Sunday Feb 24, 2013

Java in Steam Store

If you are even remotely into PC gaming, you must be familiar with Steam. And if you are familiar with Steam, you are most likely aware that they recently announced the GA version of Steam for Linux. I for one hope that this might finally signal an advent in Linux as an accepted and broadly used platform for PC gaming. One nice side-effect is that Java might get more adoption in this space, such as for casual games (Angry Birds is a good example) and for any game which doesn't require absolute 100% control over the hardware to be performant (Minecraft falls in this group). The benefit of Java is clear; porting cost between different platforms goes down. It may not be write-once-run-anywhere depending on how you use native libraries but certainly easier than porting a native game.

With this in mind, I was very happy to see this blog about Java on Steam from Puppy Games. They have built a wrapper library around the Steam APIs and use LWJGL as a graphics library. Other options would of course be JOGL or - as it matures - JavaFX, which will very soon be fully open sourced through the OpenJFX project. A great simple example of a JavaFX game is this version of Pong which is written in less than 100 lines of code.

Kudos to Puppy Games for their initiative, and to Steam for going Linux!

Thursday Apr 26, 2012

Oracle JDK and JavaFX SDK now GA on Mac OS X

Oracle JDK 7 and the JavaFX 2.1 SDK are now available for Mac OS X. This release is a major milestone in our effort to bring Oracle Java to Mac. From this point on, every release of Oracle JDK 7 and JavaFX 2.1 (and later) will be available on Mac at the same time as for Linux, Windows and Solaris.

Where do I download the JDK and JavaFX for OS X?
From java.oracle.com. The JDK download also contains the Java FX SDK.

Exactly what does this release contain?
A fully compatible implementation of Java SE 7, as well as most JDK development tools and the full JavaFX 2.1 SDK. Some of the serviceability and debugging tools and deployment technologies such as the Java Plugin and Web Start are not yet available, and will be added in subsequent releases. See the JDK release notes and the JavaFX release notes for details.

Does Oracle support NetBeans for use with JDK 7 on Mac?
Yes! NetBeans 7.1.2 was released simultaneously with JDK 7 Update 4, with full support for Oracle JDK on Mac. See the announcement here, and download it here.

Are there any known issues with this release?
Mac OS X is major new platform for us; the first new platform added in a very long time. It should be considered a "1.0" release and there are a number of known issues. Consult the release notes (JDK, JavaFX) for details.

What do I do if I believe I have found a new issue?
Consult the release notes first to ensure that it is not a known issue. You can ask for help to verify and troubleshoot on the appropriate mailing list or web forum, and then file a report in our bug system.

Is the source code to the OS X port available?
Yes! All code for the JDK can be found in the OpenJDK community in the JDK 7 Updates project. JavaFX is partially open sourced in the OpenJFX project; Oracle is working towards open sourcing the remaining parts.

What Apple hardware and what versions of OS X are supported?
Oracle's JDK and JavaFX release supports OS X Lion on any 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac. Specifically, our implementation is 64-bit only so it requires a 64-bit operating system.

Can I use the Oracle JDK on older OS X versions?
Probably not. The underlying issue here is that the Oracle JDK requires certain APIs that Apple introduced in Lion. The functionality introduced in these new APIs did to some extent exist in older OS X versions but were not official APIs.

What if I want a 32-bit JVM, or support for older PPC-based Macs?
There are community efforts based on OpenJDK to build JDK 7 for other configurations, easily found using your favorite search engine. We applaud these efforts! :-)

Can I get commercial support for the Oracle JDK and JavaFX on Mac OS X?
These are considered standard Oracle releases and are therefore covered under the Java SE Support program. Note that support on Mac is for development only; e.g. we don't expect your Mac to be running a business critical server-side application...

What can you say about the roadmap?
Future release of the Oracle JDK and JavaFX on Mac will follow the normal JDK release train with 4-6 releases every year. The next major milestone is JDK 7 Update 6 where we plan to add support for Plugin and Web Start. Early access builds are available here. JDK 8 will of course also support Mac OS X.

About

Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.

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