back to article Apple's Leopard rejects latest version of Java

Apple faces yet more flack from the Mac faithful over the discovery that the operating system won't run the latest version of Java. It's one of several beefs relating to the OS X upgrade that is sparking vitriol among the normally docile crowd. Leopard may have 300 new features, but it is unable to run Java 1.6, even though …


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Who ever claimed Java 6 was part of Leopard?

Apple sure never said anything of the sort. Apple had a months old beta version of Java 6 out there but nowhere have they said that it would be done and part of Leopard.

Tiger runs Java 5, Leopard runs Java 5 with a few 64 bit add ins.

Anyone who bought Leopard expecting to find Java 6 or expecting that a months old beta Java 6 would function is an absolute idiot.

Jobs Horns

@ Giles Jones

"Apple makes machines for home users primarily, they're also good for design and media. While some developers like these machines, to say they're unusable just because they don't have the latest Java is stupid."

Are you serious?

All platforms cater to developers, because that's how they get software. Developers have to be treated with respect if you want software that is on par with what's available on your competitor's platform.

Otherwise you get situations like the Intel Mac version of Photoshop, or lack thereof.

This is the same sort of thing. If Apple told everyone five years in advance, "Hey we're dumping Java in several years", than that would be great. But no, they refuse to talk to anyone so they can spring it on developers at the last minute.

And that makes them monumental wankers.

Microsoft, for all their warts, bends over backwards for developer and makes a great IDE and tells developers way ahead what is going on. So now in 2007 we have Vista which pushes .NET, includes it by default but is still backwards compatible as well as it can possibly be. And I knew about .NET all the way back in the late 90s because Microsoft made lots of noise about it and even sent registered developers a package of information about it via-snail mail.

These are specific examples but there's a mountain of them. It's a consistent pattern.


Almost unbelievable...

I can't believe the hysteria of all the people who are so desperate to attack Leopard because it is not absolutely perfect at release. Shall we step back and look at this in a more rational light? There seem so far to be two issues with the initial release of Leopard - firstly that a long-obsolete version of a hack (APE) causes systems to fail to boot correctly. This problem can be corrected and it doesn't cause any damage to the operating system installation, but it's obviously unfortunate. But this is just ONE incompatible piece of software we're talking about.

Secondly the fact that the latest version of Java is not YET available on Leopard. This is an issue that only really affects developers and will probably be resolved shortly. Yes, Apple should provide more information on this issue and (hopefully) they probably will. The VAST majority of people will not be affected in any way whatsoever by this issue.

And that appears to be it. These are the only two issues after the release of a new version of an operating system that has been VEY substantially overhauled top to bottom, probably to an equivalent degree to the overhaul that Vista represented over XP, but in just 2.5 years rather than the 5 years that Vista took.

Is it surprising that Apple supporters feel that those who are trying to blow this up are making somewhat of a mountain out of an anthill? Can you lot honestly say that Vista had an equivalently low number of problems at release? That is, that there were otherwise no problems with performance, drivers not being available, application compatibility, user acceptance, or the 64 bit transition with full compatibility with all apps and drivers?

Come on, get real! Look at yourselves in this light and you can understand why Apple supporters think that you are somewhat ridiculous in your attempts to make mileage out of all of this...


1 lump or 2 ?


Oo.. I'll have a cup of that please.

AmigaOs4 <s>L</s>user here !!



seldom works because of the mix of proprietary and bizarre in the compile, and precoded binaries aren't available.

I've given up on multi-hour compiles on the JDK just to have it fail because of some linux extension to gcc not being available.

I'll stick to python and perl. They really do run anywhere (a C compiler has gone before, which is *everywhere*).

Jobs Horns

@ Anonymous Coward aka MS Fanboi

"Why not just install Vista you could even use J# then"

No, you couldn't. Vista doesn't work reliably even now on the Dell "high-end" desktop my employer forced me to accept. I still use XP on an allegedly less-powerful machine to get my job done (and Linux to do anything important).

Well, let me correct that. You could probably use the J# CD as a beer coaster. Vista, OTOH, is as useful as teats on a Triumph.

Only a fool uses C# or J# or any other Microsoft-only development platform; the handwriting is on the wall. If you can't see it, pull your head out of Steve Ballmer's arse and look around.


Anyone who runs the first version...

...of any software is mad.

I have Leopard and will install it but I'm not overwriting my existing install. I'm taking advantage and upgrading my laptop's hard drive. The existing one will go in an external firewire case and will be bootable.

BTW my iBook is 2 years old. I'd like to see two year old laptops running Vista Ultimate as well.



