Java 6 Available for Download
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).
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:
- Java 6 is faster overall than previous versions of Java and requires less performance tuning out of the box. There has also been lots of work to speed up startup time with the JVM including class data sharing.
- On the desktop Java 6 includes support for Windows Vista and the Swing gray rectangle buffering issue has been addressed.
- Java 6 features expanded diagnostics and monitoring including dynamic JMX attachment to running systems with no special setup in advance.
- The JavaDB based on Apache Derby has been included to provide a relational database with the distribution.
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".
From 5 to 6: Web application
Re: From 5 to 6: Web application
The JMX additions  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  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.