Sun Plans "Ball and Chain" for iPhone
Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”
Sun Microsystems has apparently taken Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s disparaging remarks about Java as a bit of friendly ribbing. The company plans to develop a version of Java Virtual Machine for the iPhone, though Apple (AAPL) has shown little interest in porting the platform to the device.
“We’re going to make sure that the JVM offers the Java applications as much access to the native functionality of the iPhone as possible,” said Eric Klein, vice president of Java marketing at Sun (JAVA). “Once our JVM is on the phone, we anticipate that a large number of Java applications would run on the phone.”
Assuming you could get them onto it. And with Apple controlling the iTunes App Store–the iPhone’s sole point of entry (official entry, anyway)–that may never happen. Presumably, Apple has no intention of undermining the iPhone’s generally high usability with typically slow, crash-prone mobile Java apps. Java’s “Write Once, Run Everywhere” slogan is parodied as “Write Once, Debug Everywhere” for a reason, you know.
UPDATE: As The Register notes, Apple’s ‘Human Interface Guidlines’ for the iPhone SDK essentially prevent it from running Java code. “An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise,” reads the Apple document. “No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).”