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Snow Leopard and Java Compatibility Issues

Contrary to my regular habits, I bought the latest update to Mac OS X, “Snow Leopard” on the first day of release. Our local Apple store opened early (I think around 8-ish) on the 28th and I picked up my copy as soon as I saw the doors opened.

The truth is, since the days of the Amiga, I have not been as excited for an operating system release. My confidence in the quality that comes out Apple is also almost limitless, so I just popped the DVD into my computer and waited about an hour for the install to finish, hoping that there would be 7 GB magically reclaimed from my hard disk. I was wrong – it turned out to be a whopping 14 GB, which I thought was pretty impressive.

The next thing was for me to look for apparent problems, but apart from my “A Lot of Water” screen saver stopping to work (some changes to OpenGL in Snow Leopard might have caused this *sniff*), I did not notice any problems, just the “it just works” that I am used to from Apple. Well – until I started to do some development in Java. The Snow Leopard installation seems to remove  an installation of Java SE 5 and instead link the Java SE 6 version to it.

So what’s the problem, Java SE 6 is compatible to Java SE 5, some would say. Yes, almost. Unfortunately there are some incompatible changes in JDBC (in my case, the Connection interface) that requires me to work on a Java SE 5.

Luckily someone had the same problem and has published a solution for that problem: The bottom line is to download a Leopard version of Java 5 and redirect the symbolic links to that downloaded version.

After following the instructions, I could continue working on my Java project as before.

Update: I had another issue with maven even though I had already changed the version in Java Preferences. This could be fixed by adding a line

JAVA_VERSION=1.5

to the  ~/.mavenrc file.

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