Will Jbid still work?

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Avatar hawkeye 25 post(s)

Apple’s developer documentation for its Java updates for Mac OS X released yesterday reveals that the company appears to be ceasing future distribution of its custom-ported Java packages. Java Deprecation

As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated.

This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.

It is not entirely clear what the move means for the future of Java on Mac OS X, as Apple has long been criticized for moving slowly on releasing updates to Java and it is possible that Oracle could roll out its own Java packages (as it does for Windows and Linux) on a more timely basis.

On a possibly-related note, Apple has noted in the guidelines for its forthcoming Mac App Store that applications using Java and other deprecated or optionally-installed technologies will not be accepted. Developers are of course free to distribute such applications through other means, but the move appears to be another sign of Apple opting to de-emphasize certain third-party technologies in its products.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

It is my presumption, currently, that someone else will pick up the ‘torch’ for Java updates for Mac OS X. I’m not sure who; it may be an Oracle thing, it may be some one of the open JDK implementations, but I believe it will be available.

That said, it means that the next Mac OS X version (10.7) will likely not ship with a Java Runtime pre-installed. While I adore my Mac users, and have been very lucky to get UI advice from many smart folks there, I don’t believe the majority of them will download an optional Java Runtime component. Either because of not being comfortable doing so, or because of uncertainty about how to do so, it doesn’t matter; this means that Java is not a first-class development platform on Mac OS X anymore. (It’s not on Windows or Linux either, but both platform’s users are more comfortable/used-to downloading frameworks like Java to be able to run apps.)

I haven’t entirely figured out what this means for the Mac OS X development yet.

There’s a big piece of me that feels the code base as it is should be retired, and a new version written in a language more suited for parsing HTML pages and such. Unfortunately, my userbase (by downloads) breaks down as 12% Linux, 55% Windows, and 33% Mac. I could definitely reimplement it in (say) MacRuby and publish a Mac-specific version that way, but neither Linux nor Windows have an equivalent Ruby-based UI framework, to be able to share the core parsing/etc., code.

I’d hate to fork the code, so the Mac and Linux/Win versions ran on different codebases; that’d get frustrating pretty quickly. One piece of me is considering using JRuby, so folks who have a JRE can run it identically, and just share the non-UI code among all the platforms. It’s still a huge undertaking, imo.

Right now, I just don’t know what this means long term. In the short term, nothing changes. It’s all about what happens when OS X 10.7 comes out…

I’ll figure it out when my kidlet is sleeping through the night, and thus I’m getting more sleep. Sleep deprivation is not a good time to make decisions… :)

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

Avatar tidris 49 post(s)

I think Ruby would be a great choice for some future version of JBW. I started using Ruby a couple years ago and it’s currently the only computer language I use on a regular basis. As for the UI, maybe JBW could become a local server accessible only through a web browser interface.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

Yeah; I love Ruby, and MacRuby is definitely the way to go on OS X. Unfortunately there’s no good UI framework for Ruby on Linux and Windows, so I’d have to go the JRuby+Swing route on those platforms.

My day job has really good, solid, well-thought out reasons for not using Ruby, but I’d really like to move to using Ruby for JBidwatcher. I tried mixing Java and Ruby once before, but the download bulked up too much, and it was at the same time as the bulking up from the database, and folks revolted. I backed out the JRuby requirement (it’s still optional, and functions very nicely if it’s available), but I may have to revisit that decision if I go to a Ruby core, with JRuby/MacRuby front-ends.

I really like Ruby; congrats on getting it to be the only language you’re using on a regular basis! Even when I was doing primarily Ruby (Rails) work, I always had to do some Java integration here or there with legacy systems… Would have been nice to go pure Ruby.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!