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Early Access Granted: Java SE 6 Update N

Posted by chet on October 1, 2007 at 11:42 AM PDT

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It's here (almost), it's
ready (for testing), and it's got a cooler name than ever before....
Java SE 6 Update N
(formerly known as the Consumer JRE) is available
for early access.

Remember when I
talked about
an upcoming Java SE 6 release that should address many of
the outstanding issues for Java on the client? We used to call it "The Consumer
JRE", but then we decided that "Java SE 6 Update N" was a much cooler name.
Rolls right off the tongue. More SExy, like. Besides, as my buddy Willy
Shakespeare was fond of saying:

What's in a name? that which we call Java SE6 Update N

By any other name would smell as sweet

(I don't know what's up with the "smell" thing. I think it's poetic license.)
Whatever the release is called, many of the features in the release are ready
for testing. Head on over to the download
and give it a whirl.

Some of the important features in this release (which, by the way, should make
for a better Java FX experience when
it's released), include:

  • Java Quickstarter
    : Faster coldstart for Java applications and applets

  • Deployment Toolkit: Easier detection of a user's Java version
    from a web page. (Note that the current

    page is light on details for this feature - we plan to update this item in the
    next couple of days with specific information about testing this).

  • Graphics Performance
    : Acceleration through Direct3D on Windows for Java 2D, enabled by default

  • Nimbus: A new Swing cross-platform look & feel that's much
    more modern and cool than Metal. Scott Violet was saying that some look &
    feels were so cool you wanted to lick them. Along those lines, I'd claim that
    Nimbus is our first Swing lick & feel.

Note that some items planned for the final release are not there yet (we're
still working on them). In particular,
Java Kernel
is still baking internally before we unleash it. So you'll
have to check back in a few weeks if you want to hammer on that one.

More information about what is and is not available for testing in this release
so far is on the Testing
Guidelines page

Please try it out and send us
on it. In particular, please send feedback through the handy
forum on the download page. Much as I enjoy the comments to my
blog, I would rather have important release feedback go to the folks that are
directly working on the issues to make sure that your input gets heard.

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