Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple and Java Devs - enough is enough !

There was a line in the iRobot movie with Will Smith where he says "Somehow 'I told you so' just doesn't cut it..." after the chick in the movie finally saw how her robots actually malfunctioned and tried taking over the world (which Will Smith had been telling her all along).

Anyway, Apple has been on this trajectory for the longest time. Even since MANY years ago Jobs had promised that he would make the mac the best platform for Java developers, a whole bunch of java devs have been lugging macs to conferences trying to look cool and consoling themselves with the thought that "it's actually Unix underneath, and it's pretty, so it's perfect". All that despite that Apple has been dissing them for the longest time - I remember how at first it felt weird when Apple deprecated some quicktime java bindings, then came more and more rare java releases, then it took forever for Java 6 to come out, then the same paranioia moved into iphone, ipad, flash... the list goes on and on..

I do have an appreciation for the fervor with which Mac fans defend their platform of choice. I'm the same with Linux . Sometimes I would jump through some hoops that I probably would not have to go through if I was working in Windows. However, if tomorrow Linus Torvalds ( or some other cult figure in the community who could make that decision) came out and said that Linux is not going to run Java anymore (for some real or imaginary philosophical reason), despite my love for so many of the characteristics and ideas behind Linux, and despite my strong dislike for Windows and Microsoft, I would just switch to Windows. Seriously, I earn my livelihood with and because of Java, and if my OS vendor told me that my OS is not going to support me in earning my living - guess what - I will be switching my OS vendor.

Sure, there will probably be ways to continue to somehow run Java on Macs in the foreseeable future . Sooner or later Oracle probably come up with some Java version that somehow runs on a mac. You could probably run some unofficial build (e.g. from OpenJDK) that kinda works, or maybe you could run a Windows or Linux VirtualBox image and run the Java inside of that. But come on - as a Java developer , how many times does one need to be told that he/she is not wanted and shown the door ?

So, here comes my call for action (of course as a Linux fanboy_:-) ) . I hear that these days Macs run on Intel hardware anyway - whip out that copy of Ubuntu that you always said you'd try and take it out for a spin. Or try Fedora - it's quite decent. Worst case scenario - I've seen my better half use Windows 7 and it seems to be OK ( she doesn't curse it as much as XP ) - it does run Java, and if you've ever dealt with technologies you're already used to some level of hassle.