Job’s Java-less future for Mac OS X is confusing for Java developers

One of Job’s announcements mixed in the week’s news about Mac OX Lion and the new MacBook Airs etc was that the Java JVM for Mac OS X was being ‘deprecated’ and would not be further developed beyond the current release.

Although Java on the desktop has never really taken a foothold, Java for serverside enterprise development is as active and widespread as it ever has been in it’s 14 years of existence. The decision to end development of Java for the Mac is got to be puzzling for many Java developers, especially since a large number of Java developers chose to use the Mac as their development platofrm of choice. Don’t believe this? Stop by the next Java conference and see many people sitting around between sessions and see what laptops people are using – Mac, Mac, Mac… I’ve never attended a Mac conference, but I can safely say I’ve never seen as many Mac laptops in one place as I have at a JavaOne conference.

So for myself as a Java developer and no doubt for other Java developers who use a Mac, there’s some head scratching going on right now. It’s not the end of the world though since there’s bound to be an alternative JVM that will come from elsewhere, but it’s still a bit confusing to say the least.

I have to say that I love my Mac. I was a recent switcher to the Mac and I’ll never go back to another Windows based PC. As a Java developer though, I have no interest in owning an iPhone since there is no Java support on the iPhone. Why would I own/use a device that does not support the technology that I have spent the last 13 years of my career working with when there are other devices that do suport Java? It’s a no brainer choice for me to use Android phones, and yes I have developed apps and have them available in the Android Market.

So Jobs announcement that there won’t be any Apple developed future releases of Java for the Mac, plus the news that an App store is coming for the Mac is sounding a bit too ‘closed’ for my liking. I know Jobs and guys at Google have been swapping quotes on open vs closed over the past few weeks, but I honestly don’t want to use a platform that is as restrictive as the iPhone. If Mac OS X continues to become more iOS like, and have apps controlled and supplied via an iPhone-like App Store, I’m not too sure I want to stay around on the Mac platform. Depending where this goes I might just find that my next notebook or desktop will be a generic PC running Linux.

Sorry Mr Jobs, but I don’t like what I’m seeing right now, and I’m already walking towards the door to make an exit from the Mac, as I’m sure others in my same situation are too…

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