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Sara Jessica Parker Should Upgrade To Leopard

"The real bummer is that Java 6 is not there"

Remember Sex and the City? Sara Jessica Parker lays on the bed with her Apple laptop typing a column for the next issue of the magazine.  This is when I started looking at Apple computers. Actually, let me put it this way, I started looking for a reason to purchase one for myself. I’ve got the money, but I needed a reason.  The fact that Mac OS is very similar to Unix does not give me goose bumps. The fish-eye menus can be easily emulated on any Windows PC.  Parallels is a hassle.

I was always afraid of the fact that purchasing MacBook Pro would start eating my time, which I do not have. I do not enjoy spending days installing software. The laptop should not be in my way – it has to be convenient, an “invisible”. Need to install new software? OK, I’ve got a minute or two for this, but other than that…just let me do my work.  

But still, there is something called peer pressure.  I often attend various conferences where these cool-looking presenters use Apple computers.  Yes, it’s so cool…Entire world is still in Windows, but they are ahead of this boring crowd with these slick white devices...

Now, the Leopard is out, and many geeks and hackers around the world are screaming that it’s cool.  But if you spend a bit more time in the blogosphere, you’ll read about the pain people have to go through to upgrade to Leopard. But the real bummer is that Java 6 is not there.  Who should we blame for it? Steve Jobs who openly states that nobody uses Java anymore?  There are about 5 million professional Java developers around the world. Can you give them a good reason to buy MacBook Pro? I can’t.

What about the open-sourced Java? Theoretically, this should mean that the geeky Mac population will fix this issue pretty soon, but do not hold your breath. This will be a real litmus test for the Java community to show if open sourcing Java really matters.

So as of today, I’m not going to purchase the MacBook Pro just yet. It’s getting late…let me call Sara and find out if she is flirting with Leopard yet.

Disclaimer. This article was originally published more than a year ago. Things have changed since then and I'm considering purchasing MacBook Pro in 2009.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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Most Recent Comments
Jaime 01/27/08 05:47:44 AM EST

DO NOT BUY IT. If you wan to check your email, chat, skype word, excel, powerpoint etc buy a palm foleo or similar (asus) and save money.

The Jva6 is not there and if you update your current os form tiger to leopard you will not be able to run some java applications. I bought a mac book pro instead of a machine with windows vista. Now I believe that I made a mistake because I can't use it for my main purpose, to write java applications. I am now force to remove leopard and install ubuntu or debian. It's sad that java developers can't use anymore mac machines(with leopard). Leopard is a great product but lately it is also becoming a black box (like many apple products like iphone etc). I was a big fan of apple not anymore. DO NOT BUY IT.

JulesLt 11/05/07 07:06:45 PM EST

Yakov - Jobs statement about Java was about J2ME - and hey, even Sun seem to be saying J2ME is dead (long live J2SE for mobiles) so maybe he was right. After all, J2ME never had the write-once advantages desktop and server-side Java offer. Although I think even with J2SE we'll still be dealing with phones offering varying displays, features, etc, but maybe in 4-5 years time there will be a good solid base spec all developers can rely on.

Macs are still fine platform for Java 5 development, which is really the current version (unless you control your own servers) - but I must admit I'd like to see more commitment and a roadmap - it's not as if there's any value in keeping it under NDA - it's a public spec.

(Plus Apple.com and iTunes are powered by Java on OS X so they must have plenty of internal development going on).

I don't quite buy the hours making things work. There's maybe a couple of weeks getting used to how things work, but beyond that I found most things do. Few apps require a reboot on installing, for instance. The standard colour picker, allowing you to grab a colour from anywhere on the screen is another small timesaver ('I need to re-use the shade from the corporate logo'). It took a few weeks to get used to the idea that drag and drop between apps really worked (well, modern apps). It's the myriad of small 'just working' features that add up to saving time.

You don't even need to download a Java runtime - although the downside is, of course, you're at the mercy of Apple to update it. But then we don't know how well Sun would have done either in keeping a minority platform up to date.
(see Adobe)

Yakov 10/31/07 04:19:40 PM EDT

Guy,

I'm talking about people who use Java to make a living. Macs are great for non-programmers, that's for sure. Macs are great for geeks who do not mind spending hours on making things work. But what about a regular Java developer? Should they install Parallels to run Java under Windows? Talking about convenience...
I'm sure Apple will fix this problem, but it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Guy B. Jones 10/31/07 12:09:58 PM EDT

Jeez Louise. How about the fact that a Macbook allow one to work efficiently without worrying about malware, worms, viruses, or inherent Windows instability and slowdowns as reason enough to buy one? Oh, and the fact that when one inserts a CD into a drive, the disc icon appears right on the desktop as it should, as opposed to requiring you to click on "My Computer" to access it. It's not about what's hip or cool, a basis you seem to imply lies at the heart of the Mac's popularity; for many Mac users, it's about what works. Life's simply too short to deal with Windows and it's plethora of issues.

dave 10/31/07 08:14:50 AM EDT

Jobs did NOT say that no one uses java anymore. He said that compared to flash/ajax/etc in safari on the iPhone java (applets) were too heavy.

Geez....

Yes, it sucks that j6 isn't in leopard right now. There's NO indication that java is getting dropped and plenty of evidence that they are working on it.

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