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Bumper update to Java SE 7

Oracle brings big updates for Java SE 7, JavaFX 2.2 fully implemented

Chris Mayer
Java-8

Oracle certainly have been busy with JDK 7, bringing in proper Mac OS X and JavaFX support for the first time.

A month of gloom has subsided at Redwood Shores, with the news of numerous updates expanding the core support of Java technologies.

The biggest update is Java SE 7 Update 6 - a crucial update that might persuade some Java 6 users to jump across, despite the recent extension to that version’s lifespan. The update introduces a new JDK Linux port to address the emerging ARM micro-server field, or in other words, allow development on platforms like Raspberry Pi or other small footprint devices of the nature. Raspberry Pi is certainly gaining admirers across the development world and the addition of a general-purpose port should help fuel some interesting Java ideas down the line.

Also included is the long awaited Java 7 port for Mac OS X. Henrik Stahl revealed just how much work had gone into this, saying in his blogpost about the upgrade:

We have been working on it in OpenJDK with Apple since November 2010, and it has been quite a lot of work both in the JDK/JRE and in OS X to get to this point. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes on seemingly trivial but time-consuming tasks such as extending the build & test infrastructure and figuring out how to decouple the Java and OS release cycles. Anyway; with the 7u6 release we are finally completing the feature set by adding a desktop JRE and making it available for download on java.oracle.comand (in a week or so) on java.com.

By finally offering first class Mac OS X support, the vulnerabilities that made the Java and Apple combination lethal at times should become much less of a problem.

Big steps have been made by Oracle towards JavaFX over recent weeks, and today’s bumper deployment reinforces that with the first full integration of the Rich Internet Application platform into Java SE. By including JavaFX 2.2 libraries fully, Mac OS X users should find developing GUI applications with the platform far easier than it was previously.

To further ease the process for newcomers, Oracle has included the first full version of JavaFX Scene Builder in the deal too. The visual layout tool adds in a drag-and-drop functionality to design, so you can place components into a scene seamlessly. 

“Oracle continues to expand our support for the Java platform and now, for the first time, consumers and developers have access to the latest Java SE features and security updates across all major operating systems: Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X,” said Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java Products, Oracle. “We’re also focused on improving the client Java experience with the release of JavaFX Scene Builder and bundling JavaFX with Java SE to provide better performance and improved usability for JavaFX applications, without having to install and maintain a separate product.”

Whilst there’s nothing groundbreaking about these release, the combined upgrades may go some way to convince critics that Oracle is taking the right steps with JDK 7.

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