Java 6 Update 18 is now available for download. One of the main features of this release is the inclusion of support for Windows 7. Along with an impressive list of bug fixes, the update includes performance improvements, an update to JavaDB and the inclusion of the latest version of the Java profiling tool, VisualVM. This update is bound to be popular, while we wait for the final milestone of JDK 7, expected this September.
Performance improvements include a 20% reduction in the amount of time needed to create jar files. The HotSpot VM is updated to version 16.0 which has garbage collection improvements and class loading optimizations.
Desktop application haven't been ignored, with improvements in startup times for applications and faster processing of PNG images. Another interesting performance update is that it's now possible to process .zip files up to 4GB in size.
JavaDB has been updated to version 10.5.3 with the following improvements:
- SQL Roles
- Generated Columns
- LOB Improvements
- Replication of encrypted databases
- OFFSET/FETCH FIRST syntax
- In-memory back end
- Better updating of optimizer statistics
- Service-tag aware installers
VisualVM is also updated from 1.1.1 to 1.2.1. The changes since the last release that was bundled with the JVM include:
- Sampling CPU and Memory profiler plugin (VisualVM-Sampler available on Plugins Center)
- Support for multiple jstatd connections on a single local/remote host
- New charts with dynamic tooltips, public Charts API for plugins
- Monitor and Threads tab are saved into Application Snapshot
- Application Snapshots can be opened using the Load action or --openfile parameter
- Properties UI for Applications, Hosts and Snapshots, public Properties API for plugins
- Customizable proxy settings in Options dialog
- UI for customizing SSL certificates in Options dialog (VisualVM-Security available on Plugins Center)
- Enhanced JMX API to enable customizing JMX environment/connections by plugins
- Display name defined by the monitored application: visualvm.display.name property
- Improved performance for remote X sessions
- Automatic detection of broken jvmstat on Windows (username capitalization vs. hsperfdata file)
- Various UI improvements: main menu, toolbar and context menu; system (theme) colors; About dialog, profiler snapshots, HeapWalker
- Built on NetBeans Platform & profiler 6.7.1:
- Exporting profiler snapshots to HTML, XML and CSV
- Computing retained size in HeapWalker
- OQL scripting support in HeapWalker (OQL Syntax Support [enhanced OQL editor] available on Plugins Center)
- Thread stack traces at the heap dump in HeapWalker
- Improved appearance on Mac OS X
Finally, deployment of applications using Java WebStart has been enhanced, and updates to StaX (Streaming API for XML).