Apple usually takes its time to get Java on MacOS up to date with Sun's releases. But with JDK6 it seemed that things will be different. Apple kept on releasing "Developer Preview" versions of JDK along Sun's beta builds.
The last Java SE 6.0 Release 1 Developer Preview 6 was released on Sepember 13th 2006 and after that date Apple became quiet. What has happened?
All the unconfirmed and confirmed rumors about changes of the UI framework in the 10.5 version of MacOS X (Leopard), has given me a feeling that JDK6 got stuck because of Leopard's delay.
Each significant modification to the user interface has to be reflected in the Swing Java UI library. And since Leopard was scheduled to be released in spring 2007, I think that it was safe for Apple to modify Swing to support the latest UI and to release JDK6 along with Leopard.
That's why I think that the roadmap of JDK6 probably got disrupted by Leopard's delay. JDK6 simply can't be released because Leopard hasn't been released yet.
Does it mean that JDK/JRE6 won't run on Tiger? Unfortunately I think so. After all that's exactly what Apple did with JDK5 and MacOS X 10.3 Panther.
While writing this entry I stumbled upon an article by Matthew Schmidt from Javalobby, who has very similar feelings.
Does anyone have a better explanation?
Btw, I checked, Sept 13th 2006 wasn't a Friday, so we can't blame the delay on the date of last Developer Preview release :)