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Java 6 Available for Download

by Scott Delap on Dec 11, 2006 |
This morning Sun officially released Java 6 for download after over two years of development. The Java 6 development cycle has been the most open of any Java release with weekly builds available to the public and extensive collaboration between Sun and over 330 external developers. Sun has worked with over 160 companies to ensure backwards compatibility, stability and optimum performance of applications running on the JVM. Java 6 included a number of focus areas. From the press release:
Web 2.0

The Java SE 6 software helps accelerate developer innovation for web-based, dynamic and online collaboration applications by including a new framework and developer APIs to allow mixing of Java technology with dynamically typed languages, such as PHP, Python, Ruby and JavaScript(TM) technology. Sun has also created a collection of scripting engines at: http://scripting.dev.java.net and pre-configured the Rhino JavaScript engine in the Java SE 6 platform. In addition, the Java SE 6 software includes a full web services client stack and supports the latest web services specifications, such as JAX-WS 2.0, JAXB 2.0, STAX and JAXP.

Diagnostics, Monitoring, and Management

The Java SE 6 platform provides expanded tools for diagnosing, managing and monitoring applications and also includes support for the new NetBeans Profiler 5.5 and for Solaris(TM) DTrace, a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework for the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS). In addition, the Java SE 6 software further increases ease of development with tool interface updates for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM (TM)) and the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA).

Enterprise Desktop

The Java SE 6 release delivers significant improvements to the desktop, which enable Java applications to integrate even more seamlessly into the end-user experience. For rapid visual development of interactive applications, the Java SE 6 platform includes a new layout manager component, based on the NetBeans GUI Builder (formerly code named Matisse). The Java SE 6 software also provides enhanced support for the upcoming version of Windows Vista.

InfoQ discussed the Java 6 release with Bill Curci, Product Marketing Manager for Java Platform Standard Edition and Danny Coward, Java SE Platform Lead. Among the items they highlighted:

A good summary of the main features included in Java 6 can be found in InfoQ's previous coverage "Top 10 New Things You Need to Know About Java 6".

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From 5 to 6: Web application by Binil Thomas

We are in the process of developing a web application. We are using Java 5 right now. Are there any new features - in terms of performance, APIs, debugging, monitoring etc - which might be of interest to us? What is the general opinion on this?

Re: From 5 to 6: Web application by Stephen McConnell

Two big features for me are the JMX additions and the javax.tools content.

The JMX additions [1] in SE6 include support for MXBeans (which makes things much easier to incorporate management into an application) and also standard APIs dealing with JConsole make the overall SE6 solution much more compelling. I've already started updating DPML product [2] towards deeper support for SE6.

The javax.tools package (combined with java.lang.model and javax.annotation.processing) is really valuable as this provides the standard APIs for custom annotation processors and the means by which processors can be added to a javac. It also includes standard APIs through which you can embed javac into an application.


[1] java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/guides/jmx...
[2] www.dpml.net/about/notepad/SE6/index.html

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