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Java Developers, Don't Throw Out Your Mac Yet: Apple Will Contribute To OpenJDK

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Finally, some very good news for the Java community. For those who were worried about the future of Java on OSX, don't worry:  Apple have just announced that they will be working with Oracle on the OpenJDK project. Apple will contribute most of the key components, tools and technology required for Java SE 7 on Mac OS X. 

Following the announcement that Apple would not longer be maintaining further JDK updates on Mac OS X beyond the most recent update, this comes as very welcome news to Oracle:

“We are excited to welcome Apple as a significant contributor in the growing OpenJDK community,” said Hasan Rizvi, Oracle’s senior vice president of Development. “The availability of Java on Mac OS X plays a key role in the cross-platform promise of the Java platform. The Java developer community can rest assured that the leading edge Java environment will continue to be available on Mac OS X in the future. Combined with last month’s announcement of IBM joining the OpenJDK, the project now has the backing of three of the biggest names in software.”

And of course, Apple are happy to keep Java developers happy: 

“We’re delighted to be working with Oracle to insure that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “The best way for our users to always have the most up to date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle.”

Apple also confirmed that Java SE 6 will continue to be available from Apple for Mac OS X Snow Leopard® and the upcoming release of Mac OS X Lion. Java SE 7 and future versions of Java for Mac OS X will be available from Oracle. 

Henrick has already blogged about this, answering some of questions that are likely to be on developers minds: 

Q: When will JDK 7 be available for OSX?

A: My expectation is that we will release on current supported platforms first, and that OSX support will follow later. The JDK 7 schedule can not easily accomodate large changes like the addition of a new platform.

This is great news. Once again we're seeing Oracle listening to community comments, and it's good to see that recent pleas to Apple to contribute their work to the OpenJDK haven't fallen on deaf ears. Kudos to both companies for a continued committment to Java. 




Andrew McVeigh replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 9:06am

that's great new.  i do wonder though how much hand wringing and gnashing of teeth could have been avoided if apple/oracle simply communicated better.  an early statement like "appled is talking to oracle about the potential to hand over to the openjdk" would have stopped so much speculation.

i think oracle are very new to this (non-paid) community thing.

Mitch Pronschinske replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 9:09am

Wow.  Didn't expect this.  I guess some people over at Apple still like the ol' ball and chain.  I bet Oracle had a lot to do with this also.

Jay Huang replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 9:38am

Oh, man, I need to get my Mac back from my friend. Oh, wait.., I'm going to buy another new Mac. Yes, indeed, this is very good news. We definitely need some thing like this after all those negitive news. This is good for Apple, for Oracle and for us, the Java developers. Thank you, whoever made this happen.

Jörg Buchberger replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 10:23am


And what may we learn from this? Real life (and that includes inter-business communication) is often being executed a tad slower than hysteric gossip is spread via Twitter, Facebook et al - the social networks and platforms sometimes remind me of Chinese whispers on steroids.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 10:35am

Actually we don't know if this comes out of a listening to the community. It could be that Oracle acted on its own, and possibly the Apple public news of "deprecation" were a part of a negotiating strategy (that could have been started much earlier than we know). In fact, we don't know the detail of the deal.

For what concerns the sanity of our teeth, the solution is obvious: we of course start commenting about news just after five minutes, but we don't get too worried about consequences for some time, not thinking that the lack of an immediate communication from any corporate means a complete lack of strategy / interest / whatever.

Of course, these are good news and the closing of a very old problem in the community. This demontrates that having a strong steward is better than having a weak steward... at least for some things. Of course, we pay the strenght of Oracle in other ways (see Apache etc...).

