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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation 436

Posted by timothy
from the could-this-be-turned-into-a-movie dept.
Kurofuneparry writes "Apple has announced that Java is deprecated as of the most recent update to OS X. This shot across the bow is getting some responses. To Jobs' claim that 'Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms,' James Gosling is quoted as saying that 'simply isn't true.' Much talk of a coming turf war is to be had. This certainly can't be unrelated to statements from Jobs recently covered on this website and is sure to make waves. Apple has enjoyed significant success recently accompanied by a widespread sense that they can do no wrong in business or design. However, is deprecating Java a mistake? It doesn't take much insight to connect the dots and see that Apple has starting marking friends and enemies relative to the increasingly heated fight for mobile and other platforms."
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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation

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  • by noidentity (188756) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:45AM (#33995990)
    Overly-dramatic summary aside, isn't this just because the cost for Apple to support Java on OS X is greater than the benefit it provides?
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:57AM (#33996040) Homepage Journal
    The mistake isn't necessarily deprecating Java, if that is the way forward then that is the way forward. The big mistake is deprecating it without ANY concrete plans on a way forward. Corporate types hate uncertainty and Apple fails to realize this it seems. I mean we don't even know if Oracle will provide a JVM for mac, and if they do what will become of the Apple-specific technologies(such as launching with the Java application stub, using Cocoa instead of X, the Apple specific Java extensions etc.)

    Where I work we use a lot of Apple Java and now we have absolutely 0 idea on whether we should invest any more in Apple at all. Buying new hardware and transitioning to a new platform is expensive, but at least the other major platforms(Windows and Linux) do at least provide some certainty as to the future of those products and the platforms they will support.

    Basically Steve is treating major software platform updates the same we he treats iMac hardware updates, and that just doesn't sit well with a lot of people.
  • by marcello_dl (667940) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:59AM (#33996064) Homepage Journal

    I kinda summed up [knowyourmeme.com] the consequences, OK i was pessimistic but I also had forgotten apple used to have offerings in the server market. A server that can't do tomcat natively? hmmmm.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:00AM (#33996082) Homepage

    Microsoft has never supported a JVM for Windows in the first place; at most, Apple is now in the same position, not worse. Besides not having a control of the market like MS does.

    I'm not an Apple apologist, but it's not comparable at all.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:08AM (#33996142)
    There are still open source equivalents of the JVM such as SoyLatte and the like. Plus, I really don't believe Gosling on this. I imagine we will be seeing an Oracle branded JVM for the mac in the next year or so. The apple audience is just too big to ignore. It won't have first class citizenship like it used to have with the OS, but then again, Apple has been gradually pushing Java to the side. Java updates have always been incredibly slow for the mac and trying to make a Java app look native takes a tremendous amount of work that sort of goes against the spirit of Java and also creates compile headaches.
  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:11AM (#33996158)

    without ANY concrete plans on a way forward.

    Apple does have a fairly long history of keeping their plans secret as long as possible, so they may actually have one. They still don't seem to be targeting the "enterprise", so may be continuing that way here.

  • No Big Deal Really (Score:4, Interesting)

    by turkeyfish (950384) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:15AM (#33996184)

    This is not a big deal really.

    Software developers aren't really all that important to Apple market share anymore as they have been moving toward becoming more of a source for trendy tech gadgets rather than a major force in computer driven software for some time now. They intend to phase out of computers completely as there is more money to be made with iPhones, toy tablets and other trendy gizmos. They see no future in the business world of databases, web-development and science-based applications, but rather in the end-user market phone, games and entertainment space. Apple intends not to compete with Microsoft or Linux. With OS X, their primary targets are increasingly Sony, Nitendo, Nokia, Samsung and the like.

    Lets face it modern American youth are really no longer receiving the kind of educations that they would need to remain current in the computer-tech world. Jobs is just adapting to market realities and the fact he has a captive market of folks who recognize that they can't really be "cool" unless they buy Apple products.

  • by WebMink (258041) <slashdot AT webmink DOT net> on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:19AM (#33996204) Homepage
    There are perfectly fine versions of both LibreOffice [documentfoundation.org] and indeed OpenOffice.org for the Mac, and many people haven't used NeoOffice in an age (and I don't think it depends on Java anymore anyway). Whatever the consequences of Jobs ditching Java might be (and I assert they are significant [computerworlduk.com]) they don't include a threat to open source office productivity apps.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:22AM (#33996220) Homepage Journal

    I think Gosling is correct.

    Why would Oracle care to port JVM/JDK to Mac on their own, especially now, when so many developers that used to work on Java are gone from Sun/Oracle after the buyout deal?

    Actually Oracle doesn't care about Mac platform, it cares about its money making business - databases, ERP software etc. and what percentage of that runs on any Mac server exactly?

    The only single reason for Oracle to care is to try and preserve more Java developers, which they probably do care about, because so many of their own products use Java. But do they really care about developers on Macs? I don't see it.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:25AM (#33996244)
    The writing has been on the wall for awhile now since they deprecated the cocoa-java bridge so I'm the sun/oracle folk saw this coming for awhile. Plus updates have been few and far between. I'm guessing we'll see an Oracle JVM in the next year or so. Otherwise, SoyLatte still works really well. But here's the problem with desktop Java on the mac -- it's pretty easy to write a crappy UI but it takes a lot of work to write a seamless native one. The code gets riddled with if statements, checking the OS type. Also, using apple classes will cause compile errors on other platforms. In fact, you'll spend so much time bending backwards (possibly using third party libraries like MacWidgets since the Swing ones suck) that you'll wonder why you didn't code the fucker in objective c in the first place. And my god ... Interface Builder is lightyears ahead of any Java interface building tool (aka Matisse and some Eclipse plugins). So in summation, this sucks for the two desktop developers coding for the mac, but most other developers will be fine. Where I work we use a lot of Apple Java and now we have absolutely 0 idea on whether we should invest any more in Apple at all. Buying new hardware and transitioning to a new platform is expensive, but at least the other major platforms(Windows and Linux) do at least provide some certainty as to the future of those products and the platforms they will support. Unless your company is developing Java desktop apps for the Mac, you should be fine. When I worked at ESPN, most of us developed on Macs, using SoyLatte then deployed to Window boxes using the official JVM. I'm guessing Oracle will be releasing some sort of announcement in the near future.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:26AM (#33996250)
    It's too bad; Macs really caught on at my workplace since OS-X was released. Our software targets Windows and Linux, but since we're mainly a java shop developers can run Macs on their desktops if they like, and since OS-X. almost half of them have chosen to do so; they all have 8-core power macs with 8 gigs of RAM etc. If java doesn't keep up on the Mac, OS-X won't be a viable option for us any more.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:42AM (#33996354)

    Yes they do because many of their enterprise Java GUI products run on Mac. They've also made a major commitment to JavaFX 2.0, and ignoring 20% of the desktop market would make no sense to them.

    The question is whether Apple will give them their OS X Swing implementation, or whether Oracle will have to write it themselves.

  • Re:Baby Steps (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WankersRevenge (452399) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:47AM (#33996382)

    Honestly ... if you're so paranoid, don't buy Apple products. Or don't upgrade. Problem solved. But as a former Java developer who worked exclusively on a mac ... I can say that the Apple has slowly been distancing themselves from Java for awhile now. The fact that it took them two goddamn years to release Java6 was pretty telling and when they did release it, it was only for 64bit machines. It was truly maddening, especially considering how opaque apple can be.

    But this fear of lockdown? That's just traffic driving sensationalism. And if it isn't ... if we do reach a day when you can't install an application on your macbook without apple's permission then that will be the day OSX itself becomes deprecated. That will probably be the year of the Linux desktop. Go knows, I wouldn't stick around.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:52AM (#33996416)
    If you tried to develop native apps using the current default Apple setup, you'd realize it's hardly ideal as well. And by way, the open source JVMs are not as incomplete as you imagine, considering they are being used by the majority of Disney's internet engineering team to develop the infrastructure. I'm speaking of SoyLatte in particuliar)
  • by davepermen (998198) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:15AM (#33996560)
    their plan? forget about java. they try to deprecate everything non-apple right now. flash now removed from newest macs with no info in the browser on how to get it (not even that, indeed, it's flash, that you would need to see the stuff). the new appstore for macs will most likely not support any non objective-c apple-libraries only applications. java gets dropped. they want to get rid of anything out of their control. that's their plan. and they will most likely succeed. and i hate that they will.
  • by Rob Y. (110975) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:31AM (#33996660)

    Apple and various others these days seem to be teaming up with Microsoft to attack their common 'threats'. So you see Facebook and MS going after Google, Oracle going after Android (to the benefit of Apple, and incidently MS), Apple ditching Flash (to the benefit of MS and Silverlight). And now Apple ditching Java. Who benefits from that? Well, anybody that's threatened by truly cross-platform stuff.

    Here's where my paranoia kicks in. I think Apple only hates cross-platform stuff when one of those platforms is Linux. For all the talk about Microsoft being afraid of Linux, Apple actually has more to fear. Microsoft's various lock-ins are pretty secure, but Apple doesn't really have any lock-in beyond customer loyalty. If you're not locked in to Windows, then you're more or less equally able to use OS/X or Linux. That's why Linux's market share is pretty much comparable to Apple's. What's good for Linux is ultimately good for Apple, in that it helps break down Windows lock-in. But Jobs may be either short-sighted or cocky enough to ignore that. He's learned to 'succeed' in Microsoft's shadow, and maybe he's grown comfortable there.

    Meanwhile, Apple has deals with Microsoft to produce versions of most of MS's stuff for the Mac, including Office and .NET. And .NET and Silverlight is where MS wants to go for its next generation of lock-in. Apple, in ditching Java and Flash, is making Silverlight seem more cross-platform than either of the others, since Linux success aside, Windows and Mac are the 'only' desktop OS's the general public is aware of (it was lots of fun seeing KDE as the standard desktop in 'The Social Network', though). So is Apple doing Microsoft's bidding, or are they just fighting for their survival. No matter, whichever way, Microsoft comes out the winner. Oracle had better pay attention to this stuff and produce a first-class OS/X Java port themselves (and lay off of Android while they're at it). Otherwise, they're unwittingly helping a little software company with its own sights on Oracle's core database business...

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:42AM (#33996720)

    Hmmmm.... installing Linux on my shiny new MacBook Pro that work gave is starting to become more and more attractive.

    I agree with a lot of others on this. My group (at a fortune 500 company) has recently started allowing engineers to use Macs and many have chosen to do so. Many other groups in our company have been opting for macs as well.

    It's disappointing to see Apple hyper focus on shiny gizmos. One risk they are taking is that the cloud computing revolution hasn't fully panned out yet. If they have all of their eggs in one basket with the mobile devices and some killer apps in the cloud come out that eat into that market share somehow, then they'll be screwed.

    However, a more likely scenario is that Apple has been enjoying a lead in the gizmo arena because they've been the first to do it "right" from the consumer's point of view. Unless they can keep innovating to keep ahead of the market catching up with them so that they are viewed is "The" device, they risk losing their market share to the ubiquity of other high-quality devices. Which is why they are so adamant about things like exclusivity and closed platforms.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:47AM (#33996770)

    Apple has maintained Java on Mac for the last 15 years. I don't know if that's because Sun didn't do it or because Apple did it anyways. Chicken and egg problem. Now Apple isn't removing Java, merely no longer providing new JVMs and updates. You can look at the move by Apple in two ways:

    1. Apple doesn't think Java is the future and is tired of maintaining it. They are also worried about what Oracle is doing with it.
    2. Apple is evil and wants to push developers away from Java.

    These two reasons are not mutually exclusive. For the most part, the existing JVM and updates will work for a while. The basic functionality of Java is there but there may be obscure bugs that need to be addressed. I would guess that this is okay for 98% of people who use Java on Macs.

  • by Lysol (11150) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:17PM (#33996992)

    Jesus, give me a break. So if a company doesn't make the most ugly, cheap ass, garbage, 'hackable' products, then they're toys. Right... You're right, this is no big deal.

    The world is not going to end - it's just changing. So what, you're stuck with Java 6 for another year on a Mac while Oracle get's one out. Big deal. You can still run a business with coders on a Mac, using Java - I have friends that are still in business after this 'announcement' (shocker!). This is all just sensationalized bullshit.

    Now for toys and trendy gizmos; this is the typical attack/response from people that see every change as a threat instead of an opportunity. They see the downside in everything. Jesus, why live, you're just gonna die from breathing all that car exhaust? No, the latest 'i' devices from Apple are not toys - they're real game changers. Yah, they don't run Java and frankly I'm glad. I did Java development for a long time and while I owed a lot to it, frankly, it was a mess on many levels. J2ME was a frickin joke. Write once, run anywhere never worked and in my mind, was just a marketing scam to get people indoctrinated into the one language to rule them all religion. No, Apple did the right thing with their devices by not using an intermediate languages. Oh noes, I can't create iApps in Ruby!...

    There is a future in business apps, but you're right, Apple doesn't care much about those. Why compete with Oracle in a stodgy, old guy world, when you can re-make the computing world for 'everyone else'? Hmmm, as a programmer since I was a kid, I'll take the latter. Most of my day is not comprised of dealing with databases and doubhebag sysadmins, so why would I (and the majority of every other technology user) want to pick an area of software development that dealt with those types?

