Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

eye of the tiger...

duke_swinging.gifSo the J2SE 1.5 Beta1 (codenamed Tiger) was released a few days ago. Here are some of the changes on the release, which should probably be called Java 3, since there are so many changes, both to the deployment/UI elements and the language itself (with the biggest IMO being the addition of Generics, of which I did a short eval about a year ago).

Predictably enough there has been quite a lot of coverage on weblogs of the release. Some of them: Brian Duff on the new L&Fs, Guy on Tiger Goodies, Brian McAllister on what he likes about it. Some of the conversation has centered around the new Network Transfer archive format, which brings JARs to 10% of their original size by doing compression tailored to java class format and usage. Eu does some analysis on it and Kumar talks about his experience when using it.

I installed it yesterday and played around a bit with Generics and tried the new L&Fs with the internal clevercactus b3r7. Alan has had problems with it, but I haven't seen anything as what he describes--maybe I'm immune to having multiple JDKs by now and I unconsciously route around the problems before they happen (which is a problem with designing UIs too, btw). Not that this has to stay in this way. :)

My experience has been surprisingly good. Everything works as it should, and aside from a few UI glitches or weird momentary lockups it all went well. For a beta, it looks incredibly promising, and I'm really, really itching to start using Generics all over the place (btw, looking at the Collections package docs now is a bit daunting, with all the generics stuff now included).

The new L&Fs are very, very nice. Particularly welcome is the change to the Java Look and Feel (Ocean, replacing what used to be Metal) which by 1.4x was looking not just old, but downright crappy. How good is it? Well, let me put it this way: if Ocean was available today I'd have no problems deploying it. Plus, the new Synth L&F, which supports skins, is what we've all been waiting for.

Overall: looks like Tiger is going to be the best update in years. Can't wait for the final release.

Next: looking for a new IDE.

Posted by diego on February 8 2004 at 1:03 PM

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