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Ask the Experts: Java SE 6 Update 10 Beta (July 7-11)

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rogyeu
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Joined: 2006-07-30

Java SE 6 Update 10, currently available as a beta release, introduces many new features and enhancements that dramatically improve the developer and user experience. Some of the significant improvements in Java SE 6 result in faster and easier deployment of Java applications and applets, better performance, and an improved look and feel.

Got a question about Java SE 6 Update 10? Post it from July 7 through July 11 on the Ask the Experts page and get answers from three key members of Sun's Java SE Platform team: Danny Coward, Ken Russell, and Richard Bair.

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carcour
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Joined: 2003-06-18

You'd think it's that easy. I've signed and sent my SCA in January 2008 and haven't gotten anything since so I can't change anything! I also don't think the source for the Java control Panel is available.

rogerl
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Joined: 2004-11-15

To have your questions answered through the "Ask the Experts", please use this form:
http://developers.sun.com/contact/chat_feedback.jsp?category=experts_que...

The post abut this 'event' was put in a couple places, with the intent that the form would be used to post questions. Sorry about that, maybe it could have been more clear.
Although I suspect you can just cut and paste :)

Thanks,
Roger

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24

1) Will JKernel allow the creation of custom bundles in the final release? If not, when? I consider this to be a major feature.

2) Currently when one installs JKernel then hits an applet the "download components, please wait..." dialog pops up multiples times in a row as it discovers one missing dependency after another. Ideally we want to see a single dialog here across all dependencies (and some meaningful progress bar). Are there technical problems with doing this?

3) Update 10 is supposed to bring Java to the Desktop yet there are plenty of rough edges remaining. For example:

- under Vista some dialogs show up using the Windows XP L&F
- JNLP-based applets are difficult to debug: http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=284264&#284264
- JRE installer bundles the Yahoo toolbar
- Java Plugin installs a taskbar icon
- See http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=43287 -- this guy brings up many good points!

Many of these (and other) issues have been brought up by the community but we haven't gotten a formal answer from Sun on them. Will Sun please offer a formal reply and does Sun plan on fixing these kinds of cosmetic/polish issues before releasing the final build of Update 10?

My point is that if you're going to pitch Java for the desktop, cosmetic issues increase in priority. They might be low-priority for server-side applications but they are much higher priority for customer-facing desktop applications.

I'd like to hear from the rest of the community as to whether they agree or disagree with me on this point. This is what I believe but it's difficult to know whether others feel the same way.

I am very grateful to the great people at Sun who have worked with me over the years as I've reported hundreds of issues. Your patience and hard work is deeply appreciated! Update 10 shows we're making huge steps in the right direction, but I am worried that Sun will push a release out the door before it's ready. I worry that unless Update 10 is done right the first time around, we won't get a chance to go back and polish off these features (Sun will move on to other things)... and like I said, polish matters *a lot* on the desktop!

Thank you,
Gili

trembovetski
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Joined: 2003-12-31

> cosmetic/polish issues before releasing the final build of Update 10?

I can guarantee that these issues will not be addressed in u10 as it's very nearly close to completion (only showstoppers are allowed at this point). Some of these may be addressed in future releases (u11+, 7, etc).

Dmitri

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24

> > cosmetic/polish issues before releasing the final
> build of Update 10?
>
> I can guarantee that these issues will not be
> addressed in u10 as it's very nearly close to
> completion (only showstoppers are allowed at this
> point). Some of these may be addressed in future
> releases (u11+, 7, etc).

That's what I was afraid of. Does Sun plan on dedicating another upcoming release (update 20?) to another round of Desktop Java issues?

Gili

carcour
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Joined: 2003-06-18

Gili it's truely a shame as we know that there are so many good Swing developers out there that could help Sun engineers but Sun isn't taking advantage of that. I would love to work on these and I'm sure there are many great Swing developers such as you that can make Java better.

An example of the lack of polish is when you double click on a JNLP application to see its JNLP in the Java Control Panel, when you try to resize the window the JTextArea doesn't resize correctly. There's even a separator that shouldn't be there. I mean Microsoft wouldn't do that their products follow strict UI guidelines. On the desktop such small details matter as it shows the difference between good and great and as we want Java to be great these issues should be addressed. Even when you click on the View.. Button in the control panel it seems they're not using a background thread to load the list of applications and there's no busy indication as well.

linuxhippy
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Joined: 2004-01-07

> Gili it's truely a shame as we know that there are
> so many good Swing developers out there that could help
> Sun engineers but Sun isn't taking advantage of that.
> I would love to work on these and I'm sure there are many
So why don't you do then? The source is there, simply grab it and start working on it.
Ok, its not that for U10, but as far as I can guess the webstart problem you mention also exists in u5.

By the way don't you get tired of all those phrases:
- Its a shame that Sun ...
- Java will die if this and that ... (e.g. Java will die without support for value types)
- Because of xyz Update10 is totaly useless (which is nonsence anyway)

lg Clemens

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24

> So why don't you do then? The source is there, simply
> grab it and start working on it.

I totally agree with you on this point, however I've found it very hard to do in practice. A lot of bugs I'd like to fix are in Swing and a lot of the faulty source is buried in spaghetti code. I'm in the process of subscribing to the OpenJDK mailing lists in the hopes they can help me understand the code.