Steve Jobs on Java: Apple-built updates 'may not be the best way'

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
In an e-mail claimed to be from Steve Jobs, the Apple chief executive explained that Apple may no longer develop their own Java for the Mac because it is almost always a version behind the one produced by Oracle and Sun.



Apple revealed this week that it may remove the Apple-produced Java runtime from future versions of Mac OS X, perhaps starting with next year's 10.7 Lion. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard will be supported through the support cycles of those products.



A concerned developer -- Scott Fraser, CTO of Portico Systems -- sent an e-mail to Jobs, and claims he received a response from the Apple co-founder. In it, Jobs indicated that because Sun, acquired by Oracle for more than $7 billion, has its own release schedules for Java on other non-Mac platforms, Apple supplying its own build doesn't make sense.



"The Java we ship is always a version behind," Jobs allegedly said. "This may not be the best way to do it."



The CEO's purported comments could be interpreted to mean that Oracle will release its own Java updates for the Mac alongside the other platforms it supports, making it unnecessary for Apple to craft its own, usually outdated updates. However, though things appear to be moving in that direction, Jobs's alleged e-mail did not directly indicate that was the case.



Apple has already reorganized how Java runtime homes are installed on Mac OS X, believed to be in an effort to facilitate third-party releases of the Java virtual machine. This change would allow Oracle to release Java for the Mac, rather than waiting for Apple to maintain its own Java releases for the platform.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Makes sense as Microsoft does not make Java for Windows and Linux Distros do not make their own javas. they all rely on Sun/Oracle or other builds.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    When you compare the way Jobs talks about Flash and Java I think there is a respect for Oracle and/or Elision.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,670member
    no reason why the Mac Store cant have these updates. That's from Oracle, but distributed by Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    As long as Apple shipped its own version of Java, Oracle would have no incentive to make its own most up-to-date version for the Mac. Larry Ellison must have convinced Steve that they can do a better job than Sun at supporting the Mac and it will mean less R&D dollars that Apple has to spend in order to keep Java on the Mac although always one version behind.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    no reason why the Mac Store cant have these updates. That's from Oracle, but distributed by Apple.



    My guess is that Java would probably violate the developer terms for the store.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    When you compare the way Jobs talks about Flash and Java I think there is a respect for Oracle and/or Elision.



    Steve is very good pals with Ellison. He went to Larry's wedding (well, the last one, at least).
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post


    Makes sense as Microsoft does not make Java for Windows and Linux Distros do not make their own javas. they all rely on Sun/Oracle or other builds.



    Originally, the responsibility of porting the JVM to given platform was that of the OS manufacturer. In many cases, it still is... IBM ports the JVM for AIX. HP ports the JVM HP-UX, etc. Oracle (originally Sun) only took on the Linux and Windows builds for "control" of the JVM on those platforms. MS wanted to do things their way, and Sun wanted nothing to do with that.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,670member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diddy View Post


    My guess is that Java would probably violate the developer terms for the store.



    true, didnt think of that.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    I trust Apple to write better software for Apple machines than Oracle. Apple's JVM has had some platform specific optimizations & integration for a long time. My concern is that an Oracle developed JVM would not be as well integrated.



    Will Apple give Oracle the source code for Apple's JVM?



    I use Java every day in the form of NetBeans and Oxygen to develop web apps and other platform independent tools & utilities. The specter of losing of a current JVM from my Mac is worrying.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    mariomario Posts: 348member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post


    Makes sense as Microsoft does not make Java for Windows and Linux Distros do not make their own javas. they all rely on Sun/Oracle or other builds.



    Of course MS doesn't. They did initially, but they also extended it and tied it to Windows specific APIs so that code written on windows version of Java is not portable to other OSes.



    MS got sued by Sun, and Sun won. MS stopped making new versions of Java. But because Java would never have succeeded without being available on most popular and widely distributed platform (Windows and it still remains so), Sun HAD to make java available for Windows.



    Mac OS X, is still marginal platform on the desktop and non-existent on the server. There is very little incentive for Oracle to make java available for the OS X. And certainly no money to be made for them.



    Google most certainly won't do it. Google and Apple are now competitors and not exactly friends. Why would Google increase the value of competitor's platform by making JDK/tools and more software available for it (dev tools are enabling technology and because of Java's portability, instantly thousands of software titles become available if JRE is available). That would be really silly thing for Google to do.



