Oracle's Open Source Java for Mac OS X built

A French developer has announced the availability of the first binary test builds of Oracle’s Open Source Java, OpenJDK, for Apple’s latest Mac OS X, which can be downloaded from the contributor’s project page at Google Code.

Henri Gomez, an experienced French open sauce project programmer, informed the OpenJDK mailing list over the weekend about the availability of his OpenJDK open source Java builds for Apple’s latest Mac OS X “Snow Leopard” (10.6).

“We’re working on a continuous build of OpenJDK 1.7 for OS/X (Snow Leopard)” he said, adding that “Support for OS/X PKG/DMG packages has been recently added and we made a first set available”.

You can read more at Mr. Gomez’s blog and download the files from his Google Code project page over here. One typical build is a 64-MB download, versus Apple’s own runtime at 74MB.

Henri says that this build is based on the BSD port of OpenJDK: “For now we built with contents from OpenJDK 1.7 BSD port”. When asked if any source code from Apple has landed into the OpenJDK project – after Apple agreed with Oracle to contribute its Java implementation for Mac OS X to OpenJDK as open source – he said “not yet”.

He added “There was some discussions on OpenJDK BSD ports mailing list but I still didn’t see any Apple commitment” concluding with “as with everybody on OS/X community, I’m impatient.”

So if you’re waiting for a full OpenJDK with the same level of integration as Apple’s closed-source Java runtime – including the legacy Cocoa API hooks or making use of Apple’s Quartz graphics engine, you will have to wait until Apple delivers on its commitment to contribute source code to OpenJDK.

That would please the user-interface purists that would rather run ancient software than see buttons not comply with the Mothership’s “Human User Interface Guidelines”.

Apple’s closed source Java runtime continues being updated, with the last upgrade for Leopard (10.5) for instance being its Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 8, dated 20 October, which brings Apple’s Java 6 implementation up to version 1.6.0_22. The same update is available for Snow Leopard here.

The community OpenJDK build, on the other hand, lets users experience the bleeding-edge Java 7 developments of what is eventually going to become the next version of Java.