AAAggghhhh. Leopard is NOT perfect. RUN. HIDE. Quick everyone, run back to Vista cause it is perfect and STORM really does not exist. RUN RUN.

Please, give me a break. :-)


"Oh yeah? Well Vista has problems..."

Trust me, we know. All the Apple apologists and fanbois like to rub it in everybody's face every chance they get. The real issue is that Mac OS-X has problems too. News flash! New operating systems have flaws! Even ones put out by St. Steve! And seriously, is this a major rewrite of the OS? Like the last "Major rewrite" to add an upgraded search feature and a rip-off of Konfabulator? that we all ran out and spent $150 on? In Microsoft's world, that's called a "Service Pack" and it automatically installs overnight. For free.


This is hilarious

First of all, no developer with any sanity would claim that a three-day-old OS being unable to run their apps was “a showstopper”, because they wouldn't be installing the OS on their machines without thoroughly testing it first. The only developers who HAVE installed Leopard immediately are those who a) have machines running older versions of Mac OS X lying around (or are dual-booting; it's pretty trivial), or have been running the developer seeds prior to release and are satisfied with it.

Second, Leopard isn't “an incremental upgrade”. This isn't Tiger SP1, this is a complete new release of the OS—don't let the .4 to .5 fool you (W2K to XP was a similar point release, incidentally), with *lots* of under-the-hood changes. The ONLY “application” causing the so-called BSODs was Unsanity's Application Enhancer, a program which goes out of its way to install bits of itself in places it's not supposed to, and patches parts of the OS in entirely unsupported ways. The only reason APE is remotely “popular” is because some developers who really should know better (such as Logitech) have insisted on bundling it (unknown to the user) with their applications.

Third, it wasn't the Apple “fanbois” berating Vista for being crap, it was Windows XP users by and large—unless the Mac user base grew massively and suddenly the day Vista was released. (You'll note also that the anti-Vista camp is still just as vocal many months on, largely because Microsoft hasn't delivered many of the things it said it would).

This piece, though, is relatively typical take-with-a-pinch-of-salt El Reg reporting. What cracks me up is the comments. The distance between many of the commenters and reality seems be worryingly large.


It's an Apple.

Who cares?


Who gives a fsck?

Hey stupid people: you're too stupid to use GNU/Linux, but not smart enought to pay less for M$.

File system check (fsck) yo sef, vfat.


Flack or Flak?

Shurely shome mishtake...


You were using badly setup PC...

"...Timing and audio stability Windows users can only dream of....

...Vista can't even play an mp3 without throttling the network traffic..."

A very badly setup PC. I use a combination of PC's and Macs for my work and I can safely say the Vista machine hasn't caused me any grief (neither has the Mac). Both are used for graphics, video editing, DVD production and soundtracks.

Even my Vista at home has no trouble playing MP3's with no impact on the network.

Prehaps if people actually knew what they were setting up and set it up right for their needs most of the back and forth bitching would stop. But then asking an average creative about machine settings is asking a bit much.


... that we all ran out and spent $150 on?

Did we?

I don't remember doing it.

Isn't it strange that in this world where (it would appear) that windows zealots hear of one person's bad experience with a mac update (or anything else to do with a mac for that matter), it suddenly becomes a global issue that has affected every single mac user in the world?

It shows a deep sense of insecurity - is it the realisation that their gravy-train (if they work in windows support) could possibly now be at risk?

I have a number of clients who have ditched windows and switched over to macs (and couldn't be happier) and one client who uses a networked Foxpro windows database. When the trainer came to do the tuition he was rather surprised to find the girls sitting at Mac laptops!

I tell a story (although it's rather old now - but the premise still holds) about a time when I worked in an office that had a network of about 30 macs and a separate network of over 200 Pcs. There was a support staff of 6 that doubled inside a year to support those PCs. On the mac side, a man came in for one afternoon a month just to check that everything was still hunky dory.

And just to conclude. I installed Leopard last night on my own machine. No problems what so ever (I don't like one of two of the changes - go on - make that a global issue) and it now starts up from cold in 32 seconds.

Anonymous Coward


"Prehaps if people actually knew what they were setting up and set it up right for their needs most of the back and forth bitching would stop. But then asking an average creative about machine settings is asking a bit much"

Absolutely spot on Rob! Who cares which platform anyone uses?

The point is you have to learn how to use it and think BEFORE you change things.

I use Windows because I've used it for over 20 years and I am comfortable with it. My set up doesn't crash, doesn't get viruses and is fast as lightning - but I am still running XP and will continue to do so until Vista seems reliable.

