Dear Steve (or Fake Steve):

by Robert Cooper

So Chris Adamson and I have gone back and forth, and back and forth on the "Leopard Controversy." (In all fairness, Chris has been in the JavaLobby and #javaposse fray too.)

Frankly, I tend to agree with Chris that Java isn't likely a make-or-break deal for Apple at all. However, I think there is a compromise.

Steve, join the OpenJDK project.

With the new(ish) found support for Ruby and Python, Apple has demonstrated a willingness to provide basic support for languages/environments that have, lets face it, a marginal impact on the common user, but that developers love. The thing is, with Java moving to a completely open source model, Apple could see even better support with fewer dedicated resources within Apple. The problem is, OpenJDK is missing things like the OSX LAF and AWT Peers. If Apple would contribute their implementations to the OpenJDK project, they might find even better support with less dedicated Apple resources. Then just give it resources similar to what you give Ruby or Python to clean up and QA for distribution.

While it is anecdotal, it seems to me that, much like Ruby, the *majority* of Java developers work on Macs. I have a hard time believing that we, as a community represent a smaller base than the graphic design community. Moreover, over the next few years failing to support the Eclipse-based Flex Builder and other tools from Adobe might serve to alienate one of your larger ISVs.

If Java isn't a priority for Apple, hey, I understand. But let the community build on the fine work you guys have already done, and keep Apple relevant to the thousands of Java developers who use it, Ruby developers who want to use the new support in NetBeans, and users who use apps like Azureus regularly.

Thanks,

Robert Cooper

31 Comments

jilles
2007-10-28 02:19:25
"While it is anecdotal, it seems to me that, much like Ruby, the *majority* of Java developers work on Macs."


So you are claiming that a majority of Java enthousiasts develop on an environment not capable of running Development versions of Java like openjdk or the latest jdk 1.7 builds; with half resolved issues with the non-Sun port of Java in combination with packages like eclipse that only receive marginal support from eclipse.org compared to e.g. linux and windows (i.e. fixing win32 and linux issues generally has higher priority there)?


Somehow I doubt that.


Java for end users is increasingly less of an issue. Demand is simply slipping away. Java has been for years been primarily a server side language. That's why Apple doesn't really care about it: they ship desktop machines. Demand for Java on the desktop was much stronger when they launched Mac OS X than it is now. It's basically a non issue and I expect that Steve is thoroughly annoyed about Java applications looking really out of place on what is otherwise a pretty tightly controlled end user experience. That's not likely to change in the near future.


Azureus is nice (use it myself) but it has a hopelessly geeky UI that is decidedly very unlike a typical mac application. And I think we all agree this is just about the most popular Java end user oriented application left. There's lots of geeky developer oriented toys but for ordinary users Java is pretty irrelevant now.


BTW. I do agree of course that Apple joining openjdk would be a great way for them to cut cost and get some decent level of java support. I don't really get why they need to maintain their own fork. I guess they are pretty strict about their look & feel and how it is supported on Java but effectively it means that they are lagging behind quite a lot even though (oh irony) Sun has invested quite heavily in improving end user experience with major work in Swing, Java 2D and virtual machine that Apple users continue to miss out on.

Sakuraba
2007-10-28 02:39:12
wow, is this what we have become? begging apple to open-source their stuff?
Steve Loughran
2007-10-28 03:13:47
Based on the bugreps/support we see in ant, Mac is not the primary development platform for Java. Its windows #1, probably linux #2, though that's harder to tell. This is probably a mirror of the enterprise development ecosystem: windows on the desktop, unix/linux/windows on the server.


Eclipse probably has better statistics, based on the platform-specific releases of eclipse downloaded.

Jeff
2007-10-28 03:39:42
Don't apologize for apple people, I will say it one time, Apple Sucks Big Time!. I'm sorry but is the true, I was waiting one year for any road map or anything apple could share about Java 6 so I could buy their hardware for do my Java development on it but they did it in an arrogant way. So bye bye for me the Macs and all their ecosystem, Anyway the Windows ecosystem is huge compare to apple so better develop for Windows and Linux. There is more business opportunities for those platforms. By the way Microsoft released a JDBC 4 driver for their MS SQL Server so I think even with the history of Microsoft have behind against Java they still give oportunities to Java developers to develop on their OS.
Paul Browne - People and Technology
2007-10-28 13:49:23

the *majority* of Java developers work on Macs


The Majority may want to develop on Macs, but from what I'm seeing less than 10% actually get the chance!

