Daniel Steinberg has written a deep and fascinating analysis of the history and the current state of Java on Apple products, Java to the iPhone: Can you hear me now?, reflecting on his 10 years of covering Java on the Mac platform. Daniel notes that in a recent interview about the iPhone with John Markhoff, Steve Jobs said, “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.” Is this the beginning of the end for Java on the Mac, or possibly the desktop altogether?
Developers are looking at Flash and at AJAX as platforms for rich desktop (yes desktop) applications. If Java becomes irrelevant on the PC and on the device then we will enter a new phase in it’s life. There will be plenty of uses for Java for a good long while but we are entering the FORTRAN phase or the COBOL phase.
Finally, I wonder if Steve Jobs has decided that Java has no place on OS X on the iPhone, what will its role be in the future on Mac OS X on the Mac?
If you care about Java on the Mac, you should definitely click through and read Daniel’s entire post.
(Note: I’ve turned off comments on this post to encourage people to place their comments on Daniel’s original ONJava blog post).