Oracle has announced the availability of Java Platform Standard Edition 7 Update 6 (Java SE 7 Update 6) and JavaFX 2.2, as well as the first release of JavaFX Scene Builder.
With what is perhaps an unexpected tilt of the cap to Apple HQ, Oracle is pushing out Mac compatibility in advance of Windows (or any other platform) for this release. Java SE 7 Update 6 will now be available on Mac OS X, including the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK), as well as the JavaFX 2.2 rich client platform and JavaFX Scene Builder.
NOTE: From this point, Oracle confirms that it will provide auto-updates for Mac OS X at the same time as for Windows platforms.
Also of particular interest here is the news that Java SE 7 Update 6 introduces a JDK for Linux on ARM v6 and v7 to address what has been called "general purpose" ARM systems. Within this group we find systems such as those used for the emerging micro-server ARM market, as well as for development platforms such as Raspberry Pi.
"Oracle continues to expand our support for the Java platform and now, for the first time, consumers and developers have access to the latest Java SE features and security updates across all major operating systems: Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X," said Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java Products, Oracle. "We’re also focused on improving the client Java experience with the release of JavaFX Scene Builder and bundling JavaFX with Java SE to provide better performance and improved usability for JavaFX applications, without having to install and maintain a separate product."
This new JDK for Linux on ARM is available under the Oracle Binary Code License and is available for download at no cost for development and production use on general-purpose platforms.
Amongst the other announcements in this group, we also find that JavaFX 2.2 introduces full Linux support for both x86 and x64 systems. The new application package allows developers to bundle the JRE and JavaFX runtime libraries with JavaFX applications, allowing (so says Oracle) end users to experience a traditional native installation process on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Also of note here is the new JavaFX Scene Builder. This is a visual layout tool for the JavaFX platform that enables users to design user interface (UI) screens by dragging and positioning components from a palette onto a scene. Key features of this release include: clean separation of application logic, UI layout and "look and feel"; and automatically generated FXML code and cascading style sheets (CSS), for easier project maintenance and more productive developer-designer workflow.