Mac, Java and how to shoot at your own feet while running…

Here a short update on the Java-Mac deprecation topic. There are a few interesting links on the web, you can checkout some of them at dzone.com.

Best read I found on the topic explains why “Desktop Java is a ruinously expensive legacy“, thanks to Stefan Tilkov for the link. There are some really interesting thoughts here, I just still don’t know how to fit in the following in the overall picture.

First, let me agree on Java and Desktop. While I really believe that Eclipse RCP is a great platform, I also know that 99% of the tools I use are native, in my case Mac OSX native applications.

Apple switched WebObjects from Objective-C to Java on 2001. So far so good, it was clearly the time where the Macs should become the best platform for running Java anyway.

“WebObjects applications are 100% Pure Java, which means they can be deployed on any platform with a certified Java 2 virtual machine.” (wikipedia)

The last update on WebObjects was version 5.4.3 made in september 2008, this really a long time ago for a web-framework.

Now we live in the pre-html5 era, where server-side web-frameworks lost momentum, where all we do (from server side point of view) is deliver JSON HTTP snippets to those ajaxified web-frontends. Looks bad for a “we failed in the desktop but are great on the server” technology like Java. But… do we have any alternatives for the server-side stuff? Are we going back to CORBA frameworks?

And, most interesting from my point of view is, how will Apple solve its self made “lack of  Java” problem? After all, Apple is still using it:

With many early adopters having since switched to alternative technologies, Apple is now the biggest client for WebObjects, relying on it to power its online Apple Store, MobileMe online services, and the iTunes Store — WebObjects’ highest-profile implementation to date. (wikipedia)

And , as far as I know (and I am not sure), they are running it on JBoss instances. I tried to verify that but did not find any insight. Does anyone know more than I do on this matter?

Are we going to see a new Objective-C based Java EE alternative?

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