Java 6 applets is coming to Leopard
When Mac OS X version 10.5 “Leopard” was launched in October 2007, Java 6 finally reached the OS X platform (for 64-bit capable Intel-based Macs)– at that time Java 6 was almost a year old. But Apple only released a 64 bit version of Java 6 – while this seems like a logical step (Leopard is a 64 bit OS) allowing running Java for both servers, applications and Java WebStart, there was one drawback: Applet support.
All major browsers (Firefox and Safari) run in 32 bit mode on OS X, and since Java is started in the browser process, only the 32 bit Java 1.5 can be used.
This means that while you are able to develop a Java 6 Applet on OS X (since the Appletviewer has no problem running in 64 bit mode) you can’t run a webpage with a Java 6 applet. Absurd but true.
The upcoming solution
As usual Apple haven’t told anything about future support for Java 6 applets, but finally the problem seems to be solved in a future Java update. Matt Drance has announced the new Java for Mac OS X v10.5 Update 4 Developer Preview ( http://lists.apple.com/archives/java-dev/2009/Apr/msg00221.html ). Java 6 is updated to the current version 1.6.0_13, but still only available in a 64 bit version. But the new build includes a new out-of-process Java applet plug-in, that allows you to use a Applet (running in its own 64 bit process) in a 32 bit browser (Safari or Firefox). This is basically the same thing Sun introduced in 1.6.0_10.
With this update you should also be able to run JavaFX applets inside your browser. JavaFX is currently is only supported for Java WebStart on OS X.
If you want to play with this Developer preview, you can download it at ( http://connect.apple.com/ ). Remember to read the release notes before installing the preview.
Note that this post is imported from my old blog. The post contained the following comments: