All Apple fans, followers and especially its close Java community associates would have definitely been disturbed and shocked by Apple’s recent announcement that it would deprecate and denounce the including of the Java runtime in its Mac OS X. It was almost as though Apple was warning developers of the fact that Java would henceforth not be entailed in future versions of the Mac OS X; and by this there hovered a depressed and uncertain cloud over Java’s future associations with Apple’s Mac.
Well, Apple’s latest development is set to chase away the hovering ‘depressed and uncertain cloud’ from around the Java community. Behold the announcement wherein, Apple will be tying up with Oracle to launch a new OpenJDK project for Mac OS X that will make a Java SE 7 implementation available for Mac OS X as an open source project. It comes as quite a surprise for technologists to learn that Apple will be contributing towards the development of an Open Source Java for its Mac systems. Temporarily (before its new project gets under way), Apple has ensured that the current Java SE 6 will continue to be available for both Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” and the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” due in mid-2011.
With the showcase of excitement to be partnering with Apple in developing the new OpenJDK project, Oracle senior VP of development Hasan Rizvi, in a statement said “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.”
Most of this new development’s pressure however needs to be handled by Apple, at least during the initial stages. Apple needs to ensure that it supplies most of the technology that was earlier developed for the Java runtime presently being used in Mac OS X. The technological items include 32- and 64-bit Java virtual machines, a networking stack, class libraries, and the guts of a new graphical client. After this being done, the rest of the work would not require Apple’s hand. That is, after delivering the necessary technological items, Apple’s legal participation in the OpenJDK project would cease; and the Open Source Community from then would take it forward.
This decision of involving the Open Source Community in the new project would stop Apple from distributing updates to Java – including security patches. Taking note of this decision and defending it was Apple senior VP of software engineering Bertrand Serlet, who said “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 will also be taking a similar stand as far as the Adobe Flash Program is concerned. Certain reports suggested — “Apple is not shipping Flash with its newest MacBook Air computers, and the platform was responsible for a sizable portion of security issues plugged in Apple’s latest Mac OS X update.”
Two inferences can be made from this new development:
- Apple is mostly considerate of not just its consumers but also its associates like the Java community, and hence succeeded in not disappointing them.
- The Open Source Community by the very day is achieving immense popularity.