Sun Releases Second Java 6 Beta

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday released the second beta of Java 6, the company's next-generation development language targeted at so-called Web 2.0 programmers. Perhaps most enticing for those new to Java, the update adds a framework for supporting popular scripting languages such as PHP.

Java SE 6 -- previously known by the code-name "Mustang" -- also leverages JavaScript and includes a full "Web services client stack," along with support for recent Web services specifications like JAX-WS 2.0 and JAXB 2.0. In addition, the release will bring support for Windows Vista.

The Beta 2 release adds a new database to the Java Development Kit (JDK), which requires a footprint of only 2MB. Java DB is Sun's version of the open source Apache Derby database, and supports triggers as well as stored procedures.

The JDK additionally adds the GroupLayout component from the NetBeans GUI Bulder, Sun said, which provides visual development capabilities based on Swing.

Progress has been made on the desktop side as well. Java SE 6 more tightly integrates with the native operating system platform by emulating the look and feel, while adding support for text printing and drag-and-drop.

A final release of Java SE 6 is expected in the fall. The beta version can be downloaded now through Sun's Developer Network Web site.

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