Sun Outlines Next Two Versions of Java

At JavaOne, Sun offers more details of its "Mustang" and "Dolphin" versions of Java Standard Edition that are due over the next few years.

SAN FRANCISCO—In a JavaOne technical session about the future of Java, Sun Microsystems Inc. identified possible plans for the next couple of versions of the platform.

Graham Hamilton, a Sun fellow and vice president, said Java Standard Edition 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, method references and friends for cross-package references.

Other changes being considered for Dolphin include the deliverance of new JVM (Java Virtual Machine) bytecodes for dynamic languages, support for the BeanShell scripting language, more I/O APIs and a new packaging/deployment architecture.

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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," he said. "This is a complex one, and well need lead time."

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

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

Mustang, which will be available in 2006, 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.

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Mustang also will have a Microsoft Longhorn look and feel and have the wherewithal to co-exist with the .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.

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Meanwhile, Bill Shannon, a distinguished engineer at Sun, said the next version of Java Enterprise Edition, Version 5, will feature easier development using annotations and POJOs (plain old Java objects), new APIs such as the 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.

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