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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-02-05 Print this article Print

J2SE 1.5 will add technology from ongoing Java Specification Requests that will simplify development and smooth the language in four areas: ease of development; monitoring and manageability; scalability and performance; and XML and client-side Web services support, Sun officials said. "Im sure the Java community will receive this as another important improvement in the openness of Javas development," said Osvaldo Doederlein, technology architect at Visionnaire Informatica SA in Curitiba, Brazil, and a JavaLobby member. "General access to alpha-stage builds is very welcome, as enthusiasts can actually influence the release if they send high-quality feedback to Sun; in the beta stage, its typically too late for input on features and all thats left for testers is to finger bugs."
Keller said Sun "will still run a formal beta program alongside these other programs."
However, Doederlein warned fellow developers to "remember that alpha code is supposed to contain severe well-known bugs" and testers should not flood Sun with petty bug reports before the beta. Suns Keller said external developer feedback can be beneficial. "When doing broad programs, they [developers] have quite a bit of influence based on the problems," he said. "Having them have access, especially earlier, increases the chances theyll have influence [on the platform] down the road." Added Suns Gafter: "Regarding feedback from the alpha/beta releases, we hope by that time that things are pretty stable, but we do schedule time to make changes in response to feedback." One developer who asked not to be identified said the whole process amounted to "forcing Sun to open source" its alpha testing due to the overwhelming response from Java developers. Yet, Ross saw it differently. "Hats off to Sun," he said. "It is fitting that this should come on the fifth anniversary of the JCP [Java Community Process]. Lets hope they can really set their fears aside and take similar bold steps in other areas to help lead the whole Java industry to greater successes with J2SE 1.5 and beyond."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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