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12 November 2010, 17:28

Oracle and Apple to join forces in OpenJDK project for Mac OS X

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Java Logo Apple plans to contribute to the OpenJDK project and has joined forces with Oracle to create an open source Java implementation for Mac OS X. After IBM in October, Apple is the second Java protagonist to join Oracle's efforts to promote the OpenJDK. The decision also indicates a shift in Apple's Java strategy, as it means that the vendor has – with or without intention – complied with a petition by Java enthusiasts to hand over its Java components to the OpenJDK project.

In October, Apple had announced a "quiet farewell" to Java, marking its version of the Java development and runtime environment for Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.5 as "deprecated". Apple no longer wanted to maintain the implementations and had considered dropping them altogether from future versions of the operating system.

According to a joint announcement by the two companies, Apple will "contribute" most of the key components, tools and technologies required for such a free Java implementation to the OpenJDK project. The announcement mentions a 32-bit and 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack and the foundation for a new graphical client. Apple's Java technologies are planned to become open source components as part of the OpenJDK project.

In addition, Apple also plans to make available the current stable version of the Java Standard Edition (Java SE 6) for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and for the forthcoming Mac OS X Lion. Future versions of Java for Apple's operating system are to be released by Oracle. Explaining the reason for handing over its Java components to Oracle, Apple said that the best way for its users to always have the most up-to-date and secure version of Java would be to get it directly from Oracle.

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