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GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive" released

Item posted by Andrew John Hughes <gnu_andrew> on Wed 31 Oct 2007 10:48:30 AM UTC.

We are proud to announce the release of GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive"

GNU Classpath, essential libraries for java, is a project to create free core class libraries for use with runtimes, compilers and tools for the java programming language.

The GNU Classpath developer snapshot releases are not directly aimed at the end user but are meant to be integrated into larger development platforms. For example the GCC (gcj) and Kaffe projects will use the developer snapshots as a base for future versions. More projects based on GNU Classpath: http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/stories.html

This release is primarily a maintenance release. The recent release of the majority of Sun's class library as Free Software on May the 8th, under the auspices of the OpenJDK project ( http://openjdk.java.net ) has changed the position of GNU Classpath within the community and recent efforts have focused on bringing together Classpath and OpenJDK code under the umbrella of IcedTea ( http://icedtea.classpath.org ) and on using the new OpenJDK code within existing Free runtime environments such as cacao ( http://www.cacaojvm.org/ ) and IKVM ( http://www.ikvm.net/ ). We hope to extend support and work together with the OpenJDK community over time.

This release switches fully towards the 1.5 generics work that we previously released separately as classpath-generics. All this work is now fully integrated in the main release and various runtimes (gcj, cacao, jamvm, ikvm, etc) have been extended to take advantage of the new generics, annotations and enumeration support in the core library. From now on we intend to no longer release both a non-generics and a generics version. But if there is demand we might consider resurrecting the non-generics 1.4 branch with selected bug-fixes (depending on having a branch maintainer). Work is on the way to also add the new 1.6 additions, a start for selected packages has been made in this release.

That said, the main feature of this release is our new experimental GStreamer peer arising from the work of Mario Torre on his Google Summer of Code project (http://code.google.com/soc/2007 ). This provides support for the javax.sound API using the GStreamer library ( http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org ), allowing any sound file supported by GStreamer to be played from Java. Full details are provided in the included README.gstreamer file. The peer is not yet ready for production use, but please try it and give us your feedback.

We've also improved our support for interacting with the outside world. Our JNI header has been updated to 1.6, we now better support choosing a compiler to use to build Classpath (either ecj or OpenJDK javac, the latter now having support for using the -J option to avoid out of memory errors) and our tools support has improved so as to better stand as a substitute for Sun's toolset.

AWT and Swing have seen a host of bug fixes and updates, including much improved Escher peers. Our thanks to Roman Kennke and others working on Classpath's GUI support. Screenshots of applications (eclipse, jedit, jfreechart, "jgecko", statcvs and more) working out of the box with GNU Classpath can be found at http://developer.classpath.org/screenshots/ .

With our last release, 0.95, we switched fully towards the 1.5 generics work that we previously released separately as classpath-generics. All this work is now fully integrated in the main release and various runtimes (gcj, cacao, jamvm, ikvm, etc) have been extended to take advantage of the new generics, annotations and enumeration support in the core library. As a consequence, only 1.5 capable compilers (currently the Eclipse Compiler for Java (ecj) and Sun's javac) may be used to build Classpath.

The GNU Classpath developers site http://developer.classpath.org/ provides detailed information on how to start with helping the GNU Classpath project and gives an overview of the core class library packages currently provided.

For each snapshot release generated documentation is provided through the GNU Classpath Tools gjdoc project. A documentation generation framework for java source files used by the GNU project. Full documentation on the currently implementated packages and classes can be found at: http://developer.classpath.org/doc/ We are looking into how to extend the documentation experience based on these two tools in the future. Please contact the mailinglist if you like to help with this effort.

For more information about the project see also:

GNU Classpath 0.96 can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/classpath/ or one of the ftp.gnu.org mirrors http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

GNU Classpath 0.96 can be downloaded from
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/classpath/
or one of the ftp.gnu.org mirrors
http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html
or the Classpath continuous integration system
http://builder.classpath.org/dist

File: classpath-0.96.tar.gz
MD5sum: 650dd3ac4ae2939f296c81f885d24a36
SHA1sum: dcb71d1f0b915f8529361faf862a850b7f404dba

New in release 0.96 (Oct 15, 2007)
(See the ChangeLog file for a full list of changes.)

  • New experimental GStreamer javax.sound peer (see README.gstreamer)
  • The JNI interface has been updated to 1.6
  • Better support for the OpenJDK javac compiler
  • Support for using javah via tools.zip and com.sun.tools.javah.Main
  • Much improved Escher AWT peers
  • Many bug fixes including improvements to AWT and Swing support

Runtime interface changes:

  • Add VMFloat.toString(float) and VMFloat.parseFloat(String). Default implementations are the same as previous behavior.
  • Add new default implementations of VMMemoryMXBean.getHeapUsage() and VMMemoryMXBean.getNonHeapUsage() via iteration over the memory pools of the appropriate type.

The following people helped with this release:

Andreas Tobler, Andrew Haley, Andrew John Hughes, Casey Marshall, Chris Burdess, Christian Thalinger, Dalibor Topic, David P Grove, Francis Kung, Gary Benson, Ian Rogers, Ito Kazumitsu, Jeroen Frijters, Keith Seitz, Kyle Galloway, Mario Torre, Mark Wielaard, Matthias Klose, Paul Jenner, Robert Schuster, Robin Garner, Roman Kennke, Tania Bento, Thomas Fitzsimmons and Tom Tromey.

We would also like to thank the numerous bug reporters and testers! In addition, we'd like to extend our thanks to all those who've contributed over the years and have helped in building a thriving and friendly community around the GNU Classpath project.

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