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J2SE 1.4: Codename Merlin


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J2SE 1.4: Codename Merlin


Previously we have seen JDK 1.0 and its features. We also examine the JDK 1.1 release and some its major API’s and classes.  After this we have seen J2SE releases: J2SE 1.2 and J2SE 1.3. Now here we examine J2SE 1.4 release.


This was the first release of the Java platform developed under the Java Community Process (JCP) as Java Specification Request (JSR) 59.


The JCP is the mechanism for developing standard technical specifications for Java technology. The JSR is the actual description of proposed and final specifications for the Java platform. J2SE 1.4 was released on 6th of February 2002.


 In J2SE 1.4:

·         The number of classes are increased to 2,991 classes

·         The numbers of packages are increased to 135 packages.

Major changes included regular expressions modelled after Perl, exception chaining, an integrated XML parser, an XSLT processor (JAXP), and Java Web Start. To support regular expressions, a new package called java.util.regex was added that contained classes for matching character sequences against patterns specified by regular expressions. The JAXP (Java API for XML processing) provides basic support for processing XML documents though a standardized set of Java Platform APIs. Java Web Start software provides a flexible and robust deployment solution for Java-technology-based applications.


Besides these, several changes came in the AWT package to improve the robustness, behaviour, and performance of GUI-based programs. Likewise, many new features were added to Swing, including a new spinner and formatted text field components as well as support for drag-and-drop. The Popup and PopupFactory classes were exposed to programmers, thus allowing them to create their own pop-ups. JDBC, which provides universal data access from the Java programming language, was enhanced to JDBC 3.0 API. The new features included the ability to set savepoints in a transaction, to keep result sets open after a transaction is committed, to reuse prepared statements, to get metadata about the parameters to a prepared statement, to retrieve keys that are automatically generated, and to have multiple result sets open at one time. It also included two new JDBC data types:

·         BOOLEAN and

·         DATALINK.


The DATALINK data type makes it possible to manage data outside of a data source. The new I/O (NIO) APIs provided new features and improved performance. Besides these changes, additions were made to RMI, Math, Collections Framework, Accessibility, and the Java Native Interface (JNI).


The other minor releases that followed were:

·         J2SE 1.4.1 which was released on September 16 in year 2002 with code name Hopper, and

·         J2SE 1.4.2 which was released on June 26 in 2003 with code name Mantis.

 


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