rd
2007-10-28 21:44:16
As Steve said Java is dying. You have a choice of going with Cocoa or .NET. Choose and
stop crying. Steve is not going to help keep Java alive as Sun killed OPENSTEP when it only joined it to steal and put it in Java. Steve has long memory. Java is not going to be in iPhone and You should be happy with what you have.
Jeff
2007-10-29 00:52:22
rd what is it with the .Net on Mac?, Outside of Windows programming .Net is useless. Better be the choice Linux or Windows or Solaris or FreeBSD or anything than Mac OS X for Java and let apple die and their arrogant OS and no more comments from the Steve (Fake Steve hehe) the more arrogant person of all history of human kind.
James Johnson
2007-10-29 05:15:56
At work, we are encouraging developers to switch away from macs. Secrecy about new products is one thing, but being completely non-communicative is a sign of a very broken company that doesn't respect its customers.


We can't afford to deal with a company that acts like that. We have work to do.

pk11
2007-10-29 06:14:37
do not understand what's the big surprise here, check the the history of os x and java here and you will see that the sky is not falling:
http://stuffthathappens.com/blog/2007/10/28/os-x-java-definitive-timeline/
Jeff
2007-10-29 07:19:28
pk11, I read the blog and yes maybe is for sure will be Java 6 on Mac OS X from apple or someone else but the problem is not that, it is the way apple is treating their customers and Java developers with an arrogant behaviour and no comments, not roadmap, NADA. I was thinking for sure Java 6 was on Leopard becuase they pulled off the Java 6 preview but apple did it like back stabbing us. I can't trust my business(Java software development) to a platform that acts like that.
cooper
2007-10-29 07:29:31
The Majority may want to develop on Macs, but from what I'm seeing less than 10% actually get the chance!

Maybe this was unclear, but I go to Java developer events, and it is easily half Mac laptops. I have a Dell desktop on my desk at work, but I personally own and use a MacBook for a lot of day to day work. I think that is more common than not.
cooper
2007-10-29 07:32:05
And please, can we just get past the "Java is dying" crap. Java will be around for decades. Saying Java is dying is like saying C/C++ is dying. Java is now a mature platform, but it still makes up the majority of development that is happening.
Patrick Carroll
2007-10-29 11:22:51
At the recent "No Fluff, Just Stuff" conference in Atlanta, I noticed that pretty much all the presenters had Mac laptops, while most of the attendees were using Dells of one stripe or another. I found myself wondering about that, especially after seeing a couple of the Macs actually crash during presentations.


As for the "Java is dying" remark, I just don't understand that. Java is COBOL of the 21st century.

Ian Skerrett
2007-10-29 12:09:47
The Majority may want to develop on Macs, but from what I'm seeing less than 10% actually get the chance!


I tend to agree with this comment. Most developers would like to use Mac but the majority tend to use Windows. At Eclipse, about 3% of our downloads are for Mac vs 86% on Windows.

Jeff
2007-10-29 17:04:58
Java is more than Cobol of the 21st century. It is not just for a mainframe it is for Desktop, Web, Server/Enterprise, Mobile, Embedded even Games. It is very relevant Java today, In my country the 80% of jobs are Java. Tons of development is happening with Java in many fields. So only a wacky hippie guy as Steve Jobs can say Java is dying(He is pretty good at brainwashing). Java is fine and kicking more than ever.


I think Sun would be better if they can get control of the JDK for the MAC and be done with this. As Sun is controling the Windows and Linux JDK's. I think is the only solution to this mess.

rd
2007-10-29 21:12:27
jeff,
you need to get a grip. You are obviously a Java for Enterprise developer.
As such Apple does not care about you. Apple needed Java when it was in need
and Java was greatest thing since slice bread. It is no longer that. Corporations
are moving to .NET, etc. That is why Sun is now coming out with JavaFX,
what is that poor copy of Flash, etc. Java had phone side of thing all to itself.
no longer. The buzz is gone. Java has zero advantage. No matter
what Sun does to it. Open Source it. Talk about desperation.
You mean they don't have enough developers to copy from Microsoft and Apple.
Grasping at straws is all that you can do.
RD
2007-10-29 21:17:34
oh jeff,
stop bitching at Steve Jobs.
If you even 1% of man and
did anything worth 2 cents.
then you could criticize him.
Try saying that to his face.
Let see how far you get.
You are big man in front of the computer.
Jeff
2007-10-29 21:43:10
RD, About copy's and rippoff's dont get me started with .Net is a cheap ripoff of Java, Microsoft never innovated and apple took advantage of Java in 1997 to get market share. But now Apple thinks they gained enough market share so it is very easy for them to drop Java and let all Java developers on the mac in the dust. That's dirty. Same way as Microsoft do to their customers. I think Apple is more evil than Microsoft.


