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Features and Enhancements

Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 is a major feature release. The following list highlights many of the significant features and enhancements in Java SE 6 since the prior major release, J2SE 5.0. It is followed by a detailed table with links to related bugs, enhancements, and JSRs.

Note, this web page relates to the Release Candidate milestone for Java SE 6. Its related Umbrella JSR 270 does not itself define specific features. Instead it enumerates features defined in other JSRs or through the concurrent maintenance review of the Java SE platform specification. The final release is expected to include all JSR 270 features, although it is possible for an approved feature to be dropped.

Refer also to:

Highlights of Technology Changes in Java SE 6

Choose a technology for links to further information.

Detailed Table of Technology Changes in Java SE 6

Items are ordered by area/component. The first column indicates the scope of a change:

  • jsr    –  A larger feature or feature set having its own Java Specification Request
  • api   –  A smaller feature that adds new Java APIs (application programming interfaces)
  • imp  –  An implementation enhancement that does not involve new APIs, for example, a performance improvement
api client/2d ImageIO: GIF writer 4339415
imp client/2d Native Text Rendering Parity 4726365
imp client/2d Improved hardware acceleration on Windows 5104393
imp client/2d Single-threaded rendering for OpenGL pipelines 6219284
api client/awt Pop-up splash screen at beginning of Java startup 4247839
api client/awt Java applications can access desktop applications 6255196
api client/awt Improved modal dialogs 4080029
imp client/awt XAWT is the default Toolkit on Solaris 5049146
api client/awt Windows system-tray support 4310333
imp client/awt Better support for input in non-English locales 4360364
imp client/awt Live resizing 6199167
imp client/deploy Improved application deployment across browsers 6329487
api client/deploy Allow JAR files to be shared across installed JREs 6271065
imp client/deploy Improved user experience in JRE/JDK installer 5079209
imp client/deploy Improved security 6222485
imp client/deploy Direct execution of JAR files on Linux 6211008
imp client/deploy Improved desktop integration in Java Web Start 4625362
imp client/deploy Improved IFTW installer 6198632
imp client/deploy Improved startup & footprint for plugin/webstart 6329480
imp client/deploy Mozilla Firefox browser support 6216340
imp client/deploy Default Java on Linux 6211006
imp client/deploy Improved user experience in Java Plug-in and Java Web Start 6205064
imp client/deploy Unified download engine 4802551
imp client/deploy Support Mozilla and Firefox family browsers. 6216340
api client/dnd A way to avoid hangs on retrieval of clipboard data 4818143
imp client/i18n Support for important locales 4324505
imp client/i18n Japanese calendar 4609228
api client/i18n Resource bundle enhancements 5102289
api client/i18n Normalizer API 4221795
api client/i18n Pluggable locales: Pluggability for break iterators 4052440
api client/i18n Pluggable locales: Pluggability for locale names, formatters, and collators 4052440
imp client/l10n Chinese localization for JDK tools 6209342
imp client/swing GTK Native L&F Fidelity 6185456
imp client/swing Through-the-stack: Reduced footprint / startup time 6329480
imp client/swing Native look & feel fidelity  
imp client/swing Avalon Look-and-Feel 6329475
api client/swing JTable sorting, filtering, and highlighting 4747079
api client/swing JTabbedPane: Tabs as Components 4499556
imp client/swing Windows native L&F fidelity 5106661
api client/swing SwingWorker 4681682
api client/swing Improve Drag & Drop features for Swing Components 4468566
api client/swing Extend SpringLayout 4726194
api client/swing Text Document Printing 4791649
imp client/swing Improved Painting Performance (fix grey boxes) 4967886
jsr core/core JSR 223: Scripting for the Java Platform 6249843
