Posted by joconner
on November 26, 2006 at 6:52 PM PST
Earlier this year, Australia made changes to their time zones that required a completely new JRE. Then, the US announced time zone changes for 2007 that required a completely new JRE...unless of course you don't mind reporting incorrect time during the affected periods.
I expected there might be some grumbling about the fact that you had to update an entire JRE just to update some exchangeable time zone data. For those that ignored the message the first time, your job just got easier. Sun just announced a beta version of a tool that will update the time zone data in place. You don't have to download a new JRE with the updates; you can just update the JRE you already have. The tool will be maintained to provide the latest updates as they're needed. So, when this happens again (and it will), you'll just need to use this tool instead of replacing your JRE. Hey, that's good news right?
More information about the tzupdater tool is available on the Sun Developer Network site. You can also download the tool on the Java SE downloads page.
This is still beta software, so you might want to test it on a non-critical system first. One caveat is that it only works with JREs provided by Sun.