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Gosling Reacts To Apple's Java Deprecation 436

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 peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:17AM (#33996196)

      Basically, Sun never supported Java on the Mac, Apple did. Apple provided the developers, the tools, apple did all the work, and then paid Sun for the privilege. (it costs money to make sure your JVM was approved).

      With oracle now suing every other Java implementation out there that wasn't approved Apple probably thought it just wasn't worth it. Expensive to do, costs money to do it, and unless your sending money up to oracle yearly, now a patent nightmare mess.

      Look at it this way a side effect might be that Oracle stops suing non oracle approved JVM's, including Davik. The Bad press might be more than they realize.

      • 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.
        • Apple already lagged behind Java releases, especially large ones like going from Java 5 -> 6. If Oracle picks up the slack and develops an OSX JVM Java on the Mac could end up being in a better situation.

          I do agree that if Java is left to whither on the Mac it's going to hurt Apple in some way, although it's still hard to quantify how much.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Don't you anticipate that Oracle will start shipping java for OS X? I mean, really.

        • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:37AM (#33996328)

          The reasoning SJ gave for dropping it though was precicely that it wasn't keeping up – if apple maintain it, it's constantly one version behind as they get the new source and patch it into their JVM... If oracle do it, it stays nice and up to date all the time.

      • by mario_grgic ( 515333 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:29AM (#33996266)
        Except Davik is not a JVM. You can't download java *.class file and run it on Davik.
      • by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:31AM (#33996288)
        Hardly. This is a move to crush anyone that wants to use Java to build a cross platform "app" that would work on Blackberrys, windows, linux, iphones, osx, etc. Apple was officially licenced to produce their own JVM. To say they were worried about a lawsuit is horribly naive. Apple is an evil, exclusive company that has forever been secretly trying to go 1984 all over the personal computing industry. Once again their true colors are showing.
        • by mrsteveman1 ( 1010381 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:55AM (#33996436)

          They didn't make their own JVM, it's HotSpot.

          • by JonySuede ( 1908576 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:05AM (#33996500) Journal

            I know of one significant difference between the jvm: I made a scheme interpreter in java for a BSc project and when my interpreter ran on a mac I could evaluate 10000!, it would take a long time but I would finally have a result but on a pc or linux or even a SUN server it crashed around 4000! with a stack overflow. This difference was caused by the JVM, the one on from apple would optimized tail call recursive JITed methods into loop. The one from SUN would not....

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Save this post. It is the first legitimate use of over 9000!


            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by pjt33 ( 739471 )

              You could evaluate it using the Windows or Linux VM, but you'd have to use -Xss.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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 mutual

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by codegen ( 103601 )

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

          You mean like phonegap( or jqtouch( Both of which are approved for use in the applications in the App Store?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Stiletto ( 12066 )

          If they want to crush cross-platform development, then why aren't they moving to crush C or C++? Since C++ apps will run on just about every desktop and mobile platform out there (besides Blackberry).

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cjcela ( 1539859 )
            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
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tharsman ( 1364603 )

        Basically, Sun never supported Java on the Mac, Apple did. Apple provided the developers, the tools, apple did all the work, and then paid Sun for the privilege. (it costs money to make sure your JVM was approved).

        With oracle now suing every other Java implementation out there that wasn't approved Apple probably thought it just wasn't worth it. Expensive to do, costs money to do it, and unless your sending money up to oracle yearly, now a patent nightmare mess.

        Look at it this way a side effect might be that Oracle stops suing non oracle approved JVM's, including Davik. The Bad press might be more than they realize.

        I was thinking the same thing. Oracle is becoming too lawyer-trigger happy with Java, and even if I was "safe" under some agreement I still would back out before they found a loophole to try to sue me over too. Besides, there is heavy chance their licensing agreement has ties to OS versions, and the upcoming Lion OSX forced revisions with terms Apple did not agree with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tangential ( 266113 )
      I think you've nailed it (both overly dramatic and mostly about costs/benefits.)

      The 'outrage' in the media surprises me. Maybe I'm confused, but I don't believe that Microsoft includes java on any of their platforms. Why isn't the media wound up about that?
    • Java isn't being "deprecated" on OS X. Apple is just not going to work on its native JVM implementation anymore. This isn't surprising since the Java-Cocoa bridge was deprecated years ago. Third-party JVMs, such as SoyLatte, will continue to work as usual.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:55AM (#33996026)

    at least link to the corresponding blog: []

  • Or maybe Jobs cut a deal with Oracle for them to port to OS X. Though IMO, with Oracle in charge, Java's days may be numbered anyway.
  • 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 magamiako1 ( 1026318 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:59AM (#33996068)
      This will teach you to listen to the mac junkies for business design.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest ( 867930 )

      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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by davepermen ( 998198 )
        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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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
      • Sorry ... that posted as HTML Formatted as opposed to plain old text ... uggh, they really need to do some housecleaning around here.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Absolutely. It is often not cost effective to write programs just for Mac, so many of the programs that Mac user depend on are written in Java. By not telling us if we will continue to run Java, we are left with uncertainty if the Mac will run mission critical code.

      Many will say that Oracle can supply the JVM. That is not acceptable. This will lead to cases where the JVM is broken by an Apple update to the OS. This is not like Flash where if it breaks, who cars. There is nothing critical about flash.

    • You have an option to install Linux on our Mac hardware to leverage your current investment. But I don't think we will see JDK for OS X from Oracle. Only the X11 based OpenJDK one. And that's unacceptable. So don't buy more Macs if you care about non-Objective C development.
  • Oh honestly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zergwyn ( 514693 )

    It seems to have become trendy again to hate Apple no matter what, but this is getting ridiculous. Why is it that Apple is expected to be the only platform vendor that has to maintain their own version of the JVM for free? Jobs is quite correct in saying that Java under OS X has long lagged behind the latest official Sun release. I wish it was more common for Apple to leave more components to third parties now that they've got more market share. Another example would be graphics drivers, which lag tremendou

    • Re:Oh honestly (Score:5, Informative)

      by jgulla ( 6152 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:09AM (#33996148)

      First off, IBM and HP maintain their own JVMs (as did Microsoft until the Sun/MS lawsuit). Secondly, Apple insisted on being the one to port their JVM. Reading the blog post by Gosling will tell you that. And thirdly, they didn't do it "for free" (at least in the early days - not sure about the last few years). I was at Javasoft back then, and Sun funded some Apple engineers to work on the port.

      I don't have a problem with someone else (say, Sun^H^H^HOracle) doing the port - it would be more timely, up-to-date, etc. I just wish they would have had a something worked out saying "We're not gonna support our JVM, and Oracle will be doing this starting on ...

      • Re:Oh honestly (Score:4, Insightful)

        by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:23AM (#33996224)

        That was also back when Sun worked with other JVM's, as opposed to suing them out of existence like Oracle is doing. Apple probably lost those engineers and Oracle probably came to them and said now you have to pay us for the privilege.

        Why are we blaming Apple when it's Oracle's policies that driving this particular change.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why is it that Apple is expected to be the only platform vendor that has to maintain their own version of the JVM for free?

      Because it's their loss if they don't.
      Windows has a major market already in business desktops, their JVM can't be dropped. Linux has a major market in the server business, their JVM can't be dropped. Apple has nothing to convince Oracle to support their JVM.

      I don't understand why on Earth any Java dev would want to be stuck indefinitely with Apple's outdated implementation that by defi

    • Re:Oh honestly (Score:4, Informative)

      by pavera ( 320634 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @11:40AM (#33996714) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately, as Gosling correctly points out, the claim that apple is the only one doing this is simply not true. IBM, HP, and many other vendors supply their own implementation of Java for their hardware/systems. Microsoft did too for a long time, until they tried "embrace and extend" on the platform and Sun shut them down. Until that happened, the only JVM sun built was for solaris it seems, and maybe the linux version...

      Trying to claim "oh poor apple, they've done all this work for free while everyone else just got a free ride from Sun" is pretty disingenuous given the actual history of JVM implementations.

  • Yes and No... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:58AM (#33996056) Journal
    Ordinarily, their would be praise in the streets for Apple "deprecating" Java. They've done a consistently late and shitty job of keeping their port up to date, with only the benefit of having it be part of "system update" to show for it.

    Given that their marketshare has grown, and Sun/Oracle does a decent and/or better than Apple did job of keeping it updated for other supported platforms, it seems likely that support will actually improve.

    However, in the case of Apple, it isn't hard (or, typically, incorrect) to view anything that they do as being in service of their single-vendor-golden-cage control freak ideology. On the mobile, it is cryptographically enforced. On the desktop, the intent seems fairly clear to start with the soft sell "The Apple Store isn't the only way, just the best one" saith Jobs, and abrupt terminations of distribution of 3rd party technology are likely part of that.

    Server/corporate users of OSX, rare but not nonexistent beasts, should be celebrating right now, since they'll now have actual Java, not Apple half-assery; but it is also likely the case that this is an attempt to make java an even more obscure and peripheral aspect of the OSX experience in general(in the same way that x11 is available; but is considered about as "un-Apple" as firing up Parallels, and probably less common).
    • I don't know how many times it has to be said that there is no other JDK for Mac users to download. Besides this is not just about Java, it's about JVM and a host of languages like Scala, Groovy, JRuby, Clojure etc also run on the JVM.

      In fact calling JVM, which is one of the coolest and technically most sophisticated technologies (JIT, hotspot) invented by man to date, legacy is idiotic (as opposed to the 80s objective c technology). But, then again Mac users are clueless about technology, so you can tell t
  • They use Java exclusively for their management interface..

    Oh that's right.. no one uses OSX in the server world anyway.

  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @10:02AM (#33996094)
    There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread so let me make this as clear as I can - Apple isn't blocking Sun/Oracle's ability to ship Java for the OS X platform, what they're doing is dropping internal maintenance for the platform from within Apple themselves. Up until now Apple has been porting Java to the OS X platform, and they're now discontinuing that and consequently removing it from their update system.

    If someone else, including Sun/Oracle want to start maintaining a Java for OS X release they absolutely can - it just won't be available via OS X's automatic update scheme any longer (and won't be something Apple is paying for).
    • While saying "Apple isn't blocking Sun/Oracle's ability to ship Java for the OS X platform" sounds wonderful, it neglects reality. I'm guessing you should read both Gosling's posting [] and my article []. Gosling explains:

      It simply isn't true that “Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms”. IBM supplies Java for IBM's platforms, HP for HP's, even Azul systems does the JVM for their systems (admittedly, these all start with code from Snorcle - but then, so does Apple). In the beginning, Microsoft provided Java for Windows ... Apple was the same ...

      and I explain:

      Having Oracle take over the development would be hard for several reasons:

      • First, the Java port in use includes a lot of Apple know-how that is not generally available (such as private interfaces) to make Java integrate well rather than using just X11.
      • Second, it belongs to Apple, so Oracle would either have to receive a copy of Apple's implementation or start again with all the UI and platform native code.
      • Third, distribution would move outside Apple's update mechanism so keeping it patched and secure would be difficult - a new installer and update mechanism will be needed.
      • Fourth, the new AppStore rules will make sure there's negligible demand for consumer Java on the Mac.

      Your view would make a good Apple PR position but doesn't address the actual complexities of the situation.

  • Say good buy to hope of any java app in the new mac os app store And maybe even in web browsers in the app store.

  • 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.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann