It's the End of the Line for Java on the Mac

While Java remains an important tool for the Enterprise, its fate on the personal computer for home users is all but sealed.


There was a time, when Macs were competing tooth and nail against PCs when software developers, enammored by the Mac but aware of the business prospects in the PC world, wanted an elegant, cross-platform system so that their apps would run anywhere -- Linux too. That saves a lot of time and makes more money.

In the early days of OS X, Objective-C hadn't really taken off. Young people were being advised, in college, to learn a serious language, Java, not an obscure language like Objective-C -- for which almost no programming books were available. (I wrote some of those articles.)

Then an interesting thing happened. Objective-C turned out to be just the right language for mobile devices and struck it rich in iOS. Now, there are 700,000+ apps available for iOS, and it won't be long before there's a million. Meanwhile, the PC is fading fast. There's no compelling need anymore for a cross-platform development system.

Perhaps because of that drift, not enough attention was paid to Java security. Java has been so wildy popular in business, in a much more controlled environment, that no one paid much attention to Java on the desktop and browser plug-ins. But Apple did, and stopped installing it starting with Lion.

Java is dead for the average home and small business user, even as it soars in the enterprise on Linux. It's high time Apple supplied an uninstaller package that can fully eradicate Java from every Mac. Only users who really know they need it and why should have it running on their Macs. If you don't believe that, check the latest horror stories below.

Tech News Debris

After you toss around a technical acronym long enough, familiarity may lead you into thinking that you understand that technology. Worse, things can get really complicated in some fields. That's why I really like this article. It delves in the alphabet soup of wireless technologies and makes it all a lot more clear. I highly recommend: "GSM, CDMA and LTE: A Guide to Mobile Network Standards."

Java has been a bit of a pain lately. If you want to know more, I recommend: "Researchers link latest Java zero-day exploit to Bit9 hack," and "Thanks, Oracle: New Java malware protection undone by old-school attack." With luck, I've tried to clear up some of the details related in a how-to: "Uninstall or Disable Java on a Mac."

You'd think that any product with "HDMI" in its title would be rated for 1080p, right? This title tells it all. "Apple’s Lightning-to-HDMI adapter can’t mirror the iPad mini’s display at 1080p."

I don't know why some people have so much trouble with the idea that one should be careful about splashing a lot of personal information around. We know that it will be used in remarkable. imaginative and alarming new ways. (See last week's Particle Debris.) Perhaps it's a failure of imagination. And in that light, here's some interesting reading about the National Security Letters: "Google begins offering vague estimates on secret FBI surveillance."

And while I'm on the subject of Facebook, I'm pleased to point out that even the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called this method "How To Opt Out of Receiving Facebook Ads Based on Your Real-Life Shopping Activity" Kafkaesque in its tweet.

I love this story. It's another in a series of articles I've seen throughout the years that spells out the failure of the Linux community to come together to create a great user experience. This one is a good read also. "How I ended up with Mac."

Here's another fabulous read. It's a Letter from Steve Wozniak to a high school student in Korea. It has some amazingly good advice from Mr. Wozniak: "First, I came to the conclusion that I would rather be an average person joking all the time than a powerful businessman stressing over work every day. . Plus, "I also decided that I did not have to convince others of my views for those views to be good. They only needed to be good to me. I didn’t have to argue and win points. Arguments rarely have ‘winners’ anyway." . The letter is full of terrific advice to any young person just starting out on a career. A must read.

For various reasons, many users are still using OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard -- even though the percentage is fading. So when one does make the jump to Mountain Lion, it's nice to have a handy introduction to the ins and outs. Chris Breen has written just such an article: "When you finally move to Mountain Lion."

A lot has been written about devices for content consumption (tablets, smartphones) versus devices for content creation (Macs). Here's an author who's tried to apply some concrete metrics to the question. "Beyond Consumption vs Creation." His graph of task complexity versus task duration is helpful.

Finally, I couldn't have said this better. "The Case for a True Mac Pro Successor." (Only if you like fast cars and fast Macs.)


Digital clock via Shutterstock.