While Apple has not publicly committed to when, if ever, it will release an official version of JDK 6 on OS X, Landon Fuller took the open-source JDK 6 code and ported much of it to Apple's latest operating system.
Lack of a high-quality JDK 6 for OS X has frustrated many developers, especially since Apple had made all prior JDK versions available on its operating system in a timely manner. Since Sun open-sourced its JDK implementation last year, however, the lack of an official Apple-developed JDK 6 may no longer be a show-stopper for developers wanting to use a Mac as a development platform.
Following on the heels of other JDK 6 porting projects targeting the BSD operating system, Landon Fuller recently made a port of the OpenJDK available for OS X:
I'm pleased to announce the first Developer Preview Release of the open-source port of Java 6 to Mac OS X. This release includes support for 32-bit and 64-bit Intel machines running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5)... (Nearly) everything up to and including Swing (X11) is functional. Sound is not currently supported.
While I've spent some time testing this release with my own projects, this preview release should be considered beta quality. The project is very much in need of additional community testing -- If you're hankering for Java 6, please give this a try...
[The port] is based on the BSD Port of Sun's Java 6 JDK, and is made available under the Java Research License. JDK and Java are trademarks of Sun. Like RedHat, I want to make it exceptionally clear that while [this port] is a port of Java, it is not Sun's Java, JDK, or OpenJDK... By downloading these binaries, you certify that you are a Licensee in good standing under the Java Research License of the Java 2 SDK...
Some features still missing from the port include:
Integration with the Mac OS X certificate store (x509)
Support for setting mach thread priority
Native Aqua Swing (as opposed to X11). This is a big one, and not likely to be done anytime soon. The effort needs to be led by someone familiar with Cocoa, JNI, and Swing
What do you think of Fuller's port? How important is a high-quality JDK 6 release on OS X for you?