I don't see anybody on the corporate moving to .Net I see the other way around moving from Perl scripts, .Net winforms apps, Cobol and C++ apps to Java, ask to any fortune 500 you will see.


About Steve Jobs, are you his lover or something?. Also Steve looks right now that is not avaible to answer any questions or meet face to face with him to ask what is going on with his plans for Java on the Mac. One year a nothing plans or info about it and he only is lying us saying Mac is the Java developers machine etc. I don't care his private life I just want to know if there will be Java support in the Future on the Mac. If you see him please tell him go out from the rats cave and speak about this mess he is doing to the Java community.

Jeff
2007-10-29 21:56:31
Maybe RD is right, People forget apple and mac. Go back to Windows, Linux, Solaris or FreeBSD,etc and think mac never exsited it is useless to contiune with this and be second class on the mac. Apple is repiting history doing the same mistakes they did before that is why never apple succeeded in the past and I think it will never do with this arrogant ways and their mac fanboys.
Whatever
2007-10-30 10:29:45
I think Apple is more evil than Microsoft


How can that be when Apple has 3% worldwide marketshare and MS 90%???

Patrick Carroll
2007-10-30 13:17:30
Dear Whatever,


Asked and answered.



Patrick
--

nosd
2007-10-31 01:27:32
Wow. There is seemingly a lot of angst towards Apple from Java developers (pointedly from those that apparently don't already use Apples). Is it due to some sort of perceived elitism from the Apple crowd? I assure those on the receiving end of our 'we love Apple' speeches and 'It just works' nonchalant shrugs - that we want to share the love :)


I switched to Apple when the intel MBP's came out. Slowly but surely I have replaced the open source apps I used like openoffice and Mozilla to the apple equivalents. Am I crazy? I don't think so... the reason is that Apple software is SO FUNCTIONAL!


Basically, as a developer I spend ALL DAY on this damn machine, and I want the best experience I can have. This is the fact which is just missed by the majority of developers ranting about OS X support. I mean, I am *cut* that JSE6 isn't on Leopard (yet?) and really worried about JSE7 (I am desperate for full closures), but the thought of going back to another OS is worse.


So I'll continue waiting patiently and maybe play with the ruby-cocoa bridge (although I'm annoyed ruby has a bridge and the Java one is abandoned)


And also, the Ruby devs are a smaller crowd then Java - and ALL the arguments about Java apply to Ruby - even moreso! Apple obviously cares about leveraging industry hype for their own purposes - thats fine as long as they don't hang us out to dry in the end.


I should clarify also, that I really like open source - I'm a big fan. All our servers are Ubuntu and I'm considering trying OpenSolaris. I use Ubuntu machines on all my PC hardware at home that used to run Windows and Mozilla.org makes awesome mail and web software, and OpenOffice.org is much more pleasant than wrestling with MS Office. It's just that OS X is even better!


I'll go back to Ubuntu as a dev platform if I have to (probably on apple hardware :) but I will quit the industry before I ever develop on windows again! I'm just not interested in suffering the death of a thousand cuts via microsoft again.




nosd
2007-10-31 02:06:17
Oh, and as for the relentless 'Java is Dying' meme spreaders.. i mean seriously! These people just can't work in the industry. For starters, last time I checked, .Net only ran on PC's. So if you think that the server farms of decent sized companies run PC's then you are in for a suprise. Every server farm I've looked at has IBM zSeries and big-assed Sun SPARC servers running Solaris/Oracle setups.


There's alot of Linux around but I haven't seen any enterprise software written in C/C++ since CORBA bit the dust, so those Linux servers are either running infratstructural or web-tier software or an open source Java App Server like JBoss. And I don't think that many financial institutions are planning to rewrite their ERP software in RoR or Python any time soon.


