Thursday, October 21, 2010

Come for the Java. Stay for the Cocoa.

Apple (via John Gruber):

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.

I’m not sure what this means for CrashPlan, which I have running 24/7, but presumably there will be non-Apple Java VMs that can be installed. The only other Java application that I’ve run lately is Colossus. Another effect is that this makes it harder for Mac developers to use Lucene, which has been tempting given the way Apple has been neglecting SearchKit.

Update (2010-10-22): Matt Drance:

The layer with the least traction in the market on any platform—the client-side AWT/Swing UI—demanded the bulk of Apple’s efforts. Since the Intel transition, building a server VM for Darwin is almost trivial. I have to think there will at least be a viable headless OpenJDK for the Mac by the time Snow Leopard reaches end-of-life status. If there isn’t, then it’s hard to argue with this move. If Java doesn’t care about Java on the Mac, why should Apple? It would be wonderful if Apple kickstarted a community effort by dumping its AWT source into OpenJDK, but now we’re talking about lawyers.

Update (2010-10-25): Chris Adamson:

As I’ve established, Java’s desktop packages are egregiously expensive. In fact, with Apple’s exit, it’s not clear that there’s anybody other than Oracle delivering a non-X11 AWT/Swing implementation for any platform: it’s just too much cost and not enough value. End-user Desktop Java applications are rare and get rarer every day, displaced largely by browser-based webapps, but also by Flash and native apps.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Mac developers using Objective C could use Xapian instead of Lucene. It's got a lovely C++ API, which is easy to use within an Objective C application.

@Ben Summers From what I’ve seen, Mac developers were going to the extra trouble of using the Java version. I’m not sure whether that was because it’s more mature or Xapian is GPL.

CrashPlan put out a pithy statement this morning.

I've been curious about the viability of LuceneKit, but haven't done anything with it yet.

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