Mac OS X Lion drops Front Row, Java runtime, Rosetta

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
The latest developer release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion excludes support for Rosetta (used to run PowerPC code on Intel Macs), Front Row, and Oracle's Java runtime, although Apple includes a mechanism to automatically download an updated Java runtime for Lion.



No Front Row



Front Row, the TV-oriented media center playback system for Mac OS X, was first added to Macs in 2005, providing a simple living room-like display for albums in iPhoto, iTunes music and movies, and DVD playback.



The functionality was isolated by the original Apple TV appliance in 2007, which then modified its interface later the following year, creating a schism between Apple TV and the Mac's Front Row app.



Apple stopped bundling an IR remote with its iMacs and other models, signaling a lack of interest in Front Row, while also redesigning Apple TV to act as a streaming iOS-based device. The company also released AirPlay for wirelessly streaming iTunes content



It's therefore not entirely surprising that the Lion release lacks Front Row among its bundled apps.



No Java runtime



Also missing from Lion is a preinstalled Java runtime capable of executing "100% pure" Java apps. There are few examples of Java desktop apps in the wild, so most users won't notice. Not bundling the runtime will erase a large number of security vulnerabilities from the reported list of issues related to Mac OS X going forward however, as Java exists as a parallel platform to Apple's native Cocoa.



When users attempt to run a Java app, Lion offers to look online for a version it can install, and will download and install a slightly newer version than is currently available for Snow Leopard today (1.6.0_24-b07-329, rather than 1.6.0_22-b04-307).



Apple announced earlier that it would be working with Oracle to divest itself of maintenance of the Java platform on Macs, setting up a new OpenJDK Project for Java on Mac OS X going forward, starting with the release of Java SE 7.



Apple noted that the Java runtime may be removed from future versions of its operating system, and it appears that will be the case with Lion, albeit with a rather painless install option for users who need it.











No Rosetta



While Apple dropped support for running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on PowerPC Macs, 10.7 Lion will remove support for running PowerPC code on the new machines via Rosetta, a translation bridge that enabled Intel Macs to continue to run old software.



Rosetta was not installed by default in Snow Leopard, but could be installed by users who needed to run old programs that had not yet been updated to run natively on Intel Macs. In Lion, Rosetta support is gone entirely, spelling the end of the line for PowerPC as an architecture.



Apple has already restricted Mac App Store titles to Intel code, leaving PowerPC support abandoned along with Motorola 68000 code.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 268
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    No Front Row



    Front Row, the TV-oriented media center playback system for Mac OS X, was first added to Macs in 2005, providing a simple living room-like display for albums in iPhoto, iTunes music and movies, and DVD playback.

    [ View this article at AppleInsider.com ][/url][/c]



    I'll miss Front Row. I find it useful on my iMac.
  • Reply 2 of 268
    I'm glad they're still making it easy for Java to run. There are several Java applications I use constantly on my Mac at work, including Oracle SQL Developer and several proprietary, internal applications.
  • Reply 3 of 268
    Front Row was useful but I don't think that many people were using it. Even people buying Mac Minis for HTPC duty are probably using XMBC or Plex rather than Front Row. And with Apple TV v2 at $99, it's a pretty cheap alternative.
  • Reply 4 of 268
    Front Row's been broken since iTunes 8. Good riddance.
  • Reply 5 of 268
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post


    I'll miss Front Row. I find it useful on my iMac.



    That was you?
  • Reply 6 of 268
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,283member
    Rosetta huh.. Finally have to get a native OSX app to running that old trustworthy epson scanner, it seems.
  • Reply 7 of 268
    Front Row was garbage and I won't miss it. The DVD artwork never worked over a shared library. And who wants to scroll through all their movies one at a time?
  • Reply 8 of 268
    No Rosetta? There are still a good number of great PowerPC games I still like to play. Starcraft chief among them. With Starcraft II in the wild, I don't know how much motivation Blizzard would have to make a UB for the original Starcraft.
  • Reply 9 of 268
    Dropping Rosetta makes me a little nervous. Is there currently an easy way to figure out what software I have on my Macs that needs Rosetta?
  • Reply 10 of 268
    Java? Who cares.

