Sun Releases Java 6

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-12-11 Print this article Print

Sun Microsystems announces the availability of Java Platform Standard Edition 6.

Sun Microsystems has announced the availability of Java Platform Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6).

This new version of Sun's Java platform is "an exciting release for us because it's our first community release," said Jean Elliott, director of Developer Marketing at Sun.

The Java SE 6 release is the result of more than two years of industry-wide development involving open review, weekly builds and extensive collaboration between Sun engineers and more than 330 external developers, the company said.

Java SE 6 comes out of JSR (Java Specification Request) 270, known as the umbrella JSR for the Java SE 6 platform. And companies such as IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, BEA, Google and Intel joined Sun in shaping the technology.

In fact, more than 160 companies worked with Sun and tested their Java technology-based applications on the Java SE 6 platform to help ensure compatibility, stability and optimum performance for the Java SE 6 release.

Backward compatibility of Java SE 6 with previous versions of the platform preserves the skill sets of current Java software developers and protects Java technology investments, the company said. In-depth information and technology downloads for the Java SE 6 release are available here.

Although Sun has announced plans to open-source Java, Java SE 6 is being released under Sun's traditional license.

Meanwhile, sun officials said Java SE 6 software makes development easier, faster and more cost-efficient and delivers enhanced functionality around a few key themes, including Web services, dynamic language support, diagnostics and desktop applications. Elliott said Java SE 6 in combination with Sun's open-source toolset, NetBeans 5.5, gives developers a solid framework for building applications and web services.

Moreover, Java SE 6 borrows much from JSR 223, also known as Scripting for the Java Platform, Elliott said. "Java SE 6 includes a scripting engine based on Rhino--JavaScript for Java," she said.

Java SE 6's support for dynamic languages includes a new framework and developer APIs to allow mixing of Java technology with dynamically typed languages, such as PHP, Python, Ruby and JavaScript. Sun also has created a collection of scripting engines and pre-configured the Rhino JavaScript engine in the Java SE 6 platform.

"A whole host of scripting engines are in that project," Elliott said. "The framework will enable developers to use any scripting engine that implements the JSR 223 APIs."

In addition, the Java SE 6 software includes a full Web services client stack and supports the latest Web services specifications, such as Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) 2.0, Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.0, the Streaming API for XML (STAX) and the Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), Elliott said.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Sun Releases Java 6.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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