RealTime IT News

Sun Takes 'Mustang' For Test Drive

Sun Microsystems today took its next-generation Java platform for a spin, with the beta release of Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6).

Code-named Project Mustang, the test run includes improved support for Web services , scripting language and desktop applications.

Java SE 6 is entering a computing world that has shifted before Sun announced it a couple years ago.

While Web services have been at the forefront of the IT world's consciousness for the last five years or so, blogs, wikis and RSS feeds have popped to make the world an even more interactive place.

Sun and others call this "Web 2.0," a vision in which the Internet itself is the platform and Java and other programming languages cater to it. Accordingly, Sun is trying to tailor its latest software to meet the demands of the interactive Web.

Bill Curci, product manager for the Java Standard Platform Edition, said Java SE 6 features a new framework to help popular scripting languages, such as PHP and JavaScript, work better with Java.

Java SE 6 also for the first time includes a full Web services client stack, the executive said, noting that Sun polled the community through an open review between Sun engineers and developers in the community.

He said Sun managed to get hundreds of developers involved in submitting recommendations and code suggestions for how Sun could improve the platform.

The beta also boasts better support for diagnosing, managing and monitoring applications. This includes enhanced support for Solaris DTrace, Sun's dynamic tracing framework and tool interface updates for the Java Virtual Machine and the Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA).

Curci also said Java SE 6 includes tighter integration with native desktop facilities to give Java applications more of a PC feel, including text printing, drag-and-drop capabilities and table display and manipulation.

Java SE 6 software will also provide support for the upcoming version of Windows Vista, a symbol of how far the Sun-Microsoft detente has come in the last two years.

"This is to make applications look and feel like the platform they're running on for current platforms, like Linux, Solaris and Windows, as well as future versions of those platforms, like Windows Vista," Curci said in an interview.

Those interested may download the Java 6.0 beta here. The finished Java SE 6 is expected this fall.