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java,java mac

Java 6 on Mac. Worst release ever.


Yesterday Apple finally released Java 6 for Mac OS 10.5.2. The whole community waited years to this day. But the release is broken because of several reasons.

Only supports 64 bit

This means that Java 6 doesn't run on 1 year old MacBooks or all early adopters of the Intel switch. A huge amount of people can't run 64 bit.

Another problem is that it only supports 64 bit applications. Bye bye applets in Safari.

No Cocoa support

Because of the lack of 64 bit libraries for cocoa it is not possible to use cocoa with Java 6. Nearly every Java application on Macs uses cocoa to make it look better on Mac OS. Some even are 100% cocoa, like Cyberduck. Because of that only a small percentage of Java applications can run on Java 6.

Apple knows this

Apple is well aware of this problems. The update doesn't make Java 6 the default vm, the preferences dialog even warns you if you want to make it the default vm.

So, what to do now?

We only have three choices from here:

  • Switch back to Windows / Linux for Java development
  • Use SoyLatte and help them to create the native gui pipeline
  • Ask Apple to fix this issues
In the long term no. 2 would be the best. A Java implementation by a large community would have faster release times. We can't wait for Apple to fix this issues.
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