Monday Aug 18, 2008

JDK 6 and JavaFX on 32-bit Macs

Dearest Apple. Words cannot express my feelings towards you. Therefor allow me to use punctuation and special characters: @#$%\^&\*!!? :-p Yours Truly.

\*SIGH\* If you have one of the 2006 Intel Macs with 32-bit processors, you guessed what I'm talking about: In spring '08, Apple finally released the Apple JDK 6 (or as they call it, "Java for Mac OS 10.5"), but for 64-bit processors only. And there is no sign this will change soon: On Mac hardware, Mac OS X 10.5.2 and an Intel Core 2 processor are the minimum requirements for the JDK 6 -- and also for JavaFX.

Apart from switching to Windows or Linux, or buying new hardware, the only alternative for developers who don't meet those requirements is the Soy Latte JDK 6. Using this JDK solves a few problems but also raises some others. You have to decide whether the pros out-weigh the cons in your work situation:

Pro

  • You can use the JavaFX SDK on top of the SoyLatte JDK
  • IDEs like NetBeans work with SoyLatte (you're not stuck on the command line)
  • No need to buy new hardware for JDK 6 / JavaFX development

Con

  • Must use X11 whose user-interface needs getting used too (shortcuts, menus).
  • Installation is less straight-forward than installing the Apple JDK
  • No support for Java Web Start (javaws) yet

I tried it out at home over the weekend, and kept notes, so if you too want to set up the SoyLatte JDK and JavaFX on a 32-bit Mac, have a look at this tech tip and leave a comment what you think.

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NetBeans IDE, Java SE and ME, 3D Games, Linux, Mac, Cocoa, Prague, Linguistics.

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