger question is whether an application that embedded a JRE within it would be rejected.

Re: Will anyone maintain a cerified OS/X JDK? by Mike Bria


he Java language is nearing end of life, from a consumer-use perspective, anyway, sometime over the next few years. No one builds Applets anymore - that was the whole point of Java on Mac OS X. Oracle's not fun to work with. Arguably most developers that buy a Mac wind up programming on Python, Ruby, or Objective-C.


I'm pretty this statement is way off. Java is currently the widest used technology, and is still making major development-related advancements, particular in the web-development space. No one ever really built applets - java found a much different, and better home on the web.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a python and ruby fan too. I just don't think your assessment of java's relevance (current and future) is accurate at all.

Cheers,
MB

This is just crazy... by hong l

Hope someone can take on the development of OpenJDK on Mac. Anyway Java is still a strong platform for the future. I love the beauty of Mac but I dont like apple's strategy of development tools

Re: This is just crazy... by Guy Nirpaz

Would like to echo that:

I love my mac, iPad and iPhone. I also like eclipse and Java and would like to keep it that way. A very large portion of the Java developer community is using mac. I hope Apple will reconsider...

Tracking the openJDK on Mac by Martijn Verburg

Hi all,

We'll be trying to track the progress of Mac builds of the openJDK for the upcoming Java 7. I've no idea at this stage what that means on the UI side, but I'm hoping that the core Java stack will work just fine. The latest binary for the Mac seems to compile and run my small example anyhow.

Cheers,
Martijn (@java7developer - twitter)

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Cameron Purdy

It makes no difference. Sell your Mac and buy a great notebook with intel i7 processor. Why to have a MAC!? Personally, I realize that Apple products are just beautiful, but too expensive for what they do. Have you ever seen a laptop with i7 processor, running Linux? Apple to me is synonymous with consumerism.


Time is money. That's why Apple computers cost less than Windows or Linux machines for most people. There's nothing more expensive than wasting your time trying to get your computer to do what you need it to do ..

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence
coherence.oracle.com/

Re: Oracle by Cameron Purdy

Oracle's acquisition of Sun is probably the reason why Java will be removed from OSX.


This is simply not true. Apple and Oracle have a great relationship, and Apple uses Java quite widely. (And my team use all Macs .. ;-)

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence
coherence.oracle.com/

Re: Another nice twist by vic c

Vitaly: WebStart????

Re: This is just crazy... by mike thompson

Is this Apple's strategy into the Enterprise? I have personally bought my own high end Mac for java development in the Enterprise. I know more java developers on Mac than on Windows. Seriously, Apple has already proved that it the APPS that make the platform useful therefore, if the APPS that make a Mac useful for java developers is java then what is Apple doing here?

I personally own several Mac computers and 2 iPhones and an iPad. I love my Apple products. Their products are expensive and worth it. Since I spend most of my day inside a java IDE (which are built with java); it is fair to say that the ONLY thing that really matters is that my computer runs java quickly. Without java, my computer is worthless to me. I think it is fair to say that if java goes away I will switch all of my computers and devices, just because I'm pissed.

My Apple has a worm in it. I feel betrayed by the company I trust.

-- Mike Thompson

Re: Oracle by john doe

Cameron, doesn't this announcement bug you or your team? I don't even use a Mac as my primary machine, but know a lot of developers who do - even with that, this feels perturbing.

I don't really blame Apple or Oracle, particularly, but this does leave a significant user community in a limbo right now.

-Joe

Re: Oracle by Cameron Purdy

Frankly, I don't know the specifics of what it means yet. I think it will be a loss if the Mac becomes a second class platform for Java, but I'm hoping we can work with Apple and the community to make (or keep) the Mac a great development and deployment platform for Java. Let's see what real changes and actions come from this before we judge Apple's announcement.

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence
coherence.oracle.com/

Re: use of by Ryan Gardner

apple themselves used the term "deprecated" when talking about java on osx.

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Dan Tines

Time is money. That's why Apple computers cost less than Windows or Linux machines for most people. There's nothing more expensive than wasting your time trying to get your computer to do what you need it to do ..

Wonderful, I get to use a car analogy. A Ferrari is less expensive than a Yugo because I can get to where I'm going faster.

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Cameron Purdy

Wonderful, I get to use a car analogy. A Ferrari is less expensive than a Yugo because I can get to where I'm going faster.


A car that doesn't work is too expensive at any price. It's a little silly to bring a Ferrari into the conversation; how about Toyota? People spend more for a Toyota than a C******r. Why? Could it be that when you sit down in a Toyota, the entire car doesn't flex like a wet cardboard box? That a 10-year old Toyota runs better than a 10-month old C******r?

It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who don't want to spend an extra 10-20% on a working piece of kit will gladly waste thousands of dollars of their time trying to get their slightly cheaper junk working.

What a bargain.

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence
coherence.oracle.com/

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Dan Tines

Wonderful, I get to use a car analogy. A Ferrari is less expensive than a Yugo because I can get to where I'm going faster.


A car that doesn't work is too expensive at any price. It's a little silly to bring a Ferrari into the conversation; how about Toyota? People spend more for a Toyota than a C******r. Why? Could it be that when you sit down in a Toyota, the entire car doesn't flex like a wet cardboard box? That a 10-year old Toyota runs better than a 10-month old C******r?

It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who don't want to spend an extra 10-20% on a working piece of kit will gladly waste thousands of dollars of their time trying to get their slightly cheaper junk working.

What a bargain.

Peace,


Yes, I'm sure you've convinced yourself of all of that.

Re: This is just crazy... by Paulo Silva

I agree. I love my Mac but love Java. Java pay my bills Mac not.

Re: It's OK to learn another langage by Arnoud Bos

Sure it's ok to learn another language but comparing Eclipse with FlashDevelop is just ridiculous in this context. Doesn't say anything. Write the same program in different languages and benchmark those. Then you get an idea about performance of a platform. aAnd if the difference is big on different VM's then you may have an argument but then still the code has to be reviewed. I can creata a terrible slow C program. Doesn't mean C is slow...

Arnoud

Re: It's OK to learn another langage by Arnoud Bos

Here's a nice comparison of speed of different languages. It's definitely not the only one and may have some flaws but it gives a nice overview. Now tell me again Java is slow...

blog.dhananjaynene.com/2008/07/performance-comp...

Even JRuby seems faster than vanilla Ruby (which is actually quite performant, so i'm definitely not bashing the new dynamic kids on the bock). Statically typed languages are just faste. Saying java is slow. It's just not true...

Arnoud

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Andrea Del Bene



Time is money. That's why Apple computers cost less than Windows or Linux machines for most people. There's nothing more expensive than wasting your time trying to get your computer to do what you need it to do ..

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence


Don't take offense, but have you tried Ubuntu in the last three years :-)?

Bye.

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Cameron Purdy

Don't take offense, but have you tried Ubuntu in the last three years :-)?


Yes. I love Linux as a server OS, I love it for development, but I just don't enjoy it as my main desktop OS.

Look, the Mac is far from perfect, but it's the least annoying (for me) of the various desktop OS's. I hope we can keep Java going strong on the Mac, otherwise I'm going to be spending more time in Parallels on Linux and OpenSolaris ;-)

Peace,

Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence
coherence.oracle.com/

A simple question by Oyku Gencay

Apart from all comments, I think we need to know the answer to the following question. When will Oracle release a JDK for Mac OS X? I doubt they will stay silent until Mac OS 10.7. Until then we should keep an eye on JDK alternatives

Re: use of by Tim Vernum

Actually they used "deprecated" when talking about their version of Java on OS X.
That's not the same as "Apple Deprecates Java".

However, given that no one else currently ships a high-quality VM for OS X, it has the same effect.

Feels like end of JVM Based Languages on Mac by Leanne Northrop

It’s already hard enough to convince managers to support enterprise development on a mac. Oracle’s database is not supported natively (light versions for development purposes) and I can’t see Oracle stepping in to produce updates for 'Apple' Java. It's not so much Java as a language but obviously with the JVM missing I'll miss the ability to write JRuby, Scala, Groovy etc. It’s very bad news driving me away from development on a mac and also probably away from Apple altogether (I'm finding their computer hardware not as good quality as the earlier products). Overall a bad decision from Apple...unless Oracle can confirm they will step in to fill the void.

Re: A simple question by Dan Tines

"The Larry" and "The Steve" are supposedly friends. I don't see why Apple wouldn't just hand their code over to Oracle and say "Have at it".

Online petition to ask Apple to provide the OSX-Java-SourceCode to OpenJDK by Michael Hunger

www.petitionspot.com/petitions/macjdk

Perhaps this helps, I'd rather have Apple providing the JDK. But anything is better than nothing.

I don't want to switch my dev environment.

Cheers

Michael

Asking for It by Jonathan Locke

This unfortunate news is just begging to be answered by an Apple "switch" commercial spoof.

My bet is Oracle will pick it up. It seems like the brain trust of the Java world pretty much all use Macs these days. Oracle would be stupid not to take advantage of the opportunity.

Re: Will Google reconsider buying OSX machines? by Neil Murphy

Such a threat from Google would be irrelevant to Apple. 1). Google doesn't buy that many in the great scheme of things 2). Google is one of the enemy to Apple (and Vice versa).

Re: This is just crazy... by Neil Murphy

Apple wants the consumer, they are much less bothered about the general developer community. Apple doesn't care about cross platform portability, and actually sees it as a threat.

Re: Asking for It by Neil Murphy

What will Oracle gain from providing a free JRE / JDK to Apple?

Re: It's simple: dont by Apple stuff. by Sunny Guy

The car analogy does not apply. It doesn't matter how fast a car you buy, your speed is constrained by the speed limit and obstacles (other cars, stop signs, traffic lights, etc) over which you have no control.

A better analogy might be a car versus a slightly more expensive helicopter. (Ignoring licensing issues)

Sunny Guy

Re: Feels like end of JVM Based Languages on Mac by Gerry Walters

I agree. Apple have lost the plot lately. With Apple computer hardware uncompetitively priced in relation to PC hardware and Linux platforms becoming more accessible to mainstream users, Apple can't afford to keep promoting their closed approach to personal computing.

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