The next release of Java on the desktop came a step closer yesterday, and with it the promise of simpler, cleaner and more reliable coding.
Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 1.5, codenamed Tiger, was released to Beta, wrapping-up APIs and other improvements designed to increase the platform’s appeal.
The long-awaited J2SE 1.5 includes support for features like generics that both simplify and make programming more flexible, combined with a set of profiling tools that extract information from the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Performance, traditionally a weak area for J2SE, is tackled with 1.5 that introduces a smaller JVM, reduced memory footprint, and auto-tuning of applications.
Sun Microsystems Inc called J2SE 1.5 a tremendous achievement with enhancements that would appeal to a broad variety of Java developers.
J2SE has been the poor relation to its cousins, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), which caters to business systems and web services, and Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) that is a popular development platform for mobile devices.
Sun appears to have woken-up to this fact, and is fitting J2SE into the company’s broad strategy of growing the pool of Java developers to 10 million in three years.
Sun hopes that OEMs ship PCs systems pre-installed with J2SE, creating a ready market for applications such as games.
Last summer, Sun announced Dell Corp and Hewlett Packard Co agreed to ship systems installed with Sun’s Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which contains the JVM along with core classes and files to run Java applications. The JRE is the runtime component of Sun’s Java Development Kit.
Simplifying both the developer experience and improving the run-time experience, though, are key to helping win over PC manufacturers and expanding the developer gene pool.
At one level, Sun hopes to achieve this using the IDE. The up-coming Java Studio Creator, formerly Project Rave, is destined to ultimately become a development environment for Linux and Windows desktops. Java Studio Creator will use drag-and-drop tools to simplify coding in Java.
Java Studio Creator’s first incarnation, due by the middle of 2004, is designed as a development environment for web-based Java applications built using J2EE’s JavaServer Pages (JSPs).
With J2SE Sun is going a step deeper, by tackling the underlying platform and language that IDE’s like Java Studio Creator use. Features include enumerated types that avoid the need to hard code instructions, like using numbers to specific a color. Like generics, enumerated types make code easier to read, write and maintain.
Autoboxing will also be used, meaning programmers do not need to cast data from source code itself. Sun, meanwhile, also announced yesterday, that the next versions of its NetBeans IDE, version 3.6 and 4.0, would be compatible with J2SE 1.5.
On the runtime/administration side, J2SE 1.5 applications can be managed through SNMP-based enterprise management systems, while the platform will also use Java Management Extensions (JMX) so that applications can be managed through systems that also use JMX.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire