Apple Releases Java 6 Developer Preview
Apple just released a Java 6 Developer Preview after an almost 7 week period of complete silence since Leopard came out.
Unfortunately it is still a developer preview so that means it is full of bugs and incomplete in certain areas. You cannot run Eclipse on it for example.
Also, it only works on 64 bit intel machines. Which means everybody with PowerPC or original Core Duo or Solo machines is left out in the cold. There is no clue to be found whether there are plans to support these ‘older’ system. This is a bummer not just for developers but also for end users who depend on software build on top of Java 6.
Unfortunately the future of Java on OS X is, again, a highly doubtful area.
It is completely beyond my imagination why Apple is so extremely secretive about Java on OS X. Although the Java 6 Developer Preview was announced on their public web site and even though everybody can download it though a free ADC account, it is FORBIDDEN BY THE ALMIGHTY STEVE to discuss anything related to it in a discussion forum that is not approved by Apple. Of course THERE ARE NO APPLE-APPROVED FORUMS anywhere to be seen. You’re allowed to report bugs though. Whoopiedoo.
It is time that Apple’s poor efforts are being made irrelevant. Landon Fuller’s SoyLatte port of Java 6 (which amazingly performs equally well as Apple’s implementation and DOES work on BOTH 32 and 64 bit Intel platforms), and the beginning of OS X support in OpenJDK (Java 7 and beyond) are good signs of that wish coming true.
Sun has made a large effort to open source Java and build a large community around OpenJDK. Ports to all kinds of systems are happening. Apple should just dissolve their own efforts and participate in OpenJDK.
Maybe then they can claim to have the best Java platform again. Which is a big fat lie at the moment.