So I just had to post this (as seen on Slashdot). Apple decides to cut bait and get out of the Java business on Macs. The timing (following Oracle’s Java lawsuit against Google) as well as the announcement of the Mac OS X App Store yesterday can’t be a coincidence.
As background, Apple used to provide a JVM as part of Mac OS X, distributed so that it fit in with the rest of the system Frameworks. Although they were always a day late and a dollar short on having the latest vversion of Java available, Apple must have tried to make sure that adding a new Java release did not introduce any system instabilities in Mac OS X (or at least that’s the thinking) and then pushed the safe copy along with other system software through the Apple software update facility. Convenient!
Anywho, they probably started looking at what it would mean to sign up to supporting Java for the flood of Apps written for Android that would likely show up in the Mac Apps Store. Then looked again at what happened to Google when they fielded a slightly non-standard JVM for Android. And finally did the Math and saw that Java on the Mac was all risk to iPhone market share and exposure to Oracle’s legal department.
Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3 and 10.5 Update 8 Release Notes: New and Noteworthy
New and Noteworthy
This chapter lists high-profile features in these releases.
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.
Mozilla man accuses Jobs of ‘bypass the web’ scheme • The Register
As revealed by one Mac developer, the store forbids “beta”, “demo”, “trial” and “test” apps, and if an app crashes or so much as “exhibits a bug” – yes, exhibits a bug – it will be rejected as well.
Jobs also bars apps that use Java and other “deprecated or optionally installed technologies.” And all apps must use the “appropriate Mac OS X APIs for modifying user data stored by other apps”. And so on and so forth.
Update 2: Good analysis over at JavaLobby: developers are not Apple’s demographic.
Apple Shuns Java in Mac OS X | Javalobby
In the next year or two, we may not see Eclipse on Macs anymore. This slow death could begin if Apple doesn’t ship a JVM in Lion. The other major IDEs, NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA, will have an even tougher time staying on the OS because they rely directly on AWT and Swing. A port of OpenJDK might use X11 instead of native OSX windowing components.