Daniel Eran Dilger
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!

Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!
Daniel Eran Dilger
Myth 4 in the Ten Myths of Leopard.

Ten Myths of Leopard: 1 Graphics Must Be Slow!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 2 It’s Only a Service Pack!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 3 Nothing New for Developers!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!

Ten Myths of Apple iPhone
Ten Myths of the Apple TV


Myth 4: Leopard does not include Java SE 6, so it must be abandoning Java on the Mac. Apple has certainly turned own the marketing volume on Java, as have many vendors outside of Sun. However, as Eric Burke points out, Apple has historically followed every major release of Mac OS X with an update covering the current release of Java within weeks.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther: October 24, 2003
J2SE 1.4.1 Update: November 12, 2003

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: April 29, 2005
J2SE 5 Update: April 29, 2005

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: October 26, 2007
J2SE 6 Update: ?

Burke notes that Apple’s linking major OS releases to major Java releases enables it to offer a JDK “optimized to take advantage of the very latest OS X features and optimizations,” a luxury Windows and Linux JDKs don’t have.

It’s Just a Bunch of Stuff That Happens » Blog Archive » OS X Java Definitive Timeline

Until Apple releases its implementation of J2SE 6, Leopard users do get a new 64-bit JVM and various updates to the existing J2SE 5 as noted by Ben Galbraith.

Ben Galbraith’s Blog: More on Leopard’s Java 1.5: The Release Notes Michael Urban Should Have Read

  • Pingback: Apple Blog » Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!()

  • Pingback: Iphone | Apple | Mac Blog » Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!()

  • John Muir

    The worse Apple are doing: the easier it is to complain and fake outrage about the Mac.

    The better Apple are doing: the more perversely satisfying it is to do the above.

    I think I’ll enjoy some Cocoa thank you very much. But guys, it’s not Apple who’re being blind and dogmatic here!

  • http://homepage.mac.com/johnnyapple johnnyapple

    Ten Myths of Daniel Eran Dilger’s RoughlyDrafted. Myth number one: His blogs are always long and detailed.

    Myth busted. So, Java 6 by Christmas? I have to admit that I haven’t touched Java since 1.2 so can’t add any meaningful value to the discussion.

    I’m more interested in seeing (buying) MacBook mini by February. Is it a myth too? I hope not :-/

  • wordwarrior

    Dan,

    I think you’re totally misreading the controversy.

    I’ll put this as diplomatically as I can: This is a communication issue between Apple and Java developers who use Macs.

    Almost every single Mac-using Java developer would have been happy if Apple had stated, clearly and publicly, what its plans were for Java 6. Apple instead chose the path of secrecy by not clearing up any misconception about Leopard including Java 6.

    All Apple had to do was make a public statement at WWDC 2007 that Apple was going to include Java 5 in Leopard.

    Instead, they allowed everybody to believe that Java 6 was part of Leopard by alluding to “a fully featured 64-bit JDK”. Java Mac users bought Leopard believing it would contain Java 6.

    To make matters worse, Apple did two other things to aggravate the Java community:

    1) They included a Java 6 beta for Tiger in September 2006, further reinforcing the belief that Java 6 would be in Leopard.
    2) They sung the praises of Ruby and Python, releasing Cocoa bridges for both (after the Java-Cocoa bridge had been deprecated). Also, Apple made of point of including Ruby on Rails in Leopard.

    Now do you understand why Java developers are angry? Apple is sending precisely the wrong signals to a community I believe they should be making a better effort to keeping on good terms with the Mac community.

    Furthermore, this is precisely the kind of miscommunication that will impede Apple’s efforts to sell their products to enterprise users. Even Microsoft provides a clear development roadmap to their customers. Apple must change its culture of secrecy, especially towards its enterprise and developer customers.

    Also, since my job requires Java, I’m considering other options to allow myself to keep up with the latest innovations in Java. Running NetBeans withing VMWare simply doesn’t cut it for performance.

  • lmasanti

    quote:
    “Ten Myths of Daniel Eran Dilger’s RoughlyDrafted. Myth number one: His blogs are always long and detailed.”

    “Ten Myths of Daniel Eran Dilger’s RoughlyDrafted. Myth number two: Posts are signed as Princey McLean and posted in AppleInsider!”

  • lmasanti

    Please, do not understand this as a “personal” engagement. Your points of view are the one of a lot of Java related persons. This is a consideration in general.

    quote:
    “Instead, they allowed everybody to believe that…”

    So, if you believe in George W. Bush it is also Apple’s fault? They gave [unclear] clues, you assume the rest.

    quote:
    “Furthermore, this is precisely the kind of miscommunication that will impede Apple’s efforts to sell their products to enterprise users.”

    What are the signs that show you that Apple is making any effort to sell its products to enterpride users?

    quote:
    “Apple must change its culture of secrecy, especially towards its enterprise and developer customers.”

    This “culture of secrecy” worked out to let Apple become the most successfull techno company in the last decade… And you ask them to change it?

  • http://www.isights.org/ whmlco

    “What are the signs that show you that Apple is making any effort to sell its products to enterprise users?”

    Oh, XServe, XSan, Mail Server, Calendar Server, Ruby/Python… basically all of the new features in Leopard Server. And the fact that, unlike Tiger, Leopard Server shipped simultaneously when Leopard did.

