Solaris and OS X (continued)

There were a whole pile of questions about my previous blog entry, here are a few quick answers:
  • Yes, it was a typo. I meant Lightning, the calendar plugin for Thunderbird.
  • The physical laptop I'm using is a middle-of-the road Sony VAIO. (Nice, except for the way that the long-life battery hangs out the butt end).
  • Apple's JDK support is a part of my problem, and yes, I have their JDK6 from the ADC. I've met the folks on the JDK team and they're trying real hard. It's hard to tell what the fundamental issue is, but it keeps feeling like the big problem is that developers aren't the "Target Demographic" :-) iPods are nice, but they're not the defining center of my life (What's playing on my iPod now: Springsteen's Magic. "Last to Die" and "Long Walk Home" are particularly great). I'm not a college student chatting away (although I have a daughter who is a college student, but she doesn't chat (at least, not with family)).
  • Lots of folks ask "why doesn't sun just do the JDK for Mac?". The real answer is "because Apple wanted to do it". They've wanted to do all sorts of customization and integration that only they could do - because they own the OS.
  • But it's not just the JDK. The Solaris folks have really made huge strides. The two big things in my everyday life are ZFS and Zones: I just can't live without them.
  • One of the areas that has really progressed in Solaris is device drivers. It's a much less ragged landscape than it used to be.
Comments:

Yes but...the one that makes me \*still\* keep a virtual windows around is JavaME development.

I sure hope we see an ME dev kit for Solaris and/or OS X sometime soon. And, yes, I do know there's a way to get MIDP working on OS X but....

Posted by Oscar on October 16, 2007 at 08:26 AM PDT #

Firefox produced by Mozilla for Mac works fine. Well, I would like to see full screen mode and a few other things. But it comes out on time and gets the job done quite well enough. Flash produced by Adobe for Mac works great, too. Maybe it's time to reconsider the equation.

Posted by Tom on October 17, 2007 at 01:22 AM PDT #

tom: programs are not a platform, right? os x has many specific things and technologies, and apple is maybe not so opened to guys from sun who would need to see "what the heck is under the hood";)

Posted by goddard on October 17, 2007 at 03:53 AM PDT #

I think that Firefox and Flash are platforms and that they compete directly with Java in the cross-OS, client-side platform arena. Also, Sun can produce Java for MS Windows (a "closed" system), and word is that Update N might actually do a good job of it. I think it's more a matter of priorities. What does each organization see as being in their best interest for cost vs. benefits?

Posted by Tom on October 17, 2007 at 04:40 AM PDT #

There is one question outstanding: what about Solaris on your Macbook, without OS X?

That is, conceptually, boot camp, but with OS X stripped off to save space?

Too much hacking? The Macbook hardware without OS X is not that much different than a VAIO?

Posted by Glenn on October 17, 2007 at 08:35 AM PDT #

Yes, but, you can have both:
OS X + Vmware Fusion + Solaris

but the Vmware Tools take a couple months to catch up to new Solaris Express builds.

Apple could have "owned" Java on a laptop. They need a few more people in the Java area.

Posted by MikeSeven on October 17, 2007 at 10:47 AM PDT #

"Lots of folks ask "why doesn't sun just do the JDK for Mac?". The real answer is "because Apple wanted to do it". They've wanted to do all sorts of customization and integration that only they could do - because they own the OS."

I think it was difficult to imagine a couple of years ago that mac developers would choose objective-c over java when presented with a choice but that is what happened mac developers prefer objective-c.

Posted by grrrr on October 20, 2007 at 05:52 AM PDT #

Tom: You can write a native OS X application in Java that uses full-on Java components. You can even write a Cocoa application half in Java and half in Objective-C and have it all fit together. Sun could do an Apple JDK, but it wouldn't have that level of integration just as Flash and Firefox don't.

Posted by Trevor Stone on October 22, 2007 at 10:20 AM PDT #

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