Sun unveils Java Standard Edition 6

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Sun unveils Java Standard Edition 6

Desktop Java gets ready for Vista.

Sun Microsystems has released version 6 of its Java Standard Edition programming language for desktop applications. 

The technology implements the new Java Specification Request 270 ratified last month by the Java Community Process. The new request adds enhancements designed to allow developers to create applications more easily.

In an attempt to settle a long-standing debate alleging that Java discriminates against scripting languages, Java SE 6 comes bundled with the Rhino JavaScript engine developed by the Mozilla Foundation. 

Rhino is an open source JavaScript implementation written in Java designed to be used in applications rather than web browsers.

"We want to put this Java scripting issue to rest," Jean Elliot, senior director of Java platform product marketing at Sun, told 

"Developers want business flexibility and the ability to use whatever environment is available to deliver their application."

Java SE 6 also makes it easier for developers to attach performance monitoring tools to software, allowing them to spot bugs and bottlenecks before real problems arise.

The desktop Java implementation will also support Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, extending support for the software's features to Java applications.

Developers will be able take advantage of cryptographic, authentication and graphic services offered in Vista.

The implementation will also add a set of graphics tools that speeds up the development of user interfaces. "In the past you had to be a rocket scientist to create a user interface," said Elliot.

The graphics will support the Windows Presentation Foundation in Vista that allows for 3D applications.

Although Sun released its Java SE 5 implementation last month under the open source General Public Licence (GPL), the company has reiterated that it will not release the new version 6 code until January year.

The company said that it chose to hold off the GPL release of version 6 to ensure that the open source process would not delay the launch of the new software, or vice versa.

Sun will further study the code for the new application in the coming weeks, tracking down portions that cannot be released under the GPL.

Sun developers also have to put in place a structure that allows for outside input and bug fixes to be filed and assessed. "We have to make sure that we're not throwing code over the wall," said Elliot.
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