Apple and Java – Important Notice

• My software is cross-platform, and requires the features of a Java run-time environment (version 1.5 or later). Java 1.6 for Mac OS X is available from Apple for all currently supported OS X operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), in addition to being included in the earlier Mac OX S 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Java 1.6 itself was superceded, in the Java commuity, quite some time ago, but this does not make it any less capable than when it was the latest.

 • For users of systems later than Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), the first time you attempt to run a Java Application (such as my software), or visit a web-page requiring Java, you will be directed to an Apple Server to download and install a Java 1.6 run-time. Allowing this installation doe not prevent co-existence of later versions of Java on the computer, such as Java 1.7 JRE from Oracle.

• Users of Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later will get a message refusing to open my applications.   This is because I haven't paid the yearly fee to be a registered Apple developer, so Gatekeeper can't make a security check using an Apple-issued security certificate.  To get the applications to work, right-click or control-click and select "Open" from the contextual pop-up menu.  This time the dialog will have the option to continue, with a warning that this will remove the application from quarantine.

• The point of the security warning is obvious; what does not seem so obvious to many users is the absolute importance of obtaining my software only from my website. I do not recommend the use of third-party download sites.

• It is also possible to run the "Pure Java" version, using any Java run-time, such as the Java 1.7 JRE for Mac OS X available from Oracle. Once this has been downloaded and installed, my software can be run by double-clicking the JAR file, which is now included in the download for convenience.

• In summary, there are two options:

Either: use the Application in the download by installing Apple's Java 1.6. This version is launched by a small program provided by Apple and contained in the Application Bundle; this only works with the Apple Java system,

Or: install a Java sytem from Oracle and double-click the JAR file as if it were a normal Application. This actually works on any platform.

Apart from the lack of an icon, and some Finder-specific information, there is no difference between the two deployments.

• The issues with running my software on Mac OS X have been generated by Apple's changing policies toward non-native software, particularly Java software, over recent years.  I do not intend to develop a normal Application Bundle version that is compatible with the later versions of Mac OS X using Oracle's Java, partly because this would increase the Applications from less than 0.5MB to well over 50MB, and also because this approach would lead to multiple platform-specific versions of the same software.

• From this distance, it seems quite ironic that when Apple released the earlier versions of Mac OS X, it was promoted as "the premium platform for Java applications".