Mac OS X ready: Oracle releases JDK 7 U4 and JavaFX 2.1
Two big updates straight out of Oracle HQ – JDK7 U4 and JavaFX 2.1. It may seem like a normal maintenance release but this is the first update to appear on Mac OS X from Oracle.
It’s certainly been a few busy days at Oracle. Yes, even away
from the protracted goings-on in a Californian courtroom, it’s
business as usual for the company, releasing two big Java updates
in Java SE 7 Update 4 and JavaFX 2.1.
The dual release may just seem like a mandatory maintenance
release to patch things up and keep the punters happy. Not so, as
this is the first delivery of both the Java Development
Kit (JDK) and JavaFX Software Development Kit (SDK) for Mac OS X by
Oracle. Senior Director of Product Management for Java,
Stahl calls it ’a major milestone in our effort to bring
Oracle Java to Mac.’
Starting with the JDK first, U4 includes the
next-generation garbage collection algorithm, Garbage First (G1), which has been the talk of
the Java community for some time, with many eager to sample some
new ways to quell some of the garbage issues they’ve accumulated.
Specifically designed to help out multi-processor
machines with large memories and heap collections of around 6GB,
Garbage First meets garbage collection (GC) pause time goals with
high probability, while achieving high throughput.
Jobs are performed concurrently to ensure as minimal
disruption as possible, with an impressive pause time of 0.5
seconds or less. It’s no wonder that G1 is expected to replace the
old Concurrent Mark-Sweep Collector (CMS) in the
longrun. It’s as close to real-time as larger Java applications are
going to get for now.
Oracle has reiterated its commitment to merge the Oracle Java
HotSpot JVM and the Oracle JRockit JVM into a converged offering by
introducing new features from both within Java SE7 Update 4.
Combined with this there’s also updated support for NetBeans,
in 7.1.2 to accomodate the JDK update.
There’s numerous performance enhancements to the JVM, promising
a performance boost to Oracle Fusion
Middleware products. This paves the way for the first
consumer release of the Java 7 JRE, scheduled to appear shortly on
As for the rich client side of things, JavaFX 2.1 has gone GA
after a few months knocking about in the Beta stage. Oracle seems
to be really pushing JavaFX’s second bite of the cherry after
tossing aside the first iteration. JavaFX 2.1 introduces
playback support for MPEG-4 and AAC audio whilst the new WebView
operations to Java.
Another important part of the bundle is the Early Preview of
JavaFX SceneBuilder 1.0 (previously profiled at the beginning of
the month by us
here) which is a visual layout tool for JavaFX. A longheld
complaint against previous versions was the sheer complication that
arose from creating UI elements. SceneBuilder introduces
drag-and-drop functionality making it easier to position UI
components onto a scene. The video below gives you a good starting
point in using the tool:
You can get your hands on both
JDK7 U4 and JavaFX 2.1 right now to utilise the latest
updates to the Java platform. Enjoy!