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Sun Touts Next Java Standard Editions

Sun Microsystems unveils the next two versions of Java Standard Edition now under development, code-named Mustang and Dolphin.
Sun Microsystems opened the kimono on the next two versions of Java Standard Edition now under development, code-named Mustang and Dolphin.

At the JavaOne conference in San Francisco, Sun announced an ambitious plan for Mustang, the next release of Java Standard Edition, which is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2006.

Renamed Java Standard Edition 6, the release is slated to offer a native look and feel like Microsoft's "Longhorn" Windows, including a redesigned user interface, "Rhino" JavaScript engine, JConsole improvements, a Web services stack with built-in JAXB 2.0, and possibly the co-existence of Sun's Java Virtual Machine with Microsoft's CLR engine, Sun executives said on Monday.

Not all of Mustang's features are set in stone, but Sun said the Java expert group has approved a list of features that include enhanced class libraries and an enhanced compiler API to ease development, as well as annotation processors and JDBC 4.0 that will enable developers to simplify queries and use SQLXML data types. Mustang also is slated to support XML digital signatures and streaming APIs for XML and JAX-WS 2.0.

Farther down the road, Sun and its partners will develop the Dolphin Java Standard Edition specification, which is expected to offer language-level XML modules, a file system API, docking support, Web services for JMX and class data sharing for applications.

The implementation of language-level support for XML is expected to simplify syntax and eliminate much of the need to write procedural code. Still, Dolphin is a ways out. Sun said the current plan is to finish Dolphin in the first quarter of 2008.

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