api core/debug Multiple Simultaneous Agents 4772582
api core/debug Added Heap Capabilities to JPDA 4914266
api core/debug Attach-on-demand 6173612
api core/debug JVMPI and JVMDI have been removed. 4914266
api core/jndi Read-timeout specification for LDAP operations 6176036
api core/libs Array Reallocation API 4655503
imp core/libs BigDecimal optimizations for specjbb++
api core/libs Floating point: Add IEEE 754 recommended functions to java.lang.{{,Strict}Math} 4406429
api core/libs Standard service-provider API (java.util.Service) 4640520
api core/libs Collections and Concurrency Updates 6268386
api core/libs IO Enhancement: Password Prompting 4050435
api core/libs IO Enhancement: File Attributes 6216563
api core/libs IO Enhancement: Method for Discovering Free Disk Space 4057701
imp core/libs IO Enhancement: Long pathnames on Windows 4403166
api core/libs Low-level Java compiler API for IDEs 4813736
jsr core/libs JSR 202: Java Class File Specification Update 4639391
jsr core/libs JSR 199: Java compiler API 4164450
imp core/libs Improved perceived footprint 6280693
api core/libs Deques 6192552
api core/libs Navigable Maps and Sets 4155650
imp core/libs BitSet Updates 4963875, 4979017, 4979028, 4979031, 5030267, 6222207, 6404711
imp core/libs Performance Improvements when compiling using network file systems 4770745
imp core/m&m Improved diagnosability of OutOfMemoryError 6173515
api core/m&m Generic annotations for MBean descriptor contents 6221321
api core/m&m Support for java.util.concurrent locks in the lock related facility 5086470
imp core/m&m jconsole is more user-friendly 6174397
api core/m&m Small-scale improvements to JMX Monitor API 6222961
api core/m&m descriptors added to all types of MBean 6204469
api core/m&m MXBeans added to JMX 6175517
api core/net Light-weight HTTP server 6270015
api core/net Internationalized resource identifiers 5085902
api core/net Default CookieManager implementation 6244040
imp core/net SPNEGO HTTP authentication 6260531
api core/net International domain names 4737170
api core/net Programmatic access to network parameters 4691932
imp core/sec Native platform GSS integration 6202035, 6345202
imp core/sec SPNEGO in Java GSS 6239635
imp core/sec MS CAPI Keystore provider 6318171
imp core/sec Better support for NSS keystore 6273877
imp core/sec Improved Policy performance 5037004
imp core/sec JSR 268: Java Smart Card I/O API 6239117
jsr core/sec JSR 105: XML DSig 4635230
api core/sec Enhance certificate APIs 4635060
jsr core/tools JSR 269: Standard pluggabilty API for annotation processors (APT) 6222574
imp core/tools javac: Support for split verification 6227862, 6227862
imp core/tools javac: Implement JSR 175's java.lang.SuppressWarnings 4986256
imp core/tools Class-path wildcards 6268383
jsr ee/ee JSR 250: Common annotations
imp ee/jdbc Extended JDBC-ODBC bridge to enable JDBC 4.0 EoD features 6290312
jsr ee/jdbc JSR 221: JDBC 4.0 6290312
imp ee/xml JAXP 1.4
JSR 206: Java API for XML Processing
jsr ee/xml Support for the Web Services stack
JSR 222: JAXB 2.0
JSR 224: JAX-RPC 2.0
JSR 181: Web Services Metadata
api ee/xml JavaBeans Activation Framework (JAF) 6254474
imp vm/compilers Improved performance of compiled code 5079711, 6206844, 6239807, 4850474,
5003419, 5004907, 5101346, 6190413, 6191063,
6196383, 6196722, 6211497, 6232485, 6233627, 6245809,
6251002, 6262235,
imp vm/c1 Linear scan register allocator for C1 6320351
imp vm/c2 Improved loop optimization 5073662, 5074608, 5091921, 6260293
imp vm/c2 Escape analysis 6339956
imp vm/c2 Lock coarsening 6245809
imp vm/gc CMS: Parallelize concurrent marking  
imp vm/gc Parallel compaction
imp vm/runtime Improve uncontended synchronization performance
imp vm/runtime Improved performance of contended synchronization operations
imp vm/runtime Faster format checker/class-file parser
imp vm/runtime Improved startup time 6179212
imp vm/runtime Improved runtime performance
imp vm/runtime Improved JNI performance 5086424
imp vm/runtime Class circularity detection 4699981
imp vm/runtime DTrace support in the VM