Another positive trend is toward ease of development. This hasn’t necessarily been a high priority for Java in the past. In this category, they’ve brought web services features from Java EE into Java SE, they have a new layout manager, and new features for sorting and filtering tables and lists (what many would call data munging). All of these features will be included in the open source release of Java SE later this year.
Another interesting change in this release isn’t in features, but in their process of development. They’ve had a much greater community involvement in this release than before, with weekly builds available to the community. Danny commented that the regular bug reports and feedback from the community have made the development process much smoother. Instead of one big release and a flurry of reports around that release, they’ve had a steady stream of input as they go. It’s a big philosophical shift for Sun, and one they plan to continue in future releases of Java. Three cheers for the benefits of an open source model of development, even in big enterprise software shops.