Victor et al,

At 09:03 PM 12/9/2002, you wrote:
Sebastien Aperghis-Tramoni wrote:
> Java under Mac OS X started with JDK 1.3. JDK 1.4 is in beta test.
> The JAVA_HOME issue should already be known by most Java
> programmers that work under Mac OS X, but it may be useful to
> recall the trick.

Again, barring objections from the other developers, I'll add a comment to
the installation doc. However, the upgrade issue still remains. I really
don't want to document for users how to point to an obsolete version of Java
(I see that it is not obsolete now -- I am thinking of future FOP releases
that may require higher versions of Java). What is Apple's plan for
upgrading Java when that is needed? Is there a web site URL that I could add
that would help the user 1) figure out what version they have, and 2) get it
upgraded if necessary?

Victor Mote
Sorry, Victor, I thought it was clear. The doc "Important Java Directories on Mac OS X" includes the relevant info for JAVA HOME, as well as Extensions Libraries, User Preferences, etc.:

"Java Home. Many Java applications require the identification
of a "Java Home" directory during installation. The equivalent
on Mac OS X should always be /Library/Java/Home. This is
actually a symbolic link to the current installed J2SE
version, and allows access to the bin subdirectory where
command line tools such as java, javac, etc. exist as
expected. The advantage of using this link, as opposed to its
target, is that it will be maintained and updated when a new
version of Java is downloaded via Software Update or installed
with a newer version of Mac OS X. For this reason, it is
important that developers do not install files below the Java
Home, as the actual directory referenced by the link will be
lost with subsequent updates when the link is updated."

Above it indicates /Library/Java/Home is a symbolic link to the installed version. If Java is updated, this is changed to point the new version. I don't know how it's maintained, but I assume that the scripts for installing help with the "maintenance". Personally, I'd rather have be able to download from like everyone else, instead of from Apple, but they've got their reasons...

In addition, I found these links helpful:

Apple's Technical Java Q/As:

Apple's Java FAQ:

The latter includes info on the version of Java included with Mac OS X (1.3.1_03), as well as how to get Java 1.4.1 (which requires free Apple Developer Connection registration for download).

If anyone has any questions I can answer (I'll try not to respond with "42" :-), please don't hesitate.


- Clay Leeds
- Web Developer

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