updated 09:40 am EST, Fri November 12, 2010
Apple and Oracle plan OpenJDK for Java in Lion
Apple and Oracle today set out plans for a new version of OpenJDK to keep bringing Java to Macs. The deal will see Apple give the tools and resources needed to bring Java SE 7 to Mac OS X, such as class libraries, networking, a visual client and both 32- and 64-bit HotSpot-based virtual machines. The Oracle project will make the technology ready to be used by open-source developers that could add to or improve Java on the Mac.
"We’re delighted to be working with Oracle to insure that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac," Apple's Senior VP of Software Engineering Bertrand Serlet 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."
The Mac maker also noted that Java wouldn't be absent in Mac OS X Lion, as Java SE 6 will still be available to install in Lion for apps that can work with the older release. SE 7 and later would be the first versions to require Oracle's help.
Apple is widely believed to have dropped Java due to the expense of maintaining a team to develop and support Java, but the statements mirror co-founder Steve Jobs' earlier statements that his company was often behind in versions due to its having to wait on and code releases. Mac App Store submissions aren't allowed to use Java as a "deprecated" technology in the OS.
Developers and corporate users had raised alarms at Apple's plan to drop in-house Java development, since certain apps require the tools. Relatively popular apps like CrashPlan backups, the CyberDuck FTP client and corporate tools such as Citrix often use Java both to simplify cross-platform development and to guarantee access without needing a fully native component.