Sun Lays Out Scenarios for Mustang, Dolphin

Sun Microsystems Inc. recently laid out some of its possible plans for the next two versions of Java.

Sun Microsystems Inc. recently laid out some of its possible plans for the next two versions of Java.

Graham Hamilton, Sun fellow and vice president, said Java SE 7, code-named Dolphin, which is expected by early 2008, will likely feature some language changes, such as direct support for XML data types in the language and method references. Other changes being considered for Dolphin include delivering new JVM (Java virtual machine) bytecodes for dynamic languages, support for the BeanShell scripting language, new I/O APIs, and a new packaging and deployment architecture.

In addition, Dolphin could extend the use of generics in the Java Management Extensions API, Hamilton said during a presentation at the JavaOne conference here.

"Were including JavaScript as part of Mustang [Java SE 6], so BeanShell is a candidate for Dolphin," Hamilton said.

"Were also interested in the virtualized file system API as a candidate for Dolphin," Hamilton said. "This is a complex one, and well need lead time."

Hamilton said Sun, of Palo Alto, Calif., will move directly from the "Tiger," or Java SE 5, release of Java to Mustang. "We wont be doing a 5.1 release; were going straight from 5.0 to 6.0," he said.

Hamilton said the formal releases of code will occur every 18 months.

Mustang, which will be available next year, will feature support for client-side Web services, including a revamped XML stack, a new scripting engine, declarative programming support through annotations and a faster code verifier, Hamilton said.

Mustang will also have a Microsoft Corp. "Longhorn" look and feel and be able to coexist with .Net CLR (Common Language Runtime), he said.

"Were already working with the Longhorn builds, making sure there are no accidental collisions with the CLR," Hamilton said. "Were including the Avalon look and feel." Avalon is the presentation subsystem for Longhorn.

Meanwhile, Bill Shannon, a distinguished engineer at Sun, said the next version of Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition, known as Java EE 5, will feature easier development using annotations and POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects); new APIs such as the JSP (JavaServer Pages) standard tag library; the Streaming API for XML (also known as StAX); Web services metadata; JAXB (Java Architecture for XML Binding); JSF (JavaServer Faces); and a new persistence API, among other features.

Also at the show, IBM said it is extending its Java technology agreement to license and use Java technologies from Sun through 2016. In addition, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., plans to support its middleware on the Solaris 10 operating system on SPARC x86 and x64 systems, the companies said.