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Apple @ JavaOne Blog

Posted by kfarnham Jun 29, 2004

Apple's JavaOne session this morning, Tech Manager Francois Jouaux and several other Apple representatives laid out the case for Java on the Mac, and why Java developers should develop on and for the Mac.

Saying that basic support of J2SE wasn't good enough, Jouaux went into Mac technologies that help Java applications work better. These include the Quartz Extreme graphics technology, which provides a speed boost to Java applications on Java 1.3.1 on Mac OS X 10.3, and for both Java 1.4 and 1.5 on the upcoming "Tiger" release of Mac OS X. He also pointed out how the 64-bit G5 processor improves performance for longs anddoubles, since a G5 register can store a 64-bit value with a single machine-code instruction. He also pointed out the enterprise support of the XServe, which bundles JBoss, tomcat, WebObjects, and Apache Axis web services.

Today's announcements included improved support for Java in XCode, which now provides:

  • ability to merge or copy jars
  • ant and JUnit integration
  • Java class modeling
  • Java CodeSense
  • improved deployment options
  • J2EE XDoclet tasks from XCode

Matt Drance demo'ed the new XCode features, showing a Java 2D demo deliberately hobbled by unnecessary object creation in its animation loop. Using Apple's Shark tool, called with a simple -XrunShark command-line argument from XCode, he showed how to time-sample a running application, narrow down the slow parts, and bring them up in the XCode editor. This feature boost for XCode is available for Panther, the current Mac OS X release, and is available from the Apple Developer Connectionsite.

Next up, Stuart Cheshire spoke about the Rendezvous self-networking technology, which allows TCP/IP devices to assign their own addresses (if necessary, for example in a household network without DHCP), assign their own names, and use multicast discovery to browse the network for Rendezvous services. A huge hit in the printer world, Cheshire explained how an Apple VP was able to print transparencies to a network printer at a recent conference, completely without configuration and before the conference's surly tech guy could even finish his "we don't work with Apple's, they're so hard to work with" speech.

Of greater relevance to JavaOne attendees, Cheshire and fellow presenter Roger Pantos announced a Java library to use Rendezvous. Of particular interest was Apple's decision to re-make the API to make it more palatable to Java developers, by employing Factory and Listener metaphors and fashioning objects from the straight-C API (Apple's done this before, of course, in the form of QuickTime for Java). The Java bindings are currently available as part of theRendezvous project in the Darwin open-source cvs repository. Cheshire and Pantos showed off the technology with a peer-to-peer chat application, written in Swing and Rendezvous and running on Windows and Mac laptops.

In a final bit of news, it was announced that the Java labs across the street at WWDC have filled up, so new sessions have been set up for Thursday. Registration for these sessions is at

After a fair amount of hue and cry when the first previews of the all-Java Java Studio Creatorum, hello, run anywhere— Sun has announced that an early-access Mac version is now available. Better yet, MacCentral reports that buying a 15" or 17" Powerbook now gets you a Sun Developer Network Standard subscription, a $99 value which includes the Studio.

Maybe next time we'll get run anywhere without needing a public outcry, but for now, this is good news.

With the major Mac and Java conferences, WWDC and JavaOne, sharing San Francisco's Moscone Center for a week it's either a great time or an awful time to be a Mac Java developer: great because you only have to make one trip, awful because you can enjoy only part of each conference.

But wait, who are these Mac Java developers? They've been seen in the wild for a few years now, with PowerBooks and iBooks appearing in large numbers at Java conferences. Is it just the pretty laptops and the oh-so-lickable user interface? I don't think so... the motivation is deeper than that. Maybe it's the whole "I can run Office and bash" value equation of OSX. But really, who's that passionate about Office, fercryinoutloud?

No, speaking from experience in the dark pre-OSX days (more on that in a future blog), the Mac Java developers have always been there, supporting the idea of a cross-platform future in the most direct and fruitful way possible: by developing Java code for and on an alternate platform.

That dichotomy is something I've long talked about with respect to Mac Java - that there is one set of issues faced by Java developers working on Macs with an eye to deploying on other platforms, and another set of issues encountered when you're bringing a Java application to the Mac. And on top of that, there are now new kinds of possibilities, like Cocoa Java, which is the use of Java instead of the typical Objective-C for developing rich OS X applications.

There's probably a lot more going on in the intersection of the Mac and Java worlds than we've fully accounted for, which is one reason starting a community makes sense. By giving developers a place to meet, share projects, collaborate and communicate, we hope to help foster more and better applications for both.

Our front page will have updated news, features, project-spotlights, etc., of interest to the Mac Java developer. We also have a wiki, Mac Java webloggers and handy front-page links to essential FAQs and API's. But most importantly, the community projects, which include deployment technologies, Mac-specific toolkits and adapters, ports and other support for Java apps that need help running on the Mac. And more... whatever you like. If you have an idea for a project, click that request a project link to get started.

We hope you enjoy the new site. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them as talkbacks, or send mail to the community contacts.

Special Note: Please join us at WWDC, Wednesday June 30, from 7:30 to 9:00, for the Mac Community Birds of a Feather (BoF) discussion. Here, you'll have a chance to meet the community organizers and see what the Mac Java community has to offer. Even if you're only attending JavaOne and not WWDC, we're told you'll be admitted to the Apple side of Moscone for this BoF.

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