Feeds

Applet accelerating Java update M.I.A.

Last minute glitch kills welcoming party

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sun Microsystems planned to push out a significant update to Java today, but a last-minute snag has made its date of arrival uncertain.

A Sun spokeswoman told us a problem was discovered during final testing of the release candidate of Java Standard Edition 6 Update 10. However, the company would not specify the problem or its severity. Sun said its presently evaluating the issue and can't say when the upgrade will now be ready for public consumption.

Meanwhile, the company says users shouldn't shrug off the still forthcoming update based on its clunky name, Java SE 6u10. It's true that Java updates, unlike major releases, don't mess with any public APIs, and are generally limited to bug fixes. But this time around, Sun has added some interesting new features in hopes of spurring an internet applet revival.

In particular, Sun is trying to tackle the sluggish pace in which Java apps first load.

The new Java Quick Starter pre-fetches portions of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) into memory, decreasing the average launch time during a cold start-up.

Sun is also adding Java Kernel, a new distribution method to let Java software load faster. Instead of downloading the full (14.5MB) JRE, users receive a smaller installer (4.5MB) that includes only the most commonly required components. Additional pieces are downloaded as needed in the background.

Update 10 includes a hardware accelerated graphics pipeline based on the Microsoft Direct3D 9 API. Sun said it results in better rendering of applications that rely on translucency, gradients, and other graphical tricks of the trade.

Java's user interface is getting a (supposedly more cross-platform friendly) makeover too. The new look is called Nimbus, replacing the Windows XP-ish Ocean theme introduced in Java SE 5.

SwingSet3 in Nimbus

Sun said Nimbus is drawn entirely using Java 2D vector graphics (rather than bitmaps), making it a mere 56KB and able to be rendered at any resolution.

The download site for Java SE 6u10 is obviously not up at this time due to the release delay. If you must have it now, the release candidate is still available, perhaps suggesting the problem delaying the official release isn't melting metal and faces. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.