I have a spare Laptop I am using to try and learn about Linux (not much luck yet, but I persevere), and if I had a Mac I would learn about Mac. Anyone claiming Windows/Mac/Linux is the best in all situations and for all people is talking rubbish. I create music using my PC, almost none of the programs I use will run on either Mac or Linux so why would I switch? Horses for courses!

Oh and for everyone who says what's so interesting about Leopard's problems, it is NEWS, that's all!

Anonymous Coward


Surely it shouldn't be necessary in this day and age to know how to set up a PC so that playing MP3s doesn't cause slowdowns of any type? Because let's face it, probably 95% of people out there don't know how to do so. Certainly it's at least that in my experience. So to use this as a defence of that particular problem is rather misjudged, to say the least. And OK, you COULD play around with reNICEing applications on MacOSX if you really wanted to, but you just don't have to - the system sorts it out for you. And that's how it should be.

But maybe Rob's post was meant ironically?

Oh, and for those who talk of Apple "Fanbois" - clearly you think that by using that term you're very cleverly insulting people in a very derogatory way. But in fact the strength of your derision actually acts against you, because you're simply exposed as a person who can't control their emotions and so has to resort to unhinged generic insults without looking at the issues rationally and from a balanced perspective.

Anonymous Coward


Applying the simplest analysis - it was in the ADC builds. It was pulled just before the GM. QED - it's coming but it missed the cutoff date for the release.

Quite why Apple can't simply be upfront about that I don't know - it's the iPhone SDK all over again - at no point did they say one wasn't coming, at no point did they say one was coming, instead leaving people to interpret the statements from Steve Jobs for clues.

More seriously - and no one is commenting here - there are reports that Java 5 is broken on Leopard, so I'd wager their Java developers have been put onto fixing that first, before completing Java 6.

Making an educated guess after reading the Ars review, and the nature of the problems people are reporting, it probably relates to the changes in the way the UI is being rendered on Leopard (which given the way Apple's Java implentation uses native widgets where possible will have affected Java).

(The version of Ruby, on the other hand, exists as a bridge on top of Cocoa, so presumably doesn't have the same issues, as the underlying changes are abstracted by the Cocoa layer).

>Why can't people just install Java 1.6 as released for BSD, or Linux?

>Yes, it would need a recompile, but it ought to work. Isn't that the point of Posix?

I'd imagine you'd also have to run the UI within X11 (if there is a GUI version of Java that runs on standard X?).

As I understand it, the Linux version of Java uses GTK or a similar UI library that hasn't been ported to OS X.

To reply to some criticisms (therefore making me an irrational fanboy)

>lol the way Mac users go on and on about how stable their OS is, how full of features and how it never crashes amazes me.

Well, generally speaking, it IS a lot more stable. Generally speaking, it doesn't crash.

If that amazes you, then you're making the erroneous presumption that most OS crash like Windows/Classic MacOS (historically) did. The instability of microcomputer OS was more of an aberation from the norm than the norm.

(Yes, every OS I've used has had bugs and quirks).

I think what you actually mean is 'I've been waiting to feel this moment of schadenfreude for some time'.

What is evident is that Apple's quality control has really gone downhill this year - a real feeling that shipping dates are taking priority over quality.

It turns out the BSOD on the upgrade is most likely caused by a Logitech installed kernel hack, but it's not as if Logitech mice are actually uncommon (although maybe inside Apple's test facilities?).

>In Microsoft's world, that's called a "Service Pack" and it automatically installs overnight. For free

Not quite. Service packs are largely funded by the huge number of corporate annual licences - i.e. they are an expected part of what we pay for.

Apple's revenue model is quite different. (It's more like giving Visual Studio away for free but charging users for new versions of .NET).

There's also a lot of change under the hood - go read the Ars review for detail.

>Does the average Mac user even know what a compiler is?

Hoho indeed. Compared to the average Windows user, quite possibly.

I'm basing that on the smaller number of Mac users, full stop, and the proportionally large number at developer conferences, suggesting that a higher percentage of Mac users are developers - although this percentage is obviously declining as the Mac

crawls out from it's 'design' niche into becoming a popular consumer machine.

Which is why this is an issue - their developer communications strategy is a joke, as is their enterprise marketing. As the focus swings towards the consumer side of the business, these communities need reassurance they are not being abandoned - and we expect to be treated in a more grown-up manner than removing features with no explanation and deleting comments.

