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The transition to a 64-bit world continues

With 64-bit adoption rising for both Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations, Sun Microsystems' latest update of Java 6 features enhanced 64-bit support.

Java 6 Update 12 will finally have a 64-bit plug-in, a feature that was first requested in January of 2003, as well as a 64-bit version of Webstart. Java Webstart enables the deployment of standalone Java software applications over a network or the internet.

The Java plug-in allows web browsers to run Java applications; a 64-bit plug-in is required for 64-bit browsers. It is included as part of the Java Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (Java SE).

If 32-bit and 64-bit browsers are to be used interchangeably, then both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the JRE must be installed as well.

Although the Java Runtime Environment had x64 versions for Linux, Solaris, and Windows, there were no 64-bit versions of the Java plug-in, Java Web Start or Java Control Panel. 32-bit versions of the JRE could be installed on 64-bit systems in order to obtain this functionality, but can only be used with 32-bit browsers.

The foundation for the 64-bit plug-in comes from the completely redesigned plug-in of Java 6 Update 10. The Java Virtual Machine running applets is isolated from the web browser at the operating system level. If an error occurs while running the applet, the new Java plug-in detects and handles the error. The web browser is unaffected, even if an uncooperative applet refuses to shut down.

Update 12 also features official Windows 2008 support, as well as improved application startup and runtime performance for both Java Webstart and JavaFX. There are no major security updates, but Update 12 contains 140 bugfixes.

Java 7, meanwhile, is tentatively scheduled for an early 2010 release.

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RE: It's about time...
By Master Kenobi on 2/4/2009 9:06:42 AM , Rating: 1
Java I find is on the decline in many areas. Java seems to survive in the Oracle, and cross platform world, but thats about it. As far as User Interfaces go, I see most using .NET and as someone who has programmed in both, I can see why. .NET is considerably more flexible and robust than Java.

It seems Java is dying a slow death. If Microsoft could figure out how to port a .Net Framework installer to Linux and Unix it would seal the coffin on Java.

RE: It's about time...
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 9:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
I agree - I like Java and used it for several years. For the desktop, it is nice that you can develop cross-platform GUIs. But it takes a lot of work to get GUIs to work well and look nice.

But if you are creating GUIs for Windows, .NET is much quicker and easier - there is no comparison really.

But I think Java is still being used a lot on the server side.

RE: It's about time...
By Verran on 2/4/2009 11:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're viewing this from a rather shallow perspective. Having coded in both, I can safely say that .NET is my language of choice for silly little utility projects I have of my own. .NET is lightyears ahead of Java in UI stuff. Even for small scale professional operations, I think .NET is the clear winner.

However, .NET scales very poorly in enterprise settings. Java scales significantly better. People who need large scale expandability and want to deploy to a non-Windows environment still often choose Java. I would hardly say that Java is dying.

RE: It's about time...
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 12:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
Just does Java scale better? Usually these larger architectures use client/server, SOAP, XML, etc., and I think support in .NET is at least as good as Java, right? Or are you thinking of something else.

I do see your point about Java being able to run on different platforms - "write once, debug everywhere" as they say. :o)

RE: It's about time...
By Verran on 2/4/2009 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
My terminology may be confusing. By "scaling" I'm talking about growing from smaller personal use to giant enterprise level support.

My understanding both from usage and from training classes I've taken is that Java is much harder to write up front, and that's one of the main reasons it loses in the personal use and small business category for me. But the benefit of following the more complicated coding standards of Java is that as your software grows in number of users, very little changes are needed. When you make the leap from a single server to a substantial cluster and start adding redundancy and all of that, your Java code moves over pretty much in tact. My experience has been that .NET applications don't do this nearly as smoothly and even when re-written for larger scale just aren't as efficient.

When projects grow in complexity I think Java really shines and I think that's why they'll stay alive.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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