Java, Apple Doesn't Love You Anymore - She Probably Never Did

I have said before that, but for Adobe, I would abandon MS Windows. And, even for my own direct needs, I would probably already have plunged off the cliff towards Linux nirvana. The anchor that keeps me firmly tethered in the grasp of Redmond is the need to support designers. If the Creative Suite would play nicely on Ubuntu, I would pretty much force about a half dozen or so artists to take the plunge. But, back to reality. The only option away from Microsoft is Apple.

Apple has always been a non-starter for me. Perhaps unduly biased by a father who insisted on building his own computers - literally transistor by transistor in 70's and 80's - the early Apple offerings were considered "toys". That probably wasn't fair, but what might have been a hard-to-justify historical bias has instead become healthy fear of a company that would control its customers instead of serve them (this is done by offering a diminishing pool of seductive choices until one has so much invested into a brand that self-deception is easier than objective decision making - thinking may hurt more, but it's a good pain). Anyway, I don't have a good opinion of Steve Jobs the businessman or Apple the company (Steve Jobs may be a great guy in other arenas). Short story long, jumping to Apple is not likely happen of my own volition.

That said, it'll probably be a moot point soon. As Apple threatens to kill java as a viable application platform on the Mac, one suspects that this will ultimately mean the end of Mac versions of Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst and ColdFusion Builder. The problem is not that Apple will stop supporting Java, but that too much of the Apple platform is hidden from developers:

"The point became somewhat moot because Apple ended up using a lot of Sun hardware (yes!). But the biggest obstacle was their use of secret APIs. Yes, OS X has piles of secret APIs. Just like the ones that Microsoft had that contributed to their antitrust problems. The big area (that I'm aware of) where these are used is in graphics rendering." - Java founder James Gosling as reported in The Register, Gosling blows lid off Jobs Java nonsense.

This is the same reason, I would presume, that Adobe has not been able to bring the richest Flash experience to MacOS. It's not a lack of competence, but a surplus of secracy from Apple. As they overtake Microsoft in revenue, do they also ascend to be the Big Evil Company that Microsoft has been generally thought to be?

Anyway, if you are a Flash, Catalyst, ColdFusion or even Android developer on Mac, your days are numbered and you should make serious plans to find a new platform. Jobs doesn't want you and unrequited love is so pointless.

(Maybe now Adobe will consider investing in its own platform. A Linux distro it could call the Adobe Real Time Operating System = ArtOS. I'd use it.)

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Aaron Greenlee's Gravatar Well said.
# Posted By Aaron Greenlee | 10/26/10 3:33 AM
Derek Winstead's Gravatar Very interesting read. We will see what happens with Apple. What made MS so successful with their OS's was that they made it so anyone could make something work with their OS. Although the thing that shot them to the top was also their downfall and why things seem to break for the PC juggernaut. It's a win here, lose there situation. With all the newfound "open" love that is getting into the spot light recently this might be a hurting situation in the long run.
# Posted By Derek Winstead | 10/28/10 1:44 PM
jason olmsted's Gravatar Not so sure if I agree to the downside. Apple is going to survive and likely thrive even if I don't like their decisions. What might happen now is that the specific class of users, limited though they may be when compared to the overall population, needed to really push the open platforms like Linux will not have the convenient unix-ish platform that the freebsd-based macos offers. and having more and more developers playing in the space will likely see solutions to the lack of polish that affects linux (I know that linux is getting better all the time, and I miss fvwm, on aix and solaris, from my university days).

Of course, as good as the current linux distros are, there is always room for more. I really think that adobe offers a sufficient breadth of desktop apps, as well as a growing number of cloud services for them to justify at least looking at their own debian version. And with virtualization growing, it might make for an interesting software model of running applications as a guestOS. Wishful think at most.
# Posted By jason olmsted | 10/28/10 6:08 PM
coursework writing's Gravatar Apple has always been a non-starter for me. That's why I prefer other companies!
# Posted By coursework writing | 3/9/12 10:19 AM
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