A Plethora of Java Developments in February 2012

There are several sites (Java.net, JavaWorld, JavaLobby/DZone, Java reddit, and Java Code Geeks) that I like to browse for the latest Java news. These sites are great and bring the best from around the web from the wider Java community. A nice complement to these sites is Oracle Technology Network‘s Java page. There are several Java stories available on the OTN Java page that originate from Oracle and its employees that are of interest to Java developers. I briefly summarize and link to a subset of these in this blog post.

New Java Language and Java VM Specifications

Alex Buckley‘s post JLS7 and JVMS7 online announces the availability of new versions of the Java Language Specification and of the Java Virtual Machine Specification. Besides announcing the availability of these new specifications associated explicitly with Java SE 7, the post also provides some interesting background regarding the history of these two specifications. For example, Buckley states, “Only a major Java SE release can change the Java language and JVM.” I also find it interesting that these specifications no longer have names based on their edition (was Third Edition for JLS and Second Edition for JVMS). Instead, these two specifications are now named for the edition of Java SE they are associated with. To me, that’s much clearer. You may wonder why this wasn’t done in the first place and Buckley explains that, “Historically, the JLS and JVMS pre-date the Java Community Process so there was no Java SE platform to which they could be tied.” The specifications are available in HTML or PDF format and it is anticipated that they will be published in printed book format in the future.

Java SE 6 End of Life Extended

Henrik Stahl uses the post Updated Java 6 EOL date to announce that the JDK6 “EOL date has been extended from July 2012 to November 2012, to allow some more time for the transition to JDK 7.” He also highlights portions of the updated EOL policy. The Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap (AKA “Java SE EOL Policy”) was updated on 15 February 2012 with this new EOL date.

New Java Updates

The Java SE News blog contains posts regarding newly available Java updates. The titles of the posts say it all: Java 7 Update 3 and Java 6 Update 31 have released!, 7u4 Developer Preview is now Available, and 6u32 Developer Preview is now Available.

JSR 354: Money and Currency API

The JCP Program Office blog features a post announcing JSR 354: Money and Currency API. This JSR proposal describes deficiencies with the already available java.util.Currency class that will be addressed by the JSR. The “proposed Specification” section states:

This JSR will provide a money and currency API for Java, targeted at all users of currencies and monetary amounts in Java.

The API will provide support for standard ISO-4217 and custom currencies, and a representation of a monetary amount.

It will support currency arithmetic, even across different currencies, and will support foreign currency exchange.

Additionally, implementation details surrounding serialization and thread safety are to be considered.

It sounds like there is some optimism about this making it into Java SE 8.

JavaFX 2 Developer Community

Nicolas Lorain writes in JavaFX 2 and the developer community that “JavaFX 2 was only released in October 2011, but there’s already a thriving developer community kicking the tires of the new kid on the block.” He adds, “There’s no denying that we’ve pretty much started from scratch with JavaFX 2.” Lorain then provides evidence of the growing JavaFX 2 community that includes increasing number of discussion threads on the JavaFX 2.0 and Later forum, the developer community contributing roughly 20% of the bug reports related to JavaFX, an “increasing number of people interested in JavaFX are following me” (@javafx4you), and number of community blog posts on JavaFX (references JavaFX Links of the Week). Lorain concludes, “pretty much all the [metrics] I’ve seen show that JavaFX is growing in terms of popularity.”

Incidentally, one of the co-authors of Pro JavaFX 2: A Definitive Guide to Rich Clients with Java Technology has provided some details about that book which will soon be in print and is already available in electronic format.


The Java development community seems more lively and more energetic in recent months (especially since JavaOne 2011) than it has been for years. After years of seeming stagnation, Java-related developments appear to be coming at us more quickly again. It is nice to have so many online forums to get information about these developments.

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