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6u10 is out!

Posted by robogeek on October 21, 2008 at 9:38 AM PDT

We finally know the value for N in the equation 6uN .. N = 10.

A set of slides have been posted discussing what's new. This release started out as Consumer JRE and became more, and more, and more, etc.. It's a relief to have this out in the public. The DLJ bundles for 6u10 are also available.

What does this mean?

It means that client side Java has been getting some long long long needed attention and improvement. There were years when, obviously, the attention was on server side Java and, obviously, client side Java suffered. It is a relief to have attention on client side issues because in truth Java was the first RIA platform (long before this term was invented by a different company) but it was hampered in playing a significant role in RIA by, uh, shortcomings in the client side (sigh). 6u10 fixes a lot of issues and enables the underlying graphics changes needed for JavaFX.

But what does this mean for the OpenJDK project? As was pointed out in an mailing list a couple days ago, 6u10 represents a proprietary fork of code we're working on opening. Um, well, okay, uh, that's certainly true from one point of view. As good as the new features in 6u10 are it is a split between the JDK and OpenJDK, and unfortunately it's still unknown if/when we'll be able to move that code into open source. There was a sequence of great conversation in September on the list in which we made it clear that no decision has been made about if/when/where/how the new stuff in 6u10 would be made open source. Please stay tuned and maybe we'll have good open news relatively soon.

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During the Java Champions call about 6u10 Danny was asked about the plugin going into OpenJDK, and he confirmed it - so I expect that to happen eventually.

David, thanks for the answer on the 64bit linux plugin question. I've been waiting for this. I finally got a chance to run the OS I want on the desktop (64 bit Ubuntu) and now I have to do without one of my favorite technologies - Java Webstart!

"64-bit linux" not right now.. the bug for that is currently targeted to 6u12 and we should be able to return to a more orderly schedule for update releases now that the hairball is released. Oh, did I really type that?

One thing those slides don't mention is whether or not the plugin will finally work on a 64 bit linux.

mbien: It's not the exactly 64bit that draws me to X86_64 (as 64bit datatypes are usually limited to cryptographic routines, compression, media processing), but architecture changes, especially extra set of registers allowing compilers to better optimize the code. "there are no technical advantages [...] to use a 64bit JRE on a 64bit desktop system"... First thing that comes to my mind: 32bit JRE/JDK requires you to have plenty of system libraries in both 64 and 32 bit versions, and this takes plenty of space. 32bit libs on 64bit OS are usually not as fresh as their native 64bit counterparts. Compiling and linking can be hell on mixed system. I think we moved far far away from the master-article topic :)

@mbien: That's what I'm hearing all the time about 64bit Flash plugin. And I think using 32bit browser is NOT the solution. However - Flash can be run via wrapper in 64bit browser and Java plug-in unfortunately not. I just can't understand resistance of closed-source developers against 64-bit... 64b technology is quite mature on the market, 64b Vista being available for quite a long, 64b XP too and 64b Linux even longer... However - still no 64bit Flash, no 64bit Java plugin, no 64bit J2ME SDK, Acrobat/Acrobat reader, etc, etc... 64bit Windows applications are marginal in count... Quite the opposite on Linux - the only 32bit apps on my machine are those with closed-source: Skype, Acrobat reader, J2ME SDK (with accompanying 32bit JDK) and Google Earth...

kslater, just install a 32bit browser and 32bit jre - works pretty well. david, it would be pretty disappointing if it wouldn't be possible for Sun to open source 6u10 since this would also mean that there will be a proprietary version of SE 7 (never ending story). Maybe I am wrong but I don't see a big gain to have two REs compared to the efforts people have to make to keep both branches in sync (e.g bugfixes, added features) and the fact that there is now an other RE on which you have to test your app.

@kslater Another thing that will make the 64-bit linux expirience great is CompressedOops I am not sure it has hit OpenJDK yet, but should soon? -Anders

pkraszewski, I agree with you, 64 bit is important for consumers especially because the number is larger than 32... but there are no technical advantages for me (as developer) to use a 64bit JRE on a 64bit desktop system. I don't try to convince people to stop working on 64 bit JRE, I only have the feeling that many forget that it is possible to run 32bit java on a 64bit os.

It is great that java plugin cannot crash browser, when will have beta for linux 64 bit to try?

Well, since no one else said it: congratulations, Sun, on a really neat release.

Cool to see that there is a schedule for jdk7 :)

Any chance that Sun would post a debug build of this FCS? The debug builds are always available for alpha-to-RC builds at, but never for FCS builds. I know, I know, 6u10-b33 is just a couple bugfixes different from b32... still, I would prefer to use the debug build of exactly the same stuff. And no I don't want the work of doing my own compilation of the entire JDK, except when you make it as simple as typing 'ant' :)