Oracle has announced Java Standard Edition (SE) 7 Update 4) and JavaFX 2.1. Representing the first delivery of both the Java Development Kit (JDK) and JavaFX Software Development Kit (SDK) for Mac OS X, Oracle says that it also plans to release a consumer version of Java SE 7, including the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for Mac OS X later in 2012.
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The Java SE 7 Update 4 JDK includes the Garbage Collection algorithm, Garbage First (G1), which provides "predictable garbage collection" for applications in development. In other refinements and augmentations, the company is promising to continue its work to merge the Oracle Java HotSpot JVM and the Oracle JRockit JVM into a converged offering that leverages the best features of each of these virtual machines.
"Oracle has aggressive plans for Java over the next few years and we are continuing to drive technical advancements across the platform. At JavaOne in 2011, we outlined our long-term roadmap for Java SE and JavaFX and we are working closely with the Java community to meet our development milestones," said Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java Products, Oracle.
NOTE: We will assume Rizvi means "aggressive plans for Java" in a good way.
"With the upcoming Mac OS X port, we look forward to delivering simultaneous releases of the JRE across all major operating systems later this year, so all Java users will be able to take advantage of the latest features and security fixes," added Rizvi.
Developers will now be able to see that Java SE7 Update 4 contains performance enhancements to the JVM, which are logically aligned to deliver a performance boost to Oracle Fusion Middleware products. With the release of Java SE 7 Update 4, all of the performance enhancements available in Oracle JRockit have been merged into Oracle Java HotSpot and OpenJDK, the open source Java SE implementation.
The OpenJDK Community continues to host the development of Java SE 7 on Mac OS X and JDK 8, the prototype reference implementation of Java SE 8. Oracle has also started the OpenJFX project as part of its plan to open source the JavaFX platform.
"Rich client applications using JavaFX 2.1 are completely developed in Java. Customers and partners can leverage their existing knowledge of and investments in Java technologies to easily create modern, expressive graphical user interfaces and data visualizations in JavaFX. JavaFX 2.1 introduces playback support for digital media stored in the MPEG-4 multimedia container format containing H.264/AVC video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio," said the company.