We can handle things missing their delivery date (software developers are generally more understanding than consumers in that respect because most of us have done it).

>you're too stupid to use GNU/Linux

And this one just made me smile . . half the time it's supposed to be so easy to use, anyone can. The rest of the time, using Linux is somehow a sign of intelligence. (Just like reading Book A or listening to Band X is somehow a sign of intelligence). Clue - you are not what you install.

Jobs Horns

@anonymous coward

'But in fact the strength of your derision actually acts against you, because you're simply exposed as a person who can't control their emotions and so has to resort to unhinged generic insults without looking at the issues rationally and from a balanced perspective.

Yes, let's see a balanced perspective. Here is a typical Apple fanboy response to some common articles:

MS patch causes crash - crappy MS,buy a mac

MS delay release - Apple release on time, buy a mac

MS announce new product - Call that innovative, they stole it from ..., buy a mac

MS announce new OS - It will still be crap, buy a mac

New virus alert - Wouldn't happen on OSX, buy a mac

Linux kernel unstable - buy a mac

New linux desktop - looks just like windows it's crap/looks like OSX, shows how good OSX is if it's being copied

MS announce service pack - Fixing all the problems they left in on release, wouldn't have needed it with OSX, buy a mac

Apple patch causes problems - Can't be Apples fault, must be something 3rd party

Apple announce service pack - sorry new OS - Great lets go and blow another £85

Apple announce new model - Hooray another opportunity to get blatently ripped off for rubbish foxconn hardware and a sense of smugness

Apple release new ipod - Oh wow, I can go and give Apple another £150 for an inferior mp3 player and get tied into the itunes shop at the same time, bargain.

Apple announce Iphone - It must be so cool cos it's Apple, we don't need all the features that come as standard on a real phone and we will happily pay through the nose for the smugness factor.

Apple upgrade causes problem - it's not Apples fault it must be 3rd party, buy a mac

Apple hardware found to have major design flaw - it's not Apples fault, scream loudly about how it can't be Apples fault, find some way to turn it into a MS bashing issue and sulk when everybody else takes the opportunity to laugh at the smug bastards

So yes Mr coward, a balanced perspective would be nice. However those deemed as fanboys usually follow the above example almost to the letter and as such are incapable of forming any opinion that would throw Apple into any doubt.

3 words guaranteed to get a fanboy rant:

Apple Are Crap

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RE Anon ["whatever"] and Danny

Nice post oh nameless one, not sure why you hide your name, but hey, your choice.

I've actually written this post about four times now, and each time I read it over and I'm sure it sounds arsey....but regardless....!

I've actually met a *lot* of Mac buyers, by virtue of selling Macs [for PC World - hey, it was a job...] and being pretty damned technical myself, I can honestly say that out of the 50+ I sold, [and the dozens of ones I didn't - not a natural salesperson, me] I could count the number on one hand who were actually 'techy' - the rest just wanted something that would *work*.

A suitable comparison would be people who buy a Caterham kit car in pieces to build it and drive it, to people who buy a Merc SLK to just drive it.

Some people have an interest in getting their hands dirty, whereas most...really don't want to at all. On a similar note I'll put a round on Kimi Raikonnen not getting kicks out of stripping down and rebuilding gearboxes when he isn't racing rather well in his F1 car.

Being good with something doesn't make you technically adept in the mucky parts of it.

My experience of Mac users is that most would rather keep their cuticles clean and get on with actually working, rather than recompiling apps to get them to work. That was the whole point of them buying a Mac rather than a Windows machine.

So I'm afraid your 'mac users must be techy because there is less of them' argument, to bollocks, from my *real world experience*. There again, my real world experience *was* PC World. Honestly, I needed the money, it was better than testing photocopiers and working in callcentres when I first moved down here. I never inhaled, etc.

Danny...after fifteen years of pissing about with Windows, Mac OS 8-X [not much lately tho I'm afraid to say] and more recently, Linux via K/Ubuntu and Mandriva, I can safely say that I'm not a fanboy of any particular brand and that any time I have early adopted [or been subject to early adoption by virtue of being asked to look at peoples machines] I have been pissed on from high by some kind of failing, simply because of the 'OhMyGod Beta and RC testing really doesn't get all the bugs, does it?' effect. Nothing ever, ever works until at least six months after general release, FACT.

They All Do That, Sir, you see. I honestly fail to see the point in bashing Brand X because every bloody OS comes out with bugs of some kind, some worse than others, and to expect otherwise is the mark of a dribbling retard.

