According to the Mustang Web site, this release "provides a complete stable snapshot of the final release functionality.
"This beta build has undergone much more thorough testing and baking than the regular weeklies (which is why it may seem "old" to weekly build fans).
"This means it provides a good stable base for the general developer community to try out the new Mustang features."
"With expanded scripting language and Web services support, the Java SE 6 software is clearly emerging as the next-generation platform for Web 2.0 applications and services. The beta version has been extensively tested and is now ready for a wider base of developers who want to take advantage of the latest features but dont want to be bleeding edge," Jeff Jackson, Suns vice president of Java Developer Platform and Strategy, said in a statement.
"Developers are encouraged to start testing projects and applications now, and provide their own feedback for the final version of the Java SE 6 software."
The new JSE6 also provides expanded tools for diagnosing, managing and monitoring applications. This includes better support for Suns DTrace, open-source dynamic tracing framework for Solaris, and tool interface updates for JVMs (Java virtual machine) and the JDBA (Java Platform Debugger Architecture).
Sun has also tried to improve JSEs integration with the desktop in this edition. The company claims that with tighter integration with native desktop facilities, Java applications will be better able to emulate native platform look and feel, text printing, drag-and-drop capabilities and table display and manipulation.
At the same time, Sun, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is working to ensure backwards compatibility with J2SE5 and earlier versions of the platform.
What has at least one Java developer excited about JSE6 arent the features, but the improvements in the byte code verifier.
The author of the All Things Java blog wrote, "Now, at run-time, the verifier can look up this extra information reducing the amount of analysis required at run-time, resulting in improved performance. Sun have stated that dependant upon the type of application this increases verification by approximately 50%. Not bad!"
These features and improvements arent just from Sun. Fourteen other companies and organizations, including The Apache Software Foundation, BEA, IBM, Oracle and SAP, are working on JSE6 through the JCP (Java Community Process).
To give JSE6 a try, Sun is encouraging programmers to use the NetBeans IDE (integrated development environment). The beta release is now available from Sun. The final version is due out in the summer of 2006.