Seadragon on the Mac

For Seadragon on Windows, please go to the post titled Seadragon 2 - User Guide below.

I recently worked on the issue of Seadragon on a Mac and here's what I have for now:

1. As of today, Macs don't come with Java 5 (aka. 1.5.0, 1.5, and 5.0) out of the box, contrary to what I may have written recently, but one can get Java 5 from Apple for free. Details in item 4 below.

2. The current version of Seadragon, version 2, requires some techie adaptation in order to package it on a Mac. The best tool for this is probably Xcode, free from Apple. The current version of Seadragon does not need to be recompiled, just packaged for the Mac, but it would be hard for a non-developer to do. The simpler Jar Bundler tool from Apple may also be used for packaging Seadragon 2. Alternatively, a developer experienced on Unix could just modify the run.bat file to make a shell executable (e.g., replace the ;'s by :'s and do chmod -x) and then run the application from a command line window. A user had done this about 2 years ago on his Mac with Seadragon 1.

3. I am starting work on a version of Seadragon that will be launched on a Mac simply by double-clicking the jar file, but it may not be ready for another week or two. With this future version, the users will unzip the download file (I think their Safari browser does the unzipping) and then they would double-click the jar file, that's it. The icon of the jar file would not be customized but it should work.

4. Java 5 for Seadragon on a Mac:

The Mac must have MacOS X v.10.4 (or later). Users need to upgrade their OS from Apple if they have an older version of MacOS.

Since April 17, 2006, the latest version of Java 5 (aka. 1.5.0, 1.5, and 5.0) for the Mac is called by Apple *J2SE 5.0 Release 4 for Mac OS X Tiger* and also *J2SE 5.0 Release 4 on Mac OS X v.10.4*. I will call it *Release 4* in this post. Release 4 is the Apple release number for their tool containg their Java 5 virtual machine (VM).

Release 4 can be obtained from Apple via one of 3 ways:

a. Using the Software Update function on their Mac via the Apple Menu or the System Preferences application.

b. Via Apple Support web site at http://www.apple.com/support/

c. By manual download from http://developer.apple.com/java/download/

The manual download method requires the user to register in the Developers program at Apple. Registration is free, and it requires a confirmation by email.

Apple has one version of Release 4 for the new Intel macs and one for the older PowerPC (PPC) macs. You must select the correct one for your Mac. If you're not sure, contact Apple.

After installing Release 4, the default Java version is 5 (aka. 1.5, 1.5.0, and 5.0) and not the old 1.4 or 1.3. The older 1.4 and 1.3 versions are still kept on the Mac but Seadragon does not use them. Other Java applications should work fine with Java 5 instead of 1.4 or 1.3.

On a Mac, Java 5 is installed in /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0/

One may look there to verify whether one's Mac already has it or not.

So until the double-clickable jar is available, one may have some work to do to prepare one's Mac.



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Tue Nov 07, 08:25:00 PM EST  

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