Before you read, just keep in mind that I am a Java developer by trade. I may be a bit biased, but I try to be somewhat objective.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Java will be absent from future versions of OS X. It’s not surprise, and we’ve known about it for months. Apple is handing the reigns over to Oracle so that the actual “java people” can do the Java development.
Really, this is a long time coming and it’s absolutely the best move. The big down side is that it just won’t be there by default (like it has been since the beginning of OS X). Mac OS X was supposed to be the operating system of choice for Java developers, but I digress.
With all that said, Java is not a totally lost cause on OS X Lion. While it will not be installed by default, you will be prompted to download the 1.6.0 release from Apple when trying to launch any Java applications. At present it will install 1.6.0_24, which is the latest release from Oracle. It seems that applet support is missing though (I would love to be proved wrong). You may recoil in horror at the thought of applets, but you’d probably be surprised how ofter you encounter them (for legitimate purposes) and never know it.
I’m beyond overjoyed that the OpenJDK project is taking over development on the OS X port, but I am a bit dismayed at the current attitude toward Java in the Apple community. After all, they have quite a bit of experience with resurrecting obsolete/near-dead programming languages … I’m looking at you Objective-C :)
But hey, maybe I really shouldn’t care. Nobody uses OS X in the server world; Apple killed Xserver and OS X server may be on the same path. It’s also not going to be too long before the only people with a need for an OS X computer are iOS application developers.
And as always, I take great comfort in knowing the “cloud” (that makes everyone’s iDevice usable) lives and breathes on linux and java :)