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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