MacOS targeted for new Java graphics pipeline

would get a new graphics pipeline for MacOS on Apple’s Metal graphics APIs, under a proposal called the Lanai Project, being floated in the OpenJDK community.

Engineers from Oracle and JetBrains already have been exploring the Metal APIs, working on proofs of concept and prototypes in the JDK sandbox. Metal was designed as a long-term replacement for OpenGL as a rendering pipeline on Apple platforms, offering better performance and simpler designs.

The Java Kit and OpenJFX currently use OpenGL, which Apple has deprecated. Currently, if OpenGL is not present in a MacOS system, JDK desktop APIs cannot function and will not start. OpenJFX is in a similar spot. Goals of Lanai include:

  • Creation of a Java 2D rendering pipeline for MacOS via Metal APIs that is at least as capable as the current OpenGL pipeline.
  • Development of a similar Metal pipeline for OpenFX.

A bulletin on the Lanai Project proposal emphasizes that rendering pipelines in JDK are an internal implementation, so Lanai would not create or otherwise be exposed as Java APIs. Oracle’s Phil Race, lead of the Java 2D group, is slated to lead the project. Votes on the project are being taken in the OpenJDK community until July 23, 2019.

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