Sun Mustang Beta Gallops Out Of The Gate

Java SE 6 focuses on enabling the latest Web services standards and technologies. Highlights include support for new specs, including JAX WS-2.0 (Java API for XML-Based Web Services) and JAXB 2.0 (Java Architecture for XML Binding), along with a new framework for scripting languages like PHP and JavaScript. Expanded diagnostic tools also are built in, along with desktop enhancements.

"There's a lot of rich client work to make applications look and feel like Windows applications, or Linux applications," said Bill Curci, Sun's product marketing manager for Java SE.

Support for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista will be a major feature of Java SE 6. Sun also is working to keep older Java SE applications compatible. It's running a "Regressions Challenge" contest through March 31, encouraging developers to send in compatibility bugs. Sun is offering Sun Ultra 20 workstations as prizes for the top-five bugs, as selected by its Java engineering team.

Sun is aiming for a general release of Java SE 6 this fall. The beta release is available on the Sun Developer Network Web site. Sun also has been releasing weekly builds of Java SE 6 on its Project Mustang Web site, and will continue doing so for developers that want to stay on the software's bleeding edge, Curci said.

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