As I work through the chapters of my forthcoming book on PhoneGap, I’m working on both a Macintosh and PC which reminds me of first years of my professional career. I was doing PC support for a PC dealer called Basicomputer and always had a IBM PC and a Macintosh on my desk plus even had an Apple II for a long time as well (it was an Apple IIgs).

Anyway, as I’m writing about installing the PhoneGap software for Android and iOS development I found myself in need of installing Ant and Java on my Macintosh. As I poked and prodded around on the Internet I was struggling to find the information I needed about installing those two tools on Mac OS. It was really frustrating and I couldn’t figure out why nobody had written about the topic when I discovered by accident that the Macintosh installs Ant and Java by default. Nice!

On my new Mac Mini running OS X Lion, Java isn’t installed, but installs itself when you first try to run a Java application. That’s pretty cool. Ant’s installed and even on my Macbook (running snow leopard) the latest version is on there already.

Of course, all those long time Mac users (I used to be one, but switched to PC a long time ago – I may switch back) already know this, but why would they not write documentation applicable for people first picking up a Macintosh? The difference between my writing and the writing of others is that I try very hard to assume VERY LITTLE. I wish others would do the same.

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