Sun Microsystems, purveyor of all things Java have introduced the most significant update to their platform in five years.
Java2, Sun’s write-once-run-anywhere software platform, popular in everything from mobile phones to PCs to smart cards has gone from version 1.4 to version 5.0.
Previously known as Tiger (stripy mammal, now mostly employed to sell breakfast cereal), the new release hopes to address previous concerns related to speed and scalability. This release of the platform has over 100 new features, including updates to the language and metadata. The amount of memory required by the virtual machine and code has been reduced, and new management tools have been included to help developers and administrators keep track of resources, applications and services. The compiler and code interpreter have been tweaked, providing performance that exceeds C++ … in some applications.
Java was originally seen as a computing platform for small devices, but got a new lease of life with the world wide web as a way of adding interactivity to web applications on a variety of host machines. Recently, Java has received a second huge boost in the form of mobile phones – many modern phones incorporate a Java virtual machine so that games and applications will work across a range of mobile hardware.