What are the features and enhancements in the latest release of Java 6 Update10 (6u10)?
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Java 6 Update 10 (6u10) is a release that introduces new features and enhancements aimed at providing an optimized consumer-end user experience. Java 6u10 focuses on the following areas:
For more information on the Java Deployment Toolkit, please visit Java Deployment Toolkit.
New Online Installer
The Java Kernel online installer lets first time Java users run applets and Java Web Start applications quicker without waiting for the whole Java Platform to be downloaded. The Kernel installation is expected to satisfy the requirements of most Java applets and applications, and any additional libraries that may be required at runtime are downloaded to complete the Java Kernel installation. This installation mechanism lets the end user get up and running significantly faster, while the complete Java Platform installation takes place in the background. See Java Kernel FAQ for more information.
Enhanced Auto update
The Java auto update mechanism has also been improved, using a patch-in-place mechanism that translates in a faster and more reliable update process (the patch in place mechanism will take effect for end users, starting with Java 6u10, updating to a later update release). Future update releases will install the existing release, removing the previous release. Each update release will no longer be listed as separate items in the Windows 'Add or Remove Programs' dialog and will no longer consume additional disk space.
The Java Quick Starter feature will prefetch portions of Java into memory, substantially decreasing the average cold start-up time (the time that it takes to launch a Java application for the first time after a fresh reboot of a PC).
For more information, please visit Java Quick Starter
Hardware acceleration support
New hardware accelerated graphics pipeline based on the Microsoft Direct3D 9 API, translate into improved rendering of Swing applications which rely on translucency, gradients, arbitrary transformations, and other more advanced 2D operations.
A new cross-platform Swing look and feel, code name Nimbus, provides a nice update over 'Metal' and 'Ocean' and with exciting features.
Next-Generation Java Plug-In
Java 6u10 includes a brand-new implementation of the Java Plug-in, which is used by default as long as you are using Firefox 3 or Internet Explorer. The next-generation plug-in runs applets outside of the browser in one or more separate processes. Applets still appear inside of the web browser window as they always have, but this means that it is now possible to use different Java versions, command-line arguments, and configurations to run different applets. The isolation provided by running the web browser and the Java -- two very large, very complex pieces of software -- in separate