Skip to content

Would you Pay for Java on Leopard?


I don’t normally do this, but I think this is interesting enough to be worth a cross-post.  Jonathan Locke (originator of the Wicket framework) has proposed two polls basically asking the question: Would you pay Sun for a port of Java 6 on OS X, and if so, how much?

Personally, I think it’s an interesting question.  Probably half of the opinions I’ve seen about the state (or lack thereof) of Java on Leopard have ended with railing against Sun for not handling Java on that OS itself.  Of course, James Gosling already officially debunked why Sun isn’t handling Java on Mac (Apple wanted to do it), but that doesn’t stop people from spreading the FUD that Sun is just being lazy.

The fact remains though that Apple has really dropped the ball on this one.  Whether Jobs likes it or not, Java is a relevant force in computing today, and no mainstream OS is complete without a working JVM.  Despite this fact, Apple has given no indication that it is even interested in releasing Java 6 for Leopard, nor does it seem to care that Java 5 doesn’t work properly.  Given these facts, it only makes sense that someone else will need to step forward and carry the torch of Java on Mac.  Who better than Sun?

But the million dollar question here (well, not quite that much) is how much would you be willing to pay for Sun (or any other company for that matter) to port Java 6 to MacOS X?  $50?  $99?  Cast your vote on the polls below:


  1. This whole argument is getting more idiotic by the minute…

    When Microsoft made their own version of Java they got sued – Apple pulls their version, and now there’s talk of paying money for it. Fanboyism has really become confusing.

    Think (Really) Different: Mac hardware can run Windows or Linux.

    The Geek Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 5:33 pm
  2. Okay this is getting stupid. If you need to have Java6 before Apple comes out with it (and I believe they are) run Parallels and install it in second OS of choice.

    Robert Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 7:29 am
  3. Well, the whole point of using Mac is we *want* to develop using the Apple OS, not just the Apple hardware. Putting myself into the shoes of a Java developer avidly using Mac (which I’m not), my thought would be: if I wanted to develop using Windows I wouldn’t have bought a Mac. Who wants to pay that kind of cash then boot parallels/vmware every time and do all our work within a virtual machine?

    Daniel Spiewak Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 7:43 am
  4. It’s not that they haven’t come out with it… they did have a preview, and then they pulled it.

    I was looking up TinkerTool, which is not yet compatible with leopard, here’s what I found:

    “Apple has denied access to the final version of 10.5 to all software developers. Even companies which paid Apple thousands of dollars for the right to get advance information before the official release date did not receive any data about the final version of Leopard before October 26, 2007 16:00 UTC. The final version is known to be different from the preview versions.”

    Apple’s treatment of programmers is why they lost the last round 20 years ago, they want to control everything. Why developers bother with Mac I just don’t understand.

    The Geek Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 8:03 am
  5. What about Java 5 on Mac doesn’t work properly? I mean – do you have even one example?

    I’m not worried. There are a lot of JVM enhancements are in there. The missing items are the scripting engine and the compiler API. Most of the scripting engine items can be attained in other ways.

    Eclipse has bugs. This is not Apple’s fault.

    The use of “no indication” and “doesn’t care” are both incorrect. In fact, every Eclipse bug I’ve found has been submitted to Apple and -they- are working with the Eclipse team. The Carbon team is fully engaged. Apple engineers have been -very- responsive.

    Apple revealed their plans at WWDC. Nothing has occurred to indicate that these plans have changed.

    Tim Goeke Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 8:40 am
  6. > Eclipse has bugs. This is not Apple’s fault.

    Yeah, I would never blame Apple for all of Eclipse’s issues on Mac. In fact, I don’t think anyone even mentioned it…

    > What about Java 5 on Mac doesn’t work properly? I mean – do you have even one example?

    Daniel Spiewak Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 10:03 am
  7. > In fact, I don’t think anyone even mentioned it…

    I did – just now. You ref the JavaLobby mess – there’s almost no accurate info in there.

    The fact remains that Apple has delivered a pretty good JVM and I haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary, and in fact the very thread you mention is what made me mention Eclipse in the first place.

    Tim Goeke Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 11:02 am
  8. Well, unless Mike faked the screenshots, I think it’s safe to say something’s wrong. This post mentions the differences between the pipelines: He also links to a post where he talked about the potential differences between pipelining methods.

    Daniel Spiewak Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 11:27 am
  9. Yes – but “wrong” is not “bug”. The screen shots were just showing that the Aqua L&F now puts the icon of the application in the dialog according to the Apple HIG. I think you’ll find this is a feature, not a bug. ;-)

    More here:

    The pipeline issue is just configuration, also not a bug. You can use the Sun pipe or the Quartz pipe.

    Fabrizio has been pretty active and makes a lot of valid points, and he mentions that the release notes should be out, and in fact they are:

    The Apple engineers are working very hard in any case. Apple’s secretive nature is sometimes wacky, but their people do care in the trenches. Also Leopard is not bug free but it’s not bad overall.

    Tim Goeke Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:05 pm
  10. > Yes – but “wrong” is not “bug”.

    In principle, I agree with you. Unfortunately, as far as the end-user is concerned, “wrong” most definitely does equate to “bug”. Also, while Apple may now be following the HIG for the position and existence of the icon in the dialogs, it’s failing to follow the Java specification in showing the *correct* icon. An incorrect icon is worse than a non-existent one, since it actually misleads users.

    Yes, you *can* use either pipeline, but quite unfortunately the one which breaks most Java2D apps is enabled by default. Since those apps work just fine on every other platform, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that Apple isn’t satisfying the Java spec somewhere.

    User’s don’t care about whether Swing is doing things “the correct way” according to Apple or not, they just care of it works the way they expect it to. That’s what Mac is all about, right? (“It just works.”) Well, whether through Apple’s ill-advised experimentation, or incomplete specification validation or whatever, Java on Mac no longer “just works”. I doubt that this can be considered a good thing for Apple or the right thing to do by the end-users.

    Oh, as a matter of record, my brother purchased a brand-new macbook this week. He is now completely locked out of a critical section of his school’s online curriculum due to Java’s non-functional status (the section works fine on both Windows and Linux). Now it may be a function of the pipelining or the lack of Java 6. He doesn’t care. All he knows is that it doesn’t work.

    Daniel Spiewak Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:15 pm
  11. Your comments are right – sorry to hear about your brother. But, you can do something. If you sign up as an ADC member (it’s free) you can use You should be able to get help in a couple hours. Or, go to the Apple store near you. They’ll help!

    Your point that it should just work is correct. In my own experience OS X comes closer to delivering on that ideal more often than other OS’s, but it’s far from perfect. My wife noticed a feature of Address Book does not work right – causing some stress after the upgrade.

    I hope your brother is able to get it all worked out!

    Tim Goeke Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:33 pm
  12. Yeah, I was thinking about filing a bug (already an ADC member). I need to dig into it myself a bit first so I can be more coherent in complaining. Who knows, maybe it’s just a config issue in Firefox. ;-)

    Daniel Spiewak Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Post a Comment

Comments are automatically formatted. Markup are either stripped or will cause large blocks of text to be eaten, depending on the phase of the moon. Code snippets should be wrapped in <pre>...</pre> tags. Indentation within pre tags will be preserved, and most instances of "<" and ">" will work without a problem.

Please note that first-time commenters are moderated, so don't panic if your comment doesn't appear immediately.