    Rosetta? A bit annoying for old 'carbon' apps, i.e. I can't play Diablo II anymore, quite a few emulators no longer work. But fair enough.

    Front Row? It's a pity! Especially with the Mac Mini having HDMI now, I'd have liked to have seen an Apple TV app, maybe even for sale on the Mac App store, that gives you this functionality. Oh well.



    I understand and accept Apple's reasons, on with the march of progress! *sniff*



    Can't wait for the next Macbook Air with Thunderbolt and 3G radio built in!!
  • Reply 11 of 268
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by F1Turbo View Post


    Dropping Rosetta makes me a little nervous. Is there currently an easy way to figure out what software I have on my Macs that needs Rosetta?



    About this mac, software, applications. Scroll the list and if it says power pc....it needs rosetta.
  • Reply 12 of 268
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    No Rosetta? There are still a good number of great PowerPC games I still like to play. Starcraft chief among them. With Starcraft II in the wild, I don't know how much motivation Blizzard would have to make a UB for the original Starcraft.



    Just add an alternative boot volume with 10.6. I will as I have tons of old stuff I use now and then ... it's no biggie.
  • Reply 13 of 268
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    I won't miss any of those features. I don't know of a time when Java or Rosetta was ever used since 10.5. FrontRow won't be missed either.
  • Reply 14 of 268
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In Lion, Rosetta support is gone entirely, spelling the end of the line for PowerPC as an architecture.



    Uh oh, I seem to remember Quicktime 7 requesting that Rosetta be installed before running. If so and they haven't fixed Quicktime X, I'll have to hold back from upgrading. You simply can't do quick edits in FCP/iMovie and QTX has so few features and is missing scaling, audio pasting, cutting, frame numbering etc.



    I wish they wouldn't force a whole system on you before you find out if an app you rely on is any good. I guess there's not much choice with it being a system-level component though.
  • Reply 15 of 268
    Java is a non-issue since Cisco's team is doing it with Apple's help instead apple doing it themselves. For the user, they won't notice anything has changed.



    Losing Front Row and Rosetta however are much larger issues since I do run a number of PowerPC apps and would like to use a Mac Mini with my TV. I am hoping they were just not included with this being a developer release.
  • Reply 16 of 268
    Front Row has sucked for a long time. Why could iTunes play a m4v file with Subtitles just fine in full screen, but through Front Row, it would never show the movie at all. Just the audio. I loved front row until it was lousy with more advanced m4v files. Apple gave up on the program long ago. It's a surprise to finally abandon it officially now.
  • Reply 17 of 268
    chabigchabig Posts: 626member
    I think Quicken is the only PPC app I still use regularly. If only Intuit would get off their butts...
  • Reply 18 of 268
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darwiniandude View Post


    Java? Who cares.



    Me



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    I won't miss any of those features. I don't know of a time when Java or Rosetta was ever used since 10.5. FrontRow won't be missed either.



    MacOS is Unix. A ton of Unix applications are developed using Java. To me, eliminating Java would be like eliminating X11 support. Thankfully Sun/Oracle will still be releasing a Mac binary of the JVM.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    Rosetta huh.. Finally have to get a native OSX app to running that old trustworthy epson scanner, it seems.



    I hadn't even thought about that. I've got the old Canoscan USB-powered scanner (love it); it's drivers and software are PowerPC. Looks like I may finally have to replace the hardware...



    One thing that would be great is if Apple allowed a MacOS VM running under MacOS. That way we could have an older release of OSX running alongside the current release (much as I run Windows side-by-side under Parallels). That'd solve compatibility issues!
  • Reply 19 of 268
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I don't have any PowerPC apps any more and never really used Front Row. However every few months I will need to run some open-source Java app. However on my Windows machine I need to install Java myself, it doesn't come preinstalled, and I get along ok.
  • Reply 20 of 268
    I'm not going to miss Frontrow, it was useful before Boxee, but now that XBMC and its children (Plex, Boxee, etc) are native on Macs, people have plenty of options.



    Not being able to play Fallout I and II is going to piss me off, I suppose I can just run them in windows, I can probably run them in Parallels without trouble.
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