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Java on Intel Macs

 
Sheriff
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What will the Intel switch mean in terms of Java? Will Java continue to be "integrated" into Mac operating systems, or will users be able to download Java for Mac directly from Sun?

More to the point: Why does Apple integrate Java into the OS, and why doesn't Sun provide Mac versions? Are there technical reasons for this, or is it marketing?
 
Marshal
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Not sure what you mean by "integrated into the OS". I think that it is unlikely that, at least in the short term, that we'll see Java implementations created by other than Apple. Sun has shown no interest in releasing for the Mac platform in the past, and I don't see that changing just because of a chip change. There's a lot more to writing software for a system than the chip that it runs upon.
 
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Sun only released the very first JDK for the Mac (1.0.2), then Apple negotiated with Sun to take over. Back then, one reason was the poor quality of the GUI wrappers for javac, java and the other CLI applications. Since the other JDKs (for Windows and Solaris) only had CLIs for those apps, the GUI version for the Mac was an afterthought, and not well done. Another reason was that Apple wanted more control over the OS integration, resulting in the com.apple.* classes that allowed much better OS integration than on the Sun-supported platforms. And, of course, this way Apple had control over the release cycle and quality control. Note also that Sun has never released Mac versions of any APIs, e.g. JAI and Java3D, and has publicly stated that that was up to the vendor.
At this point, I don't think Sun would pick up the slack if Apple stopped providing JDKs. It's just not worth it, considering the Macs small market share. But Apple would have much to lose if they stopped providing Java, so I think that's extremely unlikely to happen.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
Not sure what you mean by "integrated into the OS"...


I'm not sure what that means either, which is why I put "integrated" in quotes. I've heard things like, "Java runs so much smoother on Macs because it's integrated into the operating system." But I don't know whether this makes sense or not. Maybe it just refers to the com.apple.* classes that Ulf mentioned.

It's interesting that "Apple negotiated with Sun to take over" after Java 1.0.2. I can understand Apple wanting more control. But at the same time, I'm surprised that Sun doesn't cater more to Apple users, since one of Java's advantages is platform independence, and Mac is a consumer-friendly "Anti-Windows." Granted, it's a small slice of the market, but isn't it a critical slice?
 
Ulf Dittmer
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There are some runtime properties and other settings that help make a Swing application look much more native on a Mac than it does on Windows.
Ther are also additional com.apple.* APIs that let an application react to OS events, and help with Mac-specific file I/O issues.
[ July 14, 2005: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
 
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After the switch to Intel, my thoughts are that you'd still need the Apple JVM since it's built for the OS. My reasoning? You can't install the Windows JVM on an x86 Linux box. For this reason, I imagine that Apple will still own the JVM, but we'll have to wait and see.
[ July 15, 2005: Message edited by: Simon Brown ]
 
Bear Bibeault
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While it's easy to imagine that the same implementation of things like the Collections could easily be cross-platform, portions like Swing and AWT are obviously platform-specific.

Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want anyone but Apple to provide those.
 
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