When Mac OS/X version 10.5 - or Leopard - was unleashed this week, many expected it would come with Java 6 support - not least because Apple as good as said it would.
But when the code arrived, there was no Java 6 - and no explanation from Apple for the omission.
The lack of Java 6 and Apple's refusal to provide a roadmap for future availability has produced a strong reaction against the Mac as a machine for development. To some it'll be seen as further justification for their reason to abandon the Mac and proof of Apple's tardiness on Java.
All this comes as the Mac was beginning to emerge as a strong candidate for development of open source applications - a platform where Sun Microsystems would like to see Java sink roots.
Surprisingly the opening blurb in the Java section of the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) Web site, still proclaims Mac OS/X as the "only major consumer operating system that comes complete with a fully configured and ready-to-use Java runtime and development environment".
Is this another fine example of Steve Jobs' reality distortion field at work, or do they know something we don't? Some are suggesting Apple may well release Java 6 support sooner rather than later. If this is the case, it would be nice if Apple could let us know, rather than leaving people to figure things out.®