  • wordwarrior

    Let’s not forget Leopard (Intel only) UNIX certification.

    If Apple wanted to be clear that it was adding only Java 5, it should have said “Java 5” in its Leopard preview documentation, instead of “Java”. Plus, Apple released a Java 6 preview for Tiger. Both of these actions qualify as “led to believe”, in my book.

    Secrecy is critical strategy for Apple to sell its consumer products, as it allows them to control the timing and degree of its product announcements (often just as the product is shipping). It allows them to get free publicity from the media, reducing their need to advertise. Much of Apple’s success with consumer products stems from Apple’s timed announcements strategy.

    However, this simply doesn’t work with developers and enterprise users. Please explain to me, aside from the deception, how withholding details from Java developers will allow them to sell more hardware and software to them. Such a strategy, as evidenced by the JavaLobby forum, is having the opposite effect.

  • samkass

    With 10.3, Apple released a Java update 1 month later (which was about a year after Sun’s release for Windows). With 10.4, Apple released a Java update on the same day (about 6 months after Sun’s corresponding release). I think there was some expectation that, considering their communication about making the Mac the “best Java development platform” and other statements at WWDC, that Apple would close the gap finally with 10.5. Especially considering 10.5’s delay.

    Instead, we’ve regressed to where we were with 10.3– about a year after Sun’s official release with no corresponding Apple release nor any indication that Java 6 would come soon or ever. What’s more, there are no details about whether Apple is going to include the newer OpenGL rendering pipelines, the Java2D/JOGL bridges, or other technologies that make Java really fast and first-class on the client with Java 6.

    That’s the desktop. On the embedded, the iPhone is one of the few smartphones that can’t run JavaME applications despite it being an ideal platform for it. (Apple’s searching for a sandboxed, safe solution– it already exists! JavaME!) On the server, J2EE is taking second fiddle to more recent “language of the month” projects, despite the fact that Java is the most popular enterprise language.

    Not that it matters. I think the loss of trust in Apple after 10.5’s release is going to set them back dramatically in the developer community no matter what they do now.

  • http://homepage.mac.com/lunaticsx/ LunaticSX

    Apple likes to get all of its ducks in a row before making a big push anywhere. They’ve put a bunch of new stuff in Leopard Server that make it attractive to enterprise, but clearly they’re not done, yet.

    Perhaps what Apple is waiting for before making a big push to enterprise is getting Java 6 finished and solid on Leopard.

    Since Apple is also good at keeping their marketing message clear and focused in a single area at a time (think, in hindsight, of how ridiculous the rumors were that Apple would announce/release a new MacBook at the same time as Leopard went on sale), they’re not going to mix an enterprise-focused push with the consumer-focused push of the Leopard release. (HP needs to learn a big lesson, here.)

    They *could* have delayed the release of Leopard Server until Java 6 was ready for it, and roll them into a big enterprise announcement. Apparently, other than Java 6, Leopard Server was ready to go, though, so they didn’t want to wait. They may have even more in mind for a big enterprise announcement, as well, such as new Xserves, Xsans, and who knows what else, so they’d already have enough to intro there.

  • mfisher

    @samkass:

    On the embedded, the iPhone is one of the few smartphones that can’t run JavaME applications despite it being an ideal platform for it.

    I am unable to run JavaME applications on my Treo 700w. The support docs’ only mention of Java is that it cannot be used. I have been unable to identify evidence that the Windows Mobile platform supports Java (or JavaME). So that leaves Blackberry and Symbian as the only significantly-deployed Java-friendly platforms.

    As an iPhone owner, lack of Java support (especially as it was clearly documented in the release notes) was certainly not a dealbreaker.

  • lmasanti

    quote:
    “Oh, XServe, XSan, Mail Server, Calendar Server, Ruby/Python… basically all of the new features in Leopard Server. And the fact that, unlike Tiger, Leopard Server shipped simultaneously when Leopard did.”

    The hardware and software is used by Apple itself!
    And in great extension: Apple’s Store, iTunes, .Mac…
    iCal is now used internally…

    I do agree with you that “this is directed to the enterprise”, but maybe they are testing it inside the company.

    Back to Java, Apple uses WebObjects to drive –almost– all its internet business. WO is all Java. Is WO Java 6 ready? Or it is best –from Apple’s own needs– to keep Java 5 going?

    As for the “same time release” of Client and Server products, maybe can be due to the delay in Leopard. People in the Server release were probably less involved in iPhone development (the ’cause’ of Leopard’s delay).

    Python and Ruby? I do not know.

    As for the iPhone, when asked Jobs said something like “Flash maybe, Java definitively no” (my words).

  • Lucky

    “Ten Myths of Daniel Eran Dilger’s RoughlyDrafted. Myth number one: His blogs are always long and detailed.

    Myth busted.”

    Totally agree on this one.

  • Beast Of Bodmin

    “Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: October 26, 2003”

    2003? I thought the release was delayed :)

  • wordwarrior

    Apple switched WebObjects to Java over great objections from its developers.

    Is there any chance that Apple will switch WO back to Objective-C?

    It would be pretty risky if they did so, as this would affect the iTMS and Apple Store.

  • Pingback: Ten Myths of Leopard: 5 “Back To My Mac” Security Panic! — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    Apple finally added Java SE 6 in April, but only for 64-bit Intel Macs.