    Yes, Google has some employees using Mac OS X to do Android development, but rest assured, they are already installing Linux on their Macs, as we speak .
  • Reply 11 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post


    I trust Apple to write better software for Apple machines than Oracle. Apple's JVM has had some platform specific optimizations & integration for a long time. My concern is that an Oracle developed JVM would not be as well integrated.



    Will Apple give Oracle the source code for Apple's JVM?



    I use Java every day in the form of NetBeans and Oxygen to develop web apps and other platform independent tools & utilities. The specter of losing of a current JVM from my Mac is worrying.



    - Jasen.



    Yes, but the current version that ships with all other platforms isn't the one that's on the mac by default and other platforms are developing for the current build already. I've had tools I use on a daily basis require newer java builds and SDKs than I had on my machine by default. He makes a valid point, though what really makes me scratch my head is what then happens to ruby, php, perl, and the like when this starts happening? What about apache? Are these all things that end up disappearing? I really like having some of these, albeit outdated, but useful languages built into my machine by default.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Didn't Larry Ellison give Steve props during antennagate?



    I know a nice little coffee shop in downtown Palo Alto where they could meet.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    mariomario Posts: 348member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post


    Yes, but the current version that ships with all other platforms isn't the one that's on the mac by default and other platforms are developing for the current build already. I've had tools I use on a daily basis require newer java builds and SDKs than I had on my machine by default. He makes a valid point, though what really makes me scratch my head is what then happens to ruby, php, perl, and the like when this starts happening? What about apache? Are these all things that end up disappearing? I really like having some of these, albeit outdated, but useful languages built into my machine by default.



    That's not true. JDK on Mac OS X 10.6 is the same version as the latest version available for other platforms. True it took Apple 2 years to make JDK 1.6 available for Macs after everyone else had it, but as of summer last year there is JDK 1.6 for Macs.



    Of course this is all irrelevant now, since no software vendor can count on JRE being available for Mac OS X at all, and they should at this point be thinking about their future plans, and since most are caught in the middle of release cycle they now have to either abandon OS X as platform they will support if their software is complex (e.g. Maple) or perhaps port it to OS X native code if it's viable option to do (most large software would take way too long to do that and it requires different kind of experience and developers etc. i.e. not likely to happen).
  • Reply 14 of 47
    mariomario Posts: 348member
    http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/ent...ments_on_apple



    He basically says that Oracle screwed Apple's java efforts before (and made Apple's life harder), so that tells me that Oracle is not likely to do Java for Mac themselves.



    I think the only viable option would be that Apple open source their implementation. But if what James says is true, Apple won't do it because they use a lot of secret APIs in their implementation that they don't want others to see.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Welcome to the party, AI. MR scooped you by about 9 hours...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    Steve is very good pals with Ellison. He went to Larry's wedding (well, the last one, at least).



    I was going to say, which wedding?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mario View Post


    Google most certainly won't do it. Google and Apple are now competitors and not exactly friends. Why would Google increase the value of competitor's platform by making JDK/tools and more software available for it (dev tools are enabling technology and because of Java's portability, instantly thousands of software titles become available if JRE is available). That would be really silly thing for Google to do.



    Yes, Google has some employees using Mac OS X to do Android development, but rest assured, they are already installing Linux on their Macs, as we speak .



    Google has their own problems with Java.



    Google's Android uses Java-the-language without the Java Virtual Machine (opting for their own Dalvik VM), which allegedly is in violation of their Java license and could cost Google billions if they were to lose.



    I wouldn't look to Google to be porting the Java VM to any platform in the near future. I'd bet Eric Schmidt resents Larry Ellison/Oracle a lot more than Steve Jobs/Apple on any given day.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Unrelated: would selling parallels/VMWare on the mac AppStore break the rules?
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    When you compare the way Jobs talks about Flash and Java I think there is a respect for Oracle and/or Elision.



    You got it right
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Didn't Larry Ellison give Steve props during antennagate?



    I know a nice little coffee shop in downtown Palo Alto where they could meet.



    And you think Steve is not behind Oracle-Android episode?
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Does not mean that the releases will be the latest (and not the version lower than far PC).

    Look at MS Office Suit. MS releases it for the Mac later.

    Because it involves additional support and development, Java for Mac can be released later than for PC, still.



    BTW, where does Oracle earns on Java? License?
  • Reply 20 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post


    Unrelated: would selling parallels/VMWare on the mac AppStore break the rules?



    Nope. Those products require license keys. That violates the terms of service.
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