back to article Open source Java 7 for Mac code appears

The OpenJDK project has released the first code for the Apple-backed open source version of Java Development Kit 7 for Mac OS X. The initial code – a BSD port – is now available from the new Mac OS X Port Project on the OpenJDK website. The project already offers a mailing list and project wiki, and a bug reporter in on the way …

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Good for Mac owners

People with much more specialised knowledge are going to be maintaining the OS X port of Java and this effectively makes it an optional install, so it cuts a feature that few use from the list of things you have no choice about the installation of.

I guess the main risk is that, ala VLC, Gimp, OpenOffice and Firefox in the days before 3.0, Mac users are going to get a rubbish second class user experience. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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Jobs Horns

Customers, customers, customers

"But after Lion's release, all future versions of the OS will not include Java. Instead, developers will obtain Java for Mac from Oracle."

That seems awkward. I can understand not including the Java Development Kit (JDK) but plenty of apps and some web sites need the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Maybe Jobs wants developers to use Flash and AIR instead?

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Pint

second class user experience

Well, a second class user experience is pretty much the definition of Java desktop development anyway, so will they notice any difference?

I don't think I have much in the way of Java desktop software installed - Eclipse & Aptana - and I think I can cope with them moving to non-native widgets. Eclipse is already so 'non-native' in other ways anyway.

Kevin - not having a vendor shipped Java implementation puts the Mac in the same situation as Windows. That is a downer in some ways - when I first started using Macs, I loved the fact that you could run Jake using WebStart / that Java web sites just worked.

But the reality is that the number of sites using Java or ActiveX these days is absolutely minimal, particularly as a lot of corporate Windows installs now disable both (while bizarrely allowing Flash, despite it's equally poor security record).

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Java apps thus banned from Mac app store

Java will be an 'optional' component on OS X from now on, therefore according to Mac App Store rules, Java apps will be banned from the store.

This has anti-competitive written all over it.

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I don't see the anti-competitive angle

Assuming you can't bundle the Java runtime into your app (hence: no other optional install components required), just distribute somewhere other than Apple's App Store. Apple have themselves donated a large chunk of previously proprietary code to help the OpenJDK team start getting up to speed, so they probably have some sort of interest in keeping Java available in some form (keeping university science students on board, maybe?).

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Welcome

OpenJDK will have a native Mac Gui

@AC

Apple are donating their current Java code base and tools, including the graphical bindings, so you can expect OpenJDK 7 to not look too out of place on the Mac, see:

http://blogs.oracle.com/henrik/2010/11/oracle_and_apple_announce_openjdk_project_for_osx.html

@Niall - As much as I like Apple products, you're right on the anti-competitive point. Basically, Google Android is taking Apple market share, and Apple doesn't want to help you learn Android's programming language, which is [mainly] Java.

This strategy has been good for them financially until now. Having to learn Objective-c/XCode/Interface Builder weeds out the weak, so there's a bigger share of dev dollars. However long term, I'm not sure this will cut the mustard. Devs will want to target as big a market as possible, so cross-platform is probably where App dev is heading (see Monotouch, Mosync, Airplay, Unity etc. etc.).

That's my 2p.

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