There’s a new version of Java and Sun describes it as the most significant update ever to the platform-neutral programming language. Hyperbole surely – wouldn’t that be the move to Java 2 (JDK 1.2) back in December 1998? Nonetheless, the Standard Edition (SE) of Sun’s Java platform has evolved to version 5.0.
‘J2SE 5.0 is delivering greatly improved developer productivity and outstanding quality by relying on the deep values of the Java language,’ said Graham Hamilton, vice president, Sun fellow and lead architect for the J2SE 5.0 release. ‘Working through 15 Java Community Process expert groups, the Java community has delivered the most significant update ever to the Java platform. It sets the stage for the next wave of network systems innovation.’
J2SE 5.0 and its runtime environment can be freely downloaded from here. More information for developers can be found at the Sun Developer Network.
News source: PC Pro Features of 5.0 highlighted by Sun include: new language elements (security, enumerated types and metadata), better support for monitoring and managing the Java Virtual Machine, an updated look and feel for GUI development (including improved internationalization support and support for hardware acceleration via the OpenGL API for Linux and Solaris, and improved performance and scalability (a faster startup time, smaller memory footprint, and JVM auto-tuning).
J2SE is the ‘mainstream’ version of Java, such as would be supported by desktops. Other editions of the Java 2 platform include J2EE, the Enterprise Edition, concerned with large-scale computing such as server failovers and load balancing, and J2ME, the Micro Edition, concerned with Java in the small, ie the requirements and constraints of smart phones and embedded devices.
A little bit of history: Java emerged from Sun’s ‘Green’ project back in 1991, which was designing software for consumer electronic devices with the goal of building network-aware devices. These were dubbed Star7 devices and the Oak programming language was developed by James Gosling to control them. It was this acorn of Oak that grew into Java in 1995.