April 12, 2008

Introducing Java Kernel...

Sun recently released Java SE 6 Update 10 Beta, and this release has some interesting updates to Java SE 6! With the stiff competition on the web application and RIA arena, all players are "in" to provide the best of their platform at the earliest. With this release, Sun is all set to provide some major improvements on Java Applets which has been ignored for quite long.

So, what's so great with this release? The new beta focuses on three major improvements:
  • Enhanced Java deployment
  • Improved performance and look & feel
  • Next-Generation Java Plug-In

Java, for quite long has been one of the most preferred programming language even though the size of JRE has been a issue. Once a Java application is up and running, the sailing is smooth. New JRE has been stable, fast and more reliable. But, the bottle neck was getting the application up and running. Some of the major challenges faced presently are:
  • Difficult to detect JREs, especially from a web browser
  • Difficult to automatically install new JREs
  • Large download size of JREs
  • Poor cold start performance
  • Little overlap between applets and Web Start programs
And the new beta release is aimed in solving these challenges sooner than later.

Java Kernel
The JRE provides many different APIs: Swing, AWT, ImageIO, SQL, CORBA, RMI, XML and much more. The new distribution is aimed at getting Java software up and running faster. So we have,Java Kernel which divides JRE libraries into small bundles. The kernel will include only the most commonly needed JRE components. Additional components are downloaded as needed, and the JRE will download remaining components in the background and then reassemble itself.

Java Delopyment Toolkit
Client using Java have different variety or flavor of JRE installed. Also, there JREs run on different operating systems. Detecting the JRE version is one of the major challenge and deployment toolkit will help in a consistent Java content to all these clients. The deployment toolkit will provide a powerful JavaScripts library that will help in automatically installing Java Platform for Java Plug-in applets and Java Web Start applications.

New Look and Feel
With this new release comes a new cross-platform Swing look & feel called Nimbus. It provides a polished look to applications which choose to use it. And because Nimbus is drawn entirely using Java 2D vector graphics, rather than static bitmaps, it's tiny (only 56KB!) and can be rendered at arbitrary resolutions.

This release includes improvements to patch downloading and installation. The new download engine can resume interrupted downloads automatically. It also uses a new patching algorithm which will significantly reduce the size of future updates.

Well that's all about the new release. If you want to try out these features, I suggest you quick get the early access download and have a look!

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