Andrew McVeigh replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 10:52am in response to: Fabrizio Giudici

we of course start commenting about news just after five minutes, but we don't get too worried about consequences for some time, not thinking that the lack of an immediate communication from any corporate means a complete lack of strategy / interest / whatever.

at the heart of this is the notion of "dialog with the community".  of course companies have strategies and withhold information to push negotiations to the edge.  however, while communicating a harsh message may help an ongoing commercial position, each company also needs to weigh up what message they are sending to the community also.  ...and community is one of the most valuable aspects of a technology...  what use is java if noone uses it or is passionate about it.

so far, oracle and apple have done a poor job of communicating to the java community that they care about them in a way which doesn't make them feel like consumers.  perhaps that is what they actually mean to say, but it is not what java developers are used to.

Richard Osbaldeston replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 10:53am

Indeed thats the kind of announcement from Apple I'd have preferred to have read three odd weeks ago instead of Apple publicly deriding Java, Flash and others and threatening it's removal. I guess their delight at working with Oracle dosen't quite extend to changing the rules on their new appstore to allow Java applications to be submitted & sold.

Jay Huang replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 12:22pm in response to: Richard Osbaldeston

I think that you are correct that Apple is not likely to change the rules to allow Java Apps in AppStore. I still think that it might be a good idea for Oracle to continue with JavaStore, or some tools to cross compile Java into Object-C. I would certainly buy such tool if they have it.  If I did not read wrong, I think that Adobe is working on cross compiling ActionScript to Object-C for iPhone.

Igor Laera replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 1:21pm


For me, in the whole new Mobile Ecosystem, with still large Symbian powered Phones, now
Android, Bada as a new, very strong contender in Asia, Blackberry, iOs obviously and now
Windows 7 - Java isn't really strong there. And we don't know what will happen in that ecosystem.

Now there is this whole tablet movement on top on it, that tries (successfully) to cannibalize
the netbook market. And I don't see there many large Java (business) apps,  because javaME
isn't/wasn't Dalvik/Android. All big (successful) Blackberry, Symbian and iOS apps I know and use,
are not 100% written in Java.

I'm currently in heavy reading/relearning c++, and its very strange how easy it is with
modern (commercial) libraries to get an app running fast on a wide range of mobile
OS. It's not quite "write once, run everywhere", but "write once, compile once, run it".

I still believe in Mobile Java, but I don't think that Dalvik/Android in all his pureness will
be the definitive answer. Samsungs Bada is C++ and has probably not the $15/unit
softpatents pricetag when Oracle has its final smooch day with Android-Implementers.

At the end, its about choice. And if Apple also forbids future java app in his planned mega
desktop market, no MacOs optimized OpenJDK will ever help.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 5:38pm

This are good news for Java, A great move from Apple to contribute everything back to OpenJDK. Kudos to Apple!.

Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 5:42pm in response to: Igor Laera

Forget Java for Mobile, Sun was late and everything is late in that area with Java, the only one that could bring Java back on track on the mobile area is Google Android but with Oracle lawsuit I see it hard to follow. If you want to program mobile go with a native language as you said C++ or Objective-C etc. Java is very strong and always will be in the serverside, thats Java right now.

Pete Cox replied on Fri, 2010/11/12 - 6:23pm

The announcement mentions 32-bit and 64-bit but not PowerPC.

If Apple is, effectively, abandoning Java to Oracle and the wider community, it would be a nice gesture.

Perhaps not so relevant now since Apple hasn't produced a PowerPC machine in years. However, 'soylatte' folks may find a use of updating Leopard machines to the latest JDK. 

Manjuka Soysa replied on Sun, 2010/11/14 - 8:09pm in response to: Otengi Miloskov

With IBM and Apple on board Google is now the odd one out. Pretty simple choice for them - get a license from Oracle, or change Android to use OpenJDK.

Claude Lalyre replied on Mon, 2010/11/15 - 4:27am

Thanks God ! Now I can buy a brand new Mac Book Air ! :-)

Henk De Boer replied on Sat, 2010/11/20 - 5:37am in response to: Manjuka Soysa

I hope Google will at least consider joining the JDK.

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