    As for the kids coming up, they're interested, but it's not Apple, Java or Oracle that are making them failures, it's the American educational system. Government does not work anymore. No one can become elected without taking corporate campaign contributions and no one in govt wants to (or can) change that. So you get advertising on school lockers and you get to tread water thanks to a 'stock' donation from Zuckerberg. The conservatives got what they wanted and the rest of us didn't give a shit about it. So that's what kids nowadays face.

    That being said, if you put a kid in front of a Linux box with a Java gui into an Oracle dabase and an iPad, 100% of the time the kid is gonna choose the iPad. Why wouldn't they? They're KIDS! They're not grown ups who have given up on everything and now just accept their paycheck on the way to the grave. They still have imagination, they're still young, they still have life before them - they have not yet been told no a million times. So to me, it's utterly ridiculous to think kids would want to use anything else other than the 'cool', 'awesome', 'wow' products.

    Besides making the coolest shit, Apple also designs some of the best products out there. Talk to any designer (you, know someone who does it for a living) and they'll tell you that Apple is top notch. Compare this to any Linux/Java/Oracle/HP/Microsoft/etc product out there. The latter is all garbage, all cost, no care for the encompassing idea. I love and use Linux on the server - it's great. But why would I want to use a garbage desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet day in and day out? That just seems idiotic to me.

    So in conclusion, you're right, this is not a big deal. Apple is blazing a new trail and everyone that doesn't use their tools is pissed off at their success. That's fine because those making the future should not care about those stuck in the past.

  • by codegen (103601) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @12:24PM (#33997032) Journal

    This is a move to crush anyone that wants to use Java to build a cross platform "app"

    You mean like phonegap(http://www.phonegap.com/) or jqtouch(http://jqtouch.com/)? Both of which are approved for use in the applications in the App Store?

  • by tsm_sf (545316) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:00PM (#33997228) Journal

    It's amazing how much of the geek community is completely at a loss for why Apple is so successful. Somehow it's impossible that the user experience they provide is what people want so it must be their marketing.

    I recently managed a group of student workers at an IT shop, and it was a real reminder of the "I'm a genius, everyone else is an idiot" phase that most geeks go through (hopefully) early on in their development.

    I think this essentially what you're seeing. Someone who has the time and inclination to figure out any UI that comes across their path will never understand people who have different priorities. Clearly, everyone else is an idiot.

  • by znerk (1162519) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:03PM (#33997242)

    To play advocate of the devil here, since I care less about either Apple nor Java, isn't the side effect that Apple's competition in the phones world got a boot from the platform that is owned by the owners of iPhone?
    I do not know what the implications are on the longer term but on the short term it causes their competition to spend time setting up new development environments, and diminished looking over the shoulders into the Apple technical world as developers are not going to keep up with that if they can't work from that platform anyway.

    Maybe it would help if you rewrote that in English.

    You're probably 100% correct, that does read as if it was written by someone for whom English is not a first language (or even a second language; it looks very much like a babelfish translation).

    I think what the GP is saying is that this could be an anti-competitive move by Apple, in an attempt to both get a 'competing platform' (Java) off of the iPhone, and keep rival developers from easily working out Apple's technical details.

    I'm not entirely sure that I'm accurate in thinking that, but I'm not sure how much of that is due to my personal feeling that Apple is shooting themselves in the foot by removing cross-platform compatibility. I could very easily see this as an attempt to remove a competitor, but I keep thinking there must be a deeper motive... I'm absolutely certain that anything we can crowd-source here must have been the subject of a heated debate in a boardroom somewhere in the bowels of Apple HQ, so there must have been a darn good reason to push this through.

    Then again, maybe Mr. Jobs is psychotic, and has just arbitrarily decided there are too many developers for Apple's platform; this would translate directly to "we have too many users". Not necessarily a completely crazy viewpoint, as we have all seen companies that folded because they couldn't keep up with demand, and Apple has enjoyed explosive growth for the past few years.

    What keeps nagging at the back of my mind is that no other third-party platform has Sun developing a Java Virtual Machine for it; every other JVM implementation has been licensed and developed by a third party. This could just as easily turn out to be an attempt by Apple to strong-arm Oracle into doing the grunt work for them.