Enterprise developers need to write their software with something right? Why on earth would Apple just ditch us as a market when:


(a) the Unix basis of OS X makes our software pretty easy to integrate to the OS,
(b) we're well paid and generally in positions of relative authority in our organizations. I mean since I switched to Apple all sorts of their products are finding their way into my home and office.
(c) we're likely to play with Obj-C if we use OS X every day - where do they think their platform developers are going to come from? I don't think Obj-C is taught in universities to the same level Java/VB/C# is.
(d) Java is supported by companies that have close relationships with Apple, like Adobe.


I can't see the sense of Apple to ditch us - I think Steves comment about Java were in reference to Java on the desktop, or more likely - JME.


I can't see Java dying in my lifetime, and it wouldn't make sense for Apple to be the only non-Java platform around.


Jeff
2007-10-31 03:54:11
It appears that Apple is working on Java behind the scenes slowly but stedy here is the release note from Apple ADC at : http://developer.apple.com/releasenotes/Java/JavaLeopardRN/index.html
It is about Java 5 stability so after this I think they will move onto Java 6 release.


So maybe with little hope we can see Java 6 on Leopard soon but it needs little time because still Leopard have major isues with other fields so Java is not priority #1 but it is understandable.


I hope they break more the secrecy and tell us what are the plans for Java in the future. If is true that they will release Java 6 on Leopard soon so Java will be on track on Leopard. It is a shame as we discussed it didnt came on Leopard launch time but it better late than never.

Paul Lee
2007-10-31 11:22:31
Personally, I think Java is a threat to Steve Jobs' evil plan to control the universe.


Apple is very well positioned to be the "Microsoft" of mobile devices. The Java platform is it's the only real competition in this space.


In 1980 PCs were cool toys. By 1990 they were essential tools in business and in life. Cell phones, PDAs, and music players are making this same transition from toys to essential tools. If you can control these platforms, you will do very well.


Within ten years, I expect to see Steve Job testifying in federal court saying "monopoly?.. what monopoly"

Old Fart
2007-10-31 11:49:55
To all you young Ruby zealots who think Java is dead,


When I was your age, I was smart enough to realize that COBOL was dead and that Smalltalk was the coolest new language and that you could do in 5 line of Smalltalk what took 200 line of COBOL.


Twenty years later, I see that a keyword search for COBOL on dice.com returns about 1200 jobs. The same search for Smalltalk returns 65 jobs.


Java is the COBOL of your generation and Ruby will probably be your Smalltalk.

Jeff
2007-10-31 18:17:47
Heheh I agree with Old Fart, All the hype fades away as fashion. Java entered to the enterprise before even Ruby started to sing. Now many corporations are standardize with Java. It will be hard enough to Ruby really the IT managers take it seriously. Maybe groovy is a better bet but I doubt that too. Also many systems and embedded, desktop apps as Adobe stuff are still using C/C++. I predict that Java will be here for stay antoher 30 years as C/C++ too.


The scripting languages are for what they ware created for scripts as perl to do quick hacks on a system or glue to a programming language but I will not take Perl or Ruby to develop a serious Enterprise Application.

Jeff
2007-10-31 19:49:15
By the way my Languages toolbox are as this: C++ for low level stuff and graphics, Java for business desktop and enterprise/web apps, Python for quick hack scripts and Linux sysadmin.


Choose the right tool for the job.

Muchacho
2007-11-01 17:39:03
The best and fastest Java VM is from Sun on Windows and Windows have the 95% market share, I go where the business are it, not where is a bunch of elitists zealots as Mac with a global market share of 0.03% or something shit as that.


I didn't think here in onJava are lots of Mac fanboys and zealots. I thought with Java is it more of a neutral platform with true cross plafrom, Java developers should not care to much of the OS. But still around the zealots and I bet they are not even Java developers just a bunch of trolls. I really hate the Mac fanboys.


The only thing that Mac have right is a preaty UI but I will not sell my self just for the eye candy, I need an OS that I can get my job done, Not playing around and jerking off infront of the screen telling how great the UI of OS X.


Dump the Macs and get a proper machine with a proper OS as Linux or Windows as Java developer to get your Job done and stop complaining about a platform that is insignificant and obscure with elitists and zealots.

spotlyArratty
2007-11-02 01:05:34
Internet providers release information about their users at the first official request. Your ISP, your boss, or someone can be monitoring all your internet activities at this very moment.
Some users might want to enjoy more privacy than that.
That is why you should use the internet-anonymity service.

2007-11-02 14:21:21
@Muchacho


Take a look at the bestsellers of O'Reilly and tell me if they feel he same hatred you do towards the "fanboys"...


O'Reilly Bestsellers