Leopard Allegedly Facing Java Problems

Early adopters of Apple's newly released OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system may soon have a sour taste in their mouth as reports file in that users are unable to work with the latest version of the Java programming language. Following the release of OS X Leopard on Friday evening, threads began to appear in Apple's support forum where numerous users reported that code written in Java 1.6 (also known as Java 6) failed to execute. The problem allegedly lies in an outdated version of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), an application that allows OS X to interpret and run Java code. Java 1.6 was officially released in December 2006, but Leopard reportedly supports only Java 1.4 due to Apple's insistence on developing the JVM themselves, rather than allow Sun to do it. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Users on Apple's support forums are, to say the least, a bit miffed at the development. "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," wrote one user. "This will likely prevent a lot of people from upgrading." Users were further angered when many of the threads about the issue were reportedly deleted from Apple's support forum without explanation.

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Just to set the record straight, this article incorrectly quotes from the original article at vnunet at this page. The original article clearly states: "Java 1.6 was officially released in December 2006, but Leopard reportedly supports only Java 1.5." In the interest of fairness, I should note that it's possible the original article was quietly updated/corrected.

Java 1.5 has been in Tiger since almost the beginning. JDK 1.5 was available for Tiger from early on, and was made the default VM quite some time ago with a system update. (It was not the default VM initially. There's a utility in Tiger that lets you set which JVM is the default.)

Java 6 was available from Apple's developer site as a free download for Tiger, but this early access beta was pulled off Apple's site recently with no explanation. I attended JavaOne in 2006 and attended a birds-of-a-feather session featuring Apple's Java engineers, who promised that Apple would no longer lag so far behind Sun in delivering up-to-date Java runtimes. They were demoing the latest Java 6 build on MacBook Pros.

Then, as recently as February of 2007, Steve Jobs publicly dissed Java, saying in effect that nobody develops in Java anymore. This is a far cry from the Steve Jobs who once gave a keynote at JavaOne and promised that OS X would be a premier platform for Java. Granted, Jobs' more recent comments were made in the context of discussing phone software development and the iPhone, but he was off-base there too -- most mobile phone software is still developed in Java these days.

James Gosling has stopped carrying around a MacBook Pro and explained why in recent blog posts. So it seems that many people in the Java world have caught on to Apple's shift in developer focus. The deprecation of the Java-Cocoa bridge was an early sign of this; now that Apple is promoting Cocoa bindings for Ruby and Python, we can see that Java has lost its luster in Cupertino.

"Users were further angered when many of the threads about the issue were reportedly deleted from Apple's support forum without explanation."

Aside from being grossly unprofessional, this will cost Apple in the long run. People are doing Apple a favor by discussing these problems on their forums so they can be made aware of them and fix them. By censoring their boards, people are going to learn to stop posting there and move their discussions elsewhere.

Apple needs to realize: As long as humans are coding computers, there will never be a flawless operating system, period.

This exact scenario happened when Vista became widely available, the first installable version of Java for Vista caused Aero to stop and go into Vista basic mode.

It's not uncommon that Sun are behind with this.

Neobond said,
This exact scenario happened when Vista became widely available, the first installable version of Java for Vista caused Aero to stop and go into Vista basic mode.

It's not uncommon that Sun are behind with this.

except that according to the article this time sun has nothing to do with it

h,, during the RTM period you had to use the Java 6 beta yes, but then Java 6 wasn't done at the time either.

And you could run Java 5 just fine, it'd just disable Aero, but it did WORK.

By the time Vista was released to the public, I believe they had both a workgin Java 5 and Java 6 was out of beta.


Either way it's not comparable since you can't even run Java 5 or 6 apps on leopard, while Vista could run Java 5 just fine, and it could even run Java 6 wich wasn't even final t the time.

I just upgraded a new iMac from Tiger to Leopard and it has Java 1.5 (AKA Java 5), and I have never installed Java. So either Tiger came with Java 5 and Leopard did not, or Leopard comes with Java 5.

HawkMan said,
h,, during the RTM period you had to use the Java 6 beta yes, but then Java 6 wasn't done at the time either.

And you could run Java 5 just fine, it'd just disable Aero, but it did WORK.

By the time Vista was released to the public, I believe they had both a workgin Java 5 and Java 6 was out of beta.


Either way it's not comparable since you can't even run Java 5 or 6 apps on leopard, while Vista could run Java 5 just fine, and it could even run Java 6 wich wasn't even final t the time.

aw gee. i thought it was supposed to be the "be-all-and-end-all" oses, judging from the way apple fan's being ****ing the pants everytime leopard is mentioned.

more eye candies than vista, folks. of course, i'm pretty sure apple fan's too smart to go for those cheap tricks, judging again from the way they snap at vista ... heh.

lol.. there have been a handful of minor (and mostly resolvable) issues with Leopard yet every one of them has been posted up on the Neowin front page.

I think Microsoft have employed someone to submit stuff to BPN to take the heat off them for a while or something!

Chicane-UK said,
lol.. there have been a handful of minor (and mostly resolvable) issues with Leopard yet every one of them has been posted up on the Neowin front page.

I think Microsoft have employed someone to submit stuff to BPN to take the heat off them for a while or something!

So I can safely assume you are employed by Apple? Grow up..this isnt a competition between Microsoft or Apple..it is about an OS which has issues and in this case it is from Apple.

Leopard reportedly supports only Java 1.4 due to Apple's insistence on developing the JVM themselves,

And I'm somewhat sure that Leopard came with J2SE 5.0 (build13)...

I'm really lost... Didn't Sun open source Java up? can't someone take an initiative and build an updated Java 1.6 for Mac OS X?

No, the way Java works on Mac is it is tightly integrated with the system and Apple wants it done in a certain way. That is why there is no other JVM for Mac OS X except what Apple provides. As long as Apple sticks to the standards Sun sets, there is nothing we can really do unfortunately except wait for Apple to update. I have not purchased 10.5 yet myself, but I may hold out and just wait until I get a Macbook Pro. I want to give time for the apps I use to get updated that do not work with 10.5 right away anyhow.

Hmmm...didnt think about that...there has to be more to it than that...does apple brand it Apple Java Machine? thats the only thing i can think of that microsoft did that I can recall... MSJVM i think...,

MS can have their own JVM, but they need to follow the standards set by Sun. just like anyone can make an Enterprise Java interpreter thingy, but it needs o follow the struct rules setdown by Sun.


I guess MS decided that if they couldn't add their own stuff tot he JVM, they may as well just stick to the official Sun one and not waste resources on it.

It's just like how MS released the documentation and such of .net so that others could create .net support platforms on other systems, but Mini still needs to adhere to the rules set by .net otherwise the whole multiplatform part falls on itself.

HawkMan said,
MS can have their own JVM, but they need to follow the standards set by Sun. just like anyone can make an Enterprise Java interpreter thingy, but it needs o follow the struct rules setdown by Sun.


I guess MS decided that if they couldn't add their own stuff tot he JVM, they may as well just stick to the official Sun one and not waste resources on it.

It's just like how MS released the documentation and such of .net so that others could create .net support platforms on other systems, but Mini still needs to adhere to the rules set by .net otherwise the whole multiplatform part falls on itself.

I think what Microsoft was doing with Java was a lot less insidious than that. People could still code Java to be multiplatform if they wanted. But they could also use it to be OS specific. Some people didn't like that , because more people would opt to do Windows specific programs than cross platform programs. Sun had a legitimate complaint since it was their technology. But ok, they weren't allowed to, so they made C#.

And .Net does have some different libraries between Windows and Mono

brianshapiro said,

I think what Microsoft was doing with Java was a lot less insidious than that. People could still code Java to be multiplatform if they wanted. But they could also use it to be OS specific. Some people didn't like that , because more people would opt to do Windows specific programs than cross platform programs. Sun had a legitimate complaint since it was their technology. But ok, they weren't allowed to, so they made C#.

And .Net does have some different libraries between Windows and Mono

yeah, but Mono isn't done yet.

Vista didn't have these high level critical problems when it came out. Yeah, there might be usual driver issue, but man, BSODs, application incompatibility, critical UI issues, people not pleased with the Dock, menu bar, people still unsatisfied with Finder after 6 releases.

Leopard is sounding more like the worst OS in the entire universe. No pun intended.

Mr. Dee said,
Leopard is sounding more like the worst OS in the entire universe. No pun intended.

Good golly, people are such extremists these days. Run into a few minor problems and ZOMG THE WORLD IS ENDING AND I'M SO TICKED BECAUSE MY FIVE YEAR OLD SOUND CARD DOESN'T WORK WITH THIS BLOATED OPERATING SYSTEM THAT CONSUMES ALL 512MB OF MY MEMORY and blah blah blah blah.

Problems are sure to arise, and so far, Leopard has had very few problems in comparison to Vista, but on the same token, only so much blame can be shifted to MS for "Vista" issues. For a Java developer, this certainly is a bit disappointing.

My biggest issue is Apple removing threads without explanation. That's censorship and a big X on the imho. Here I was wanting to get my first Mac. How dare the flock paint such a bad image on Apple! Silly.

Mathachew said,
My biggest issue is Apple removing threads without explanation. That's censorship and a big X on the imho. Here I was wanting to get my first Mac. How dare the flock paint such a bad image on Apple! Silly.

Nothing new, to be honest.

I wouldn't say that Java 6 support is the most important thing in the world. Consumers generally are not up to date with the latest Java JVM, even on Windows, so it is smarter to build software based on the 1.4 library to be more compatible. At my work we are just now moving over to 5 from 1.4, tho it is a bit different since we are doing enterprise development.

Er... what? This IS a big deal. Not everyone has 5+ year development cycles like you. I can tell you what the universities are teaching right now- that's right, 1.6. What are they compiling on? That's right, 1.6. When these poor students go home and find out that they can't run their apps on their Macbooks, well, I feel sorry for them.

Ledward said,
Er... what? This IS a big deal. Not everyone has 5+ year development cycles like you. I can tell you what the universities are teaching right now- that's right, 1.6. What are they compiling on? That's right, 1.6. When these poor students go home and find out that they can't run their apps on their Macbooks, well, I feel sorry for them.

When I entered my faculty (4 years ago), J2SE 5.0 was still very young, and even Lewis & Loftus' Java Software Solutions was written with the Scanner scan = Scanner.create(System.it); from beta 1... but J2SE 5.0 was still implemented here, and still hasn't changed to Mustang.