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Sun JDK 6u12 released, good for both Swing and JavaFX

Posted by opinali on February 3, 2009 at 6:46 AM PST

The release is available here. The Release Notes reveal that, at last, it "supports the New Java Plugin and Java Webstart on AMD64 architecture, on Windows platforms" - fixing the Bug Database's second-most voted bug, except that just on Windows right now, hopefully Linux will follow in 6u14+ (since 6u13 should be a security release). It's also not a completely delivery of all 6u10+ enhancements - but the unsupported bits are mostly download/deployment/update facilities, and I guess that power users that run 64-bit systems won't miss optimizations aimed at consumer machines with slow internet connections (e.g. JavaKernel, PiP) and poor overall performance (JQS). Windows Server 2008 is also supported.

More than 64-bit goodness, 6u12 also introduces critical enhancements to all platforms. The AWT fixes most of its ancient lightweight/heavyweight incompatibilities, including non-opaque lightweight components, and shows a less intrusive warning for untrusted apps. There are performance improvements in antialiased drawing and filling (a well-known weak spot of Java2D: this bug?), non-AA transformed rectangles and single wide lines, and JAWS startup time.

It's worth notice that, just like in all maintenance updates since 6u10, some bugs are being fixed by specific demand of JavaFX; the Release Notes even goes on to say "JavaFX: Improved application startup and runtime performance are provided." This includes both JavaFX-centric bugs like auto-update support for the upcoming JavaFX 1.5 and other minor deployment bugs or enhancements; but also, the non-AA rects/lines enhancement (and perhaps others?) where you can read that such features "are very common in FX", and of course all the HW/LW bugs that are certainly relevant to both JavaFX with its media codecs (supposedly heavyweight stuff) and to Swing and many other frameworks including OpenGL bridges. Another important bugfix is Remove AWT tree lock from Container methods, that basically broke Java for tons of Oracle Forms apps (it seems it was also Oracle's fault, anyway it's an important fix). There's also the regular batch of AWT-, Java2D- or Swing-specific fixes. In short, a hot update for whatever GUI toolkit you are using, from AWT/Swing to JavaFX to Oracle's.

The relatively large number of fixes to the 6u10 functionality, remarkably plugin2, implies that the initial 6u10 release delivered last december 4th was not really good for the masses - that would be the "developer release". 6u11 was a security update, so now with 6u12, hopefully we have a real end-user delivery of Update N.

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