To then take the piss out of another 'rival' OS for the same things your OS suffered from - and it did, in some form, at some point - is a pot/kettle/racism charge of monstrous proportions.

However, it is great fun, so fair play to sticking the knife in to [insert OS here]. Feels good, dunnit? :-D

Anyway, bring back DOS 6.22 and Himem/Dos4GW I say, and stuff the receptionists who don't know how to tab between fields....

Steven R

Posting from Ubuntu at home, writing zerotouch Vista images at work, eyeing up MacMinis for HDTV playback in a few months...and taking considering self-immolation for admitting to working at PC World....*shudders*


Not Apple's problem...

I can never understand why so many people out there expect the OS to conform to the demands of the application. Isn't it the application vendor's job to make their application compatible with an OS they want it to run on?? What I'm wondering is why the devs for Java didn't update their software, as I'm almost certain they received an advance copy of Leopard for that very reason.


Common Sense

Some of you have been like lone voices in the wilderness, speaking common sense and not fandom. I salute you and praise your efforts.

They don't hear you.

Fanboys just want to flame. They love it. They live for it.

I haven't been to any of Apple's forum's but in my experience, when a post has been removed, it's been because of poor taste/language/derogatory remarks toward another poster, or something that violates the user agreement. Unless someone here has written or read one of the removed remarks, who's to say that isn't the reason they were removed? Aren't we jumping to a whole lot of conclusions?

Operating Systems have bugs. Some have more bugs than others. Some are more stable than others. And some just plain suck. And anyone who puts a brand spanking new OS on a work machine on the first day of release has no business being in the IT business, in any field. Period. I actually used MS Me for longer than I needed to because I was leery of XP; I am probably one of the few people I know who had no problems with that OS. I didn't upgrade until just before SP2, when I built the box I'm using now. I'm a realist enough to NOT say "I've had no problems with this, therefore YOU must be doing something wrong." Walk a mile in their shoes first before spouting off, or open mouth and insert foot.

No software is perfect, and always plays nicely with others. I've had to remove several pieces because it trashed something else. I can't use PowerDVD because of incompatibilities, it's easy for me to believe a third party software is causing Leopard's BSOD (Wait! BSOD? On a MAC? STOP THE PRESSES! APPLE'S NOT PERFECT!).

Where's amanfromMars when you need him?


Sorry guys but...

Sorry guys, but this Windows versus MacOSX flamewar is just silly; they both suck nuts. 8-).


So, anyway, I would guess (assuming Java 1.6 even existed for MacOSX 10.4, which posters can't seem to quite agree on..) that Java 1.6 broke in 10.5 because of the new stack-smashing protection stuff in 10.5. I vaguely recall JRE having problems early on with the hardened linux variants.


When will everyone grow up?

Why all these stupid, endless pointless "my OS is better than your OS"? Do you think that anyone will change their positions because of what you say?

Here's my experience with Vista (I have limited experience of Macs and enough of Linux to say "nice try, might be ready for mass market in a few years").

I read the horror stories and went ahead anyway. The only driver I got in advance was for my NIC as with a network connection, I could fix anything.

The upgrade itself was flawless and painless. I didn't count the number of times I interacted with setup but it was a small number (product ID, keyboard and region and timezone I think). My TV tuner and graphics cards didn't work, which I expected, but installing the latest drivers brought them on line. Since then, I've had no problems at all, zero. It "just works". As to aesthetics, and of course this will always be subjective, it is at least as good looking at OS X. The performance is great, even with 512MB of RAM on the box I upgraded (and yes, that's with Aero). It's also easy to use. Certainly, my folks, who know not one word technical, will be able to use Vista with ease.

Now of course, we could get into some feature by feature p*ssing competition but what's the point? Vista does what I need, without hassle. Will I continue to buy MS? Well, why woudn't I?

Finally, regarding security, I don't believe Macs or Linux are invincible, in fact I believe the number of exploits discovered is proportional to the installed base size, but I practice safe computing. I don't use an admin account for my everyday work. I use anti-malware software, a good firewall and a lot of common sense. And just like the guy in the Mac ads, I don't get viruses or other malware. I wait with mild amusement for the inevitable down to earth bump that so many people will get when their own particular flavour of invincible OS connected to a network becomes the target of some shysters attention.

If you love Mac, then good on ya. If you love Linux, then good on ya. I love Windows, good on me.

PS. I am very technical, I'm not stupid, I've been in IT for 20 years covering most roles and I make a concious decision to stick with Windows. Enjoy your technology folks.

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Not buying until Java 6 is available

Out of protest, I won't get Leopard until Java 6 is available.



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