Create Digital Music got an interesting comment about allegedly, what really happened to Java in Leopard. Short version: nearly all of the development team is gone; the one Java 6 person left and many others were moved to, of all things, iCal. Java 5 is likely to be all you get on Leopard, and still without improvements to JavaSound or QuickTime for Java, which have left sound and video support pretty weak. (QuickTime for Java is an even worse choice on Windows, though at least on Windows and Linux JavaSound runs better.)

Caution: this could be no more than a rumor. There seems to still be a Java development team at Apple, so at the very least, it sounds exaggerated. However, it’s also clear that Apple’s commitment to developing Java on the Mac is tenuous to say the least.

For Processing fans, though, there’s various good news. First, Apple has updated Java 5, the version of Java targeted by Processing currently. Secondly, while JavaSound still lags behind major quality improvements made on Mac and Linux, if Apple really is abandoning Java on the Mac, it could mean the finger pointing is over and finally Sun could develop Java on the Mac platform, bringing all three desktop OSes in sync (sorry, Solaris, that’s Linux, Mac, and Windows for nearly all of us). Another interesting tidbit: JavaFX, if Sun is to be believed, could be more than a scripting language, it could provide better multimedia support long lacking in Java. I imagine that could be incorporated into Processing. See the CDM story for more details — taking them with a grain of salt, as none of this has been officially confirmed.

Rumor: Mac Java’s Demise is Real, and Why That Could Be Good News for Multimedia