Mac OS X for Java
Publish Date: April 2003. Pages: 260
- What the Book is About
- With the introduction of Jaguar
adding to OS X's stability and Apple's renewed devotion to developers with the JDK
1.4 implementation and continued improvements to its free Developer Tools, the Macintosh
is now a pre-eminent platform for developing Java applications for all platforms.
Recognizing the need for an introduction for the "switchers" in the developer
world, Will Iverson and O'Reilly have produced this book.
Iverson's goal is to introduce us (and the Mac OS X initiates) into the Mac OS X
world and Apple Java way. He follows a brief (4-page) orientation to OS X with a
dozen pages of Apple's Java implementation. A chapter on the tools available for
developing on the Macintosh rounds out the easy stuff. From thereon out it's Java
201 --- lots of Java code (complete examples found at http://examples.oreilly.com/macxjvgks/ for
the typing-challenged), much discussion of that code, Apple-specific extensions,
and coding practices and hints for cross-platform compatibility.
- Target Audience
- Experienced programmer with
Java and Unix background. Macintosh familiarity is not required.
- What To Expect
- Code, code discussion, best
practices for Mac and cross-platform coding and more code. Now this is not meant
to belittle the amount of code in this book since that is how programmers learn to
program. At page 45, ten and one-half pages of Java code follows. Iverson introduces
the SimpleEdit application and proceeds to add Macintosh functionality with a plugin
mechanism to function as the API to Finder integration and other Mac-specific properties.
This isolates the Apple Java code and reduces incompatibilities when compiling for
other platforms. A chapter is devoted to cross-platform issues but hints continue
throughout the book.
Packaging your application as a stand-alone or web application is discussed at length
as befits the requirement that the user's first impressions be positive and that
installation should be as simple as possible as befits Mr. Jobs's machine.
Three chapters delve more deeply into other Macintosh-specific applications and frameworks
including Mac OS X Speech, QuckTime for Java (cross-platform and available at http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/macxjvgks/chapter/ch10.pdf) and Mac OS X Spelling.
The set-up (initial installation and JDBC configuration) of MySQL and PostgreSQL
(and a paragraph or two for Oracle 9i) databases follows. The final chapters discuss
JSP, Tomcat, EJBs, JBoss and Web Services. The code is a bit more scarce in the later
chapters, but much of the difficulties involved with these technologies lies in the
configuration. Iverson provides us with plenty of help (and screen shots) to ease
- The impressive amount of code
as well as the configuration instructions will help any developer working on the
Mac OS X platform. The best practice discussions serve to make it easier for new
Mac developers to keep their code truly cross-platform.
- Mac Guild Grade
- B+ (Great)
- Final Words
- The advertisement for this
book specifically mentions the book's appropriateness for the "Java newbie",
but I would caution those newbies to allow a fair amount of time for digesting Iverson's
book. As a mainframe and web programmer with a smattering of Java experience and
a number of years of Unix programming, I was often frustrated by Ant installation
and configuration, classpath issues, and the few errata and updates that inevitably
occur after publication to applications discussed in any book. These made for difficulties,
but a dedicated programmer could find no better way to learn the Mac OS X Java way
short of sitting at the foot of a Java master.