JAX London 2014: A retrospective
Interview with David Green

The End of Eclipse on The Mac?


JAXenter speaks to the Vice President of Engineering at Tasktop Technologies, on Apple’s decision to deprecate Java on the Mac.

  • David Green

    David Green is Vice President of Engineering at Tasktop Technologies. Prior to Tasktop, David was a founding member of MAKE Technologies where he held the positions of CTO, Vice President of Technology and Principal Tools Architect. At MAKE David pioneered a model-driven approach to legacy modernization on the Eclipse platform, integrating business requirements, semantic code generation and data transformation. David is an Eclipse committer, and creator of Mylyn WikiText, a framework and tools for integrating wiki formatting into the Eclipse platform. David is well known for his widely read blog Green’s Opinion and apps for iPhone and Android.

The news that Apple are to deprecate Java on the Mac OS X has caused some to question what this could mean for the future of Java-based IDEs on the Mac. JAXenter spoke to Vice President of Engineering at Tasktop Technologies, David Green on what this move could mean for Eclipse on the Mac and the implications for the wider Java community.


JAXenter: Apple have announced they are to stop developing Java for Mac OS – what does this mean for the Java Community?

David Green: You may have noticed that there’s a lot more activity on the bsd-port-dev Open JDK mailing list about getting the Mac port working properly.  For community, there will have to be another major backer that puts resources into maintaining a Java port of OpenJDK.  This may take time to materialize, which will cause some pain if Apple pulls Java from OSX 10.7 (right now there’s no indication that they will).  Consider however that Java does not ship with Windows.  The full impact of this announcement on the Java community will take time to show.

JAXenter: You have been working on integrating Eclipse, OpenJDK and Mac systems. Can you describe your project?

David Green: I was interested in having Eclipse run on Soylatte, OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7.  At the time, the platform binary that launches the VM and starts Eclipse would not run with these versions of Java.  I worked with the Eclipse and OpenJDK teams to get it running, and ultimately provided a patch that enabled the mac-specific Eclipse launcher to work with OpenJDK-style vms.  There’s still work to be done to make the Eclipse launcher work with these distributions of Java seamlessly: right now a configuration file must be edited in order to use such a VM.

JAXenter: Alex Blewitt has commented that this could be the end for Eclipse on the Mac. Is he right?

David Green: For Eclipse to continue being viable on the mac a company will have to step up and make it happen.  This will require backing with engineering resources.  If no company does that, then certainly it will be the end.  The Eclipse ecosystem is large enough that I expect there will be several parties interested in furthering Eclipse on mac.  One or more are likely to make it happen. An example of this is how Adobe lead the Cocoa port of SWT.

JAXenter: Thank you very much for your time!

comments powered by Disqus