Monday, 25 October 2010

There's no lions in Java

Alea iacta est

Just after a week of blogging, I decided to start writing in english, to expand my user base. It's a hard decision, because this means to face my ability with this language. But I decided: there aren't more excuses to don't write in english. If I'll do a mistake, I'll learn from it and I'll continue to write my opinions on computer-science and cinema.

Today I'll talk about new Mac OS X (Lion) and its new features: in the last "Mac Event", Steve Jobs presented the Mac App Store (interesting), full-screen applications (less interesting), Mission Controll (a enhanced Exposè), Launchpad (a way to visualize your applications) and... Java remotion.
Well, it's no completly correct: Java now it's "just" deprecated and this means, sooner or later, Mac OS X will be shipped without a pre-installed JVM. This means all Mac users will have to download and install a Java Runtime Environment, exactly as for Windows or Linux.
Jobs justifies this decision saying

«Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.»

Well, looking on Oracle site I see there are JVM just for Linux, Solaris and Windows; FreeBSD have a Java package on its repository of "BSD Ports".
If you can get it for BSD, you can get also on Mac OS X. In worst case, we can compile it from source code (Java is released under GPL).
But tell me the truth: do you really feel the lack of Java on your macintosh? It's about a five months I don't use Netbeans on my MacBook Pro; I haven't installed yet Vuze (Transmission works well too); Runescape... maybe one day I'll play with it.
I said on a precedent post Java habitat is on the server side: clients use AJAX and Flash when you're on web-context; they use C/C++/ObjC on heavy client applications; they use Python, Ruby and Visual Basic for non-intensive CPU applications.
Java on Mac OS X was a wonderful idea, and was the ONLY version of Java shipped on a successful desktop system. The lack of real useful client software was tolerated too long. If Oracle is really interested on Java client, then it must to redesign Java to transform it on a fast, comfortable and elegant development platform.
And if you are concerned about the fate of fussy Macintosh sysadmins, don't panic: they're "pro" enough to install a java runtime environment by themself.
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