    Regardless of the reasons behind the decision, telling a large number of developers that you don't want them on your platform is probably the fastest method of removing large portions of your userbase, as when you remove support for a language, you remove access to all of the applications written in it. This may even cause some legal troubles, as many developers who have paid licensing fees to write apps for iOS just had their products "deprecated", too.

  • It's jealousy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by binary paladin (684759) <binarypaladin@g3.14159mail.com minus pi> on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:08PM (#33997284)

    When you boil it down, for most people it's just jealousy. I hate to sound like a smug asshole, but I'm at a loss for what else it is.

    When Microsoft does something like a typical douche or even something geeks just don't like you get a very simple "M$ sucks" thread. When Apple does something geeks don't like... the reaction is very different. There's this weird mixture of entitlement, hurt and, "But Apple, I weewy, weewy wuv Macs! How can you do this to me!?" (Oh, and there's the crowd that's always hated Apple and Macs, but every platform has haters.)

    Apple makes cool shit and geeks want it but often their business model is anti-geek. (Which, makes sense since targeting geeks is never going to pad your bank account with $50,000,000,000.00 in cash reserves.)

    Until there comes a day that I have no other choices in platforms, I'm not gonna freak out about what Apple does. Frankly, I don't much care what MS does anymore because there are viable choices. My only real remaining hatred for MS is Internet Explorer, a product that sucks on virtually every level and has held back web development for at least 7 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:26PM (#33997396)

    Perhaps he didn't know the whole history and realize that "scheme interpreter for a BSc project" meant "a naive scheme interpreter that probably lacked continuation support".

    There is no reason that a Scheme interpreter would use host language recursion for recursion in the Scheme program. Any student setting out to implement Scheme in the time frame when Java was available should have encountered "tail recursion" and "call/cc" in their background reading and reinvented or learned one of the obvious idioms to implement Scheme semantics via iteration and a heap-based continuation store.

    I know this for a fact, because I found out about all of those things on my own when I encountered Lisp and Scheme for the first time in college, before Java was even rumored to exist. And that was just my own interest to read about it on the web of the time (USENET, gopher, FTP, my local bookstore), when my course work was just to use the languages, not to implement them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:49PM (#33997546)

    I pretty much thought that Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison were/are on good terms/friends. It could be that Steve called up Larry and said, "Do you mind picking up Java development for Mac now that you own Sun?" and Larry probably said, "Sure."

    Of course it also meant that no one else really knew or cared about it until Apple announced the decision to drop their Java development. Probably 2 or 3 engineers from Apple will be slaved to to Oracle and that will be it.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:11PM (#33997704) Homepage Journal
    If they're not using X11 under Windows, why would they under Mac OS X?
  • by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Saturday October 23, 2010 @06:16PM (#33999588) Journal
    Short-term protectionism is only a crutch. What is really needed is fundamental changes to the US economy.

    Think of it - Germany, with 1/16 the population of China, and with a much shorter work day and work week, and 6 weeks minimum vacation, exports as much as China. [slashdot.org]

    The 40-hour work week in the US has to go. It is a job destroyer. Productivity gains over the last 30 years should have been shared with the workers who actually do the producing - they have not been, to the destruction of the middle class.

    What would the unemployment rate be if the US were to adopt a 4-day, 35-hour work week? Half what it is now?

    Throw in the energy savings by people only commuting 4 days instead of 5, and people being more productive because they can get personal stuff done on the floating/rotating "extra" day off, and the economy would see an immediate boost.

    Fewer people would be losing their homes. Or having to choose between eating and meds.

    Sure, your take-home pay would be a few dollars less, but you'd also pay less in taxes, spend less on transit, lose less to taking time off for "personal reasons", and deficits to cover things like unemployment would be lower, so you would probably end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the month.

    It works for the Germans, and the French.

    -- Barbie

  • by cjcela (1539859) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:35AM (#34002746)
    I disagree. What I observe is that Apple is rapidly moving away from cross-platform development by limiting the choice of languages.

    On XCode 3.2, Apple removed all Carbon project templates. Why would they do that unless they plan on discontinuing Carbon on the future? The same XCode release removed the Cocoa projects that used Python and Ruby. And now Java is no longer supported directly by them. So if you want to use Cocoa, your only safe bet is Objective-C. Give it 5-10 more years, and you will have a very tightly controlled development environment that is not compatible with anything else. This may be convenient for Apple, but it is certainly not good for software developers.

    I know that there are Objective-C compilers for other platforms, but I do not know a single cross-platform developer that prefers Objective-C over C++, when having available an equally well supported OS framework for both.

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