Apple's Leopard rejects latest version of Java
Forum overlords delete developer gripes
Apple faces yet more flack from the Mac faithful over the discovery that the operating system won't run the latest version of Java. It's one of several beefs relating to the OS X upgrade that is sparking vitriol among the normally docile crowd.
Leopard may have 300 new features, but it is unable to run Java 1.6, even though that same version is available for both Windows and Linux. That has taken some Mac users by surprise, including some on this user forum on Apple's website. Several users there say 1.6 is so central to the development work they do on a daily basis that they will be forced to use an OS other than Leopard if it remains incompatible.
"This is a show stopper for me, and I will have to revert to 10.4, since my job as a software engineer for Sun requires Java 6--this will likely prevent a lot of people from upgrading, and there's a well represented Mac userbase at Sun," a user going by the name buckmelter wrote. 10.4 is a reference to Tiger, the OS X predecessor to Leopard.
In the same forum, there are claims Apple has pulled a beta version of Java 1.6 that had been available for Tiger. If true, that would mean the latest version of Java, which has been available for about a year, may not be available at all for Mac users. That's a big deal for some people. For one, version 1.6 included bug fixes and new functionality. And secondly, Java apps and applets developed using 1.6 won't run on Leopard, and possibly may not work even if a user reverts to Tiger. That would be a real slap in the face for developers who rely on their Mac to get work done.
Apple PR representatives have yet to respond to emails we sent them almost 24 hours ago requesting comment for this story. Over the past few days, people moderating the company's support forum have deleted several threads related to users' inability to run Java 1.6 on Leopard.
Apple marketing monkeys, trying to woo developers to OS X, like to refer to the OS as "the only major consumer operating system that comes complete with a fully configured and ready-to-use Java runtime and development environment." Alas, good rapport with developers requires more than good slogans. Developers don't like surprises and they don't like to be kept in the dark. So far, there are no official communications regarding Apple's commitment to the latest Java virtual machine.
In addition to a predilection for secrecy, Apple is famous for exercising near absolute control over the Mac ecosystem. That extends to development of Java-related technologies, according to this post written two weeks ago by Java creator James Gosling.
"Lots of folks ask 'why doesn't sun just do the JDK for Mac?'" he writes. "The real answer is 'because Apple wanted to do it'. They've wanted to do all sorts of customization and integration that only they could do - because they own the OS."
In the same posing he writes: "Apple's JDK support is a part of my problem, and yes, I have their JDK6 from the ADC. It's hard to tell what the fundamental issue is, but it keeps feeling like the big problem is that developers aren't the 'Target Demographic' :-) iPods are nice, but they're not the defining center of my life...."
The revolt comes as other fanboys complain they get a blue screen of death when they try to install Leopard. Apple says here that many of the installation problems are the result of "third-party 'enhancement' software" installed on the machines that's not compatible with Leopard. The software in many cases turns out to be Application Enhancer, made by a company called Unsanity.
But other Mac users posting on private blogs and Apple's support forum say they're getting the BSOD even though they don't have Unsanity programs installed. Incompatibilities with DIVX Application Support and Tiger's RAID system may also be at play. ®
Not buying until Java 6 is available
Out of protest, I won't get Leopard until Java 6 is available.
When will everyone grow up?
Why all these stupid, endless pointless "my OS is better than your OS"? Do you think that anyone will change their positions because of what you say?
Here's my experience with Vista (I have limited experience of Macs and enough of Linux to say "nice try, might be ready for mass market in a few years").
I read the horror stories and went ahead anyway. The only driver I got in advance was for my NIC as with a network connection, I could fix anything.
The upgrade itself was flawless and painless. I didn't count the number of times I interacted with setup but it was a small number (product ID, keyboard and region and timezone I think). My TV tuner and graphics cards didn't work, which I expected, but installing the latest drivers brought them on line. Since then, I've had no problems at all, zero. It "just works". As to aesthetics, and of course this will always be subjective, it is at least as good looking at OS X. The performance is great, even with 512MB of RAM on the box I upgraded (and yes, that's with Aero). It's also easy to use. Certainly, my folks, who know not one word technical, will be able to use Vista with ease.
Now of course, we could get into some feature by feature p*ssing competition but what's the point? Vista does what I need, without hassle. Will I continue to buy MS? Well, why woudn't I?
Finally, regarding security, I don't believe Macs or Linux are invincible, in fact I believe the number of exploits discovered is proportional to the installed base size, but I practice safe computing. I don't use an admin account for my everyday work. I use anti-malware software, a good firewall and a lot of common sense. And just like the guy in the Mac ads, I don't get viruses or other malware. I wait with mild amusement for the inevitable down to earth bump that so many people will get when their own particular flavour of invincible OS connected to a network becomes the target of some shysters attention.
If you love Mac, then good on ya. If you love Linux, then good on ya. I love Windows, good on me.
PS. I am very technical, I'm not stupid, I've been in IT for 20 years covering most roles and I make a concious decision to stick with Windows. Enjoy your technology folks.
Sorry guys but...
Sorry guys, but this Windows versus MacOSX flamewar is just silly; they both suck nuts. 8-).
So, anyway, I would guess (assuming Java 1.6 even existed for MacOSX 10.4, which posters can't seem to quite agree on..) that Java 1.6 broke in 10.5 because of the new stack-smashing protection stuff in 10.5. I vaguely recall JRE having problems early on with the hardened linux variants.
Some of you have been like lone voices in the wilderness, speaking common sense and not fandom. I salute you and praise your efforts.
They don't hear you.
Fanboys just want to flame. They love it. They live for it.
I haven't been to any of Apple's forum's but in my experience, when a post has been removed, it's been because of poor taste/language/derogatory remarks toward another poster, or something that violates the user agreement. Unless someone here has written or read one of the removed remarks, who's to say that isn't the reason they were removed? Aren't we jumping to a whole lot of conclusions?
Operating Systems have bugs. Some have more bugs than others. Some are more stable than others. And some just plain suck. And anyone who puts a brand spanking new OS on a work machine on the first day of release has no business being in the IT business, in any field. Period. I actually used MS Me for longer than I needed to because I was leery of XP; I am probably one of the few people I know who had no problems with that OS. I didn't upgrade until just before SP2, when I built the box I'm using now. I'm a realist enough to NOT say "I've had no problems with this, therefore YOU must be doing something wrong." Walk a mile in their shoes first before spouting off, or open mouth and insert foot.
No software is perfect, and always plays nicely with others. I've had to remove several pieces because it trashed something else. I can't use PowerDVD because of incompatibilities, it's easy for me to believe a third party software is causing Leopard's BSOD (Wait! BSOD? On a MAC? STOP THE PRESSES! APPLE'S NOT PERFECT!).
Where's amanfromMars when you need him?
Not Apple's problem...
I can never understand why so many people out there expect the OS to conform to the demands of the application. Isn't it the application vendor's job to make their application compatible with an OS they want it to run on?? What I'm wondering is why the devs for Java didn't update their software, as I'm almost certain they received an advance copy of Leopard for that very reason.