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Jobs: Java switchup stems from timing issues with Oracle

updated 09:30 am EDT, Fri October 22, 2010

No hints on future Java support

Apple's decision to deprecate its Java runtime was based on scheduling problems, an e-mail from Steve Jobs to a developer reveals. "Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms," the CEO writes. "They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it."

Earlier notes from the company suggest that it may drop a self-maintained runtime entirely for Mac OS X Lion, due next summer. Leopard and Snow Leopard will continue to be updated for some time afterward. In the short term the deprecation may have the most impact on the Mac App Store, preventing developers from selling titles based on Java.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, it's not quite the "Oracle will be supplying the JVM from now on" many were hoping for, but it's better than the "Java is dead we ain't making it no more" reaction most had initially. At least it's an acknowledgement that the current situation isn't that great.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He just killed Java - end of story

    and this is why:

    Here is why this does kill Java. Being one version behind on Java was no big deal, its a mature language, with only incremental updates.

    But saying, you won't be on Apple's app store if you write in Java, and saying, there is no guarantee that Java will even be installed on the Mac - and Steve will likely ban the java install from the App store as well.

    So, the only way to write an app in Java now, is to not care if your users can even install it. It will be a strange foreign affair to them, to go to some website to try an install an app. And anytime you have to install one app before you can install the second app - that is killer.

    That's a huge hassle, that people will certainly not do, just to casually try out your software.

    He did kill Java, and won't admit it, and thats typical Steve.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just more FUD

    Sun refused to make Java for the Mac, thinking that the Mac was an irrelevant platform so Apple had to make its own version of Java just to try to keep up with every other platform that had it, like Windows. People kept complaining in reviews how Apple's version was never up to par with Sun's official Java version for Windows. Now that his buddy Larry owns Sun, Steve and he must have come to an agreement where Apple would drop its in-house version of Java and allow Oracle to ship and install its own official version for the Mac.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Do we care?

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh boy, here we go.

    The only way to build and install a Java app now is EXACTLY the way you did yesterday.

    The App store is not the only way you can build and deliver a mac app, it's just a new medium of delivery and advertisement of your app. This isn't an iPhone, it's a mac.

    Apple is NOT getting rid of Java, they are having it supported and developed the same way as it is for everyone else. Java is overwhelmingly a server thing in any case. Apple is not going to kill java or prevent it from running on macs. Their entire business depends on Java to run their server based apps, through WebObjects. WebObjects in turn is Java based, and developing for it requires a Java based platform and plug in (WOLips) that is heavily supported by Apple and a robust open source community.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    WebObjects used to be written in Objective-C. Apple switched it to Java in order to attract Java developers to the Mac platform when Steve came back to Apple. Now that thousands more developers who have learned Objective-C in order to create iOS apps have been added into the roster of Apple's developers, I predict that Apple will eventually come out with a new version of WebObjects based on Objective-C 2.0 and phase out the Java version.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just ashame about Java

    Because Android apps are written in Java, and there could have been a somewhat straightforward port of apps to the Mac store.

    But now, to support the major platforms you have to write two versions, one in Java and the other Objective-C. The two platforms are completely incompatible, and the only easy way to have somewhat cross platform apps, is to target the Web App, since they both do use WebKit.

    And what also uses WebKit, besides Apple,Android are Blackberry OS 6, Palm, and Nokia. So a Webkit style app, though it will have to account for platform differences, is somewhat of a cross platform solution - but also somewhat unsatisfying in terms of the limitations such apps impose.

    it's just not as great as java - now I'm not criticizing Objective-C, but apple hasn't made any effort to target other platforms besides their own with their XCode tools - so thats what rules it out, not any concern with the coding language itself.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    can someone say intellectual dishonesty

    "The only way to build and install a Java app now is EXACTLY the way you did yesterday. "

    We aren't talking about today, we are talking about the OS X Lion future.

    In that future: Java is not pre-installed and not available from Apple - read the article.

    To install a java app today, you just install it. To install one in the future: install java first, then install the app - that is, as I stated, a 2 step process that is so complex, users won't do it.

    In that future: the main way to get apps is from the Mac App Store - not being on the App store isn't important today, when it doesn't exist, it will be hugely important in the future, when its the main way people get apps.

    You didn't add anything to the discussion and I just had to repeat what I already said, and you either didn't understand at all, or didn't address.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You said Java is for server stuff -

    Java is what is used to make Apps for Android Marketplace - Android Phones and Tablets.

    It isn't the java server stuff that's important here, it's the port of Android Market apps to Mac, that's the important angle.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hear you, Jon-Tan, but...

    This goes back to the basic premise about Apple. It's Apple's phone, Apple's tablet and Apple's computers running Apple's respective OS for each based on Apple R&D. It is the Total Package method for its products...always has been.

    So why is it Apple should be obligated to methods allowing other brands & technologies to incorporate into said items? Considering the number of sales, I'd say a great number of people don't care and like their Macs & iPhones just the way they are. With 300,000+ apps alone for the iPhone/iPad, I'd say a good number of developers don't have a problem with it either.


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