Pinstripe New Default Theme for Mozilla Thunderbird on Mac OS X
Thursday April 1st, 2004
Kevin Gerich wrote in to tell us that Pinstripe is new default theme for Mozilla Thunderbird on Mac OS X. Pinstripe, a collaboration between Kevin and Stephen Horlander, is designed to fit in with the Aqua graphical style and is already the default Mozilla Firefox OS X theme. Mac users can try out Pinstripe in the latest Thunderbird nightly.
I believe (but do not know for certain) that the Java implementation on OS X is quite closely related to the Sun one. There are certain aspects which are different but the majority of code is probably shared.
Prior to OS X, Mac java support was useless, apparently because of limitations in the (antique and peculiar) operating system. Java could not easily be made to work on the platform because there were all sorts of differences, and so it was never updated. OS X on the other hand is a real operating system that works, at its heart, just like any other Unix; so Java basically runs on it.
I don't know whether Apple's actual VM is completely original or based on Sun's C code, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were. Also, the VM is a relatively small part of the platform; if they have a 1.4 compliant VM then most of the Java API (the stuff that's written in Java) should just work, with a few exceptions for user-interface issues.
By the way, Java 1.5 on other platforms does not use a shared VM, at least as I understand it. You are probably thinking of the new 'Class Data Sharing' feature, which basically causes Java to preload some of the system class libraries. Because these are preloaded as a read-only memory block, this class data can be shared between different Java instances by the operating system, so if you run multiple Java programs (using the same installation of the virtual machine) it reduces memory consumption as well as improving startup time. However, it's only this data that is shared; the actual Java processes are still separate.