Apple and Oracle Launch OpenJDK Project for Mac OS X

Rather than deprecating Java, Apple partners with Oracle on the open-source OpenJDK project to bring Java to the Mac OS X platform.

Apple loves Java after all. Oracle and Apple have announced the OpenJDK project for Mac OS X.

The news comes as welcome relief to developers who were concerned over Apple's recent statement about deprecating Java. Yet, with this new project Apple will contribute most of the key components, tools and technology required for a Java SE 7 implementation on Mac OS X, including a 32-bit and 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack and the foundation for a new graphical client. OpenJDK will make Apple's Java technology available to open source developers so they can access and contribute to the effort.

Apple also said Java SE 6 will continue to be available from Apple for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the upcoming release of Mac OS X Lion. Java SE 7 and future versions of Java for Mac OS X will be available from Oracle.

"We're delighted to be working with Oracle to [ensure] that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, in a statement. "The best way for our users to always have the most up-to-date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle."

First IBM entered the party, joining the OpenJDK effort in October. Now enter Apple. The addition of Apple to the OpenJDK effort is nearly as significant as IBM's move to join the project, and it brings access to the Mac Apps Store with it. However, bringing IBM in as an OpenJDK partner ensured more harmony in the open-source Java world.

"We are excited to welcome Apple as a significant contributor in the growing OpenJDK community," said Hasan Rizvi, Oracle's senior vice president of development, in a statement. "The availability of Java on Mac OS X plays a key role in the cross-platform promise of the Java platform. The Java developer community can rest assured that the leading-edge Java environment will continue to be available on Mac OS X in the future. Combined with last month's announcement of IBM joining the OpenJDK, the project now has the backing of three of the biggest names in software."