James Gosling on Apple’s Java Discontinuation

James Gosling, on the news that Apple is deprecating its support for Java on Mac OS X:

This made upgrading to subsequent releases very hard, and for quite a while Apple’s JVM lagged behind all other platforms. But they eventually got their act together and their JVM upgrade pipeline got streamlined and they kept up very well in recent years.

None the less, there were recurring discussions about having Sun or the community shoulder the burden. There were lots of obstacles. One was that a lot of Apple’s web sites (MobileMe, iTunes, the App Store) were Java apps and they were nervous about not doing the QA themselves.

There’s a difference between Java on the server and Java on the desktop. Mac OS X is overwhelmingly a desktop OS. My understanding is that the iTunes Store, Apple Store, and MobileMe are all still written using WebObjects, and thus, Java. It’s just that they don’t run on Mac OS X. You don’t think Apple is filling that North Carolina data center with Xserves, do you?

Here’s my question, though: If Mac OS X 10.7 ships without a working Java JVM, will you be able to write Android apps using a Mac? And it’s not just Android, of course. There are an awful lot of professional Java developers who use Macs as their preferred development machines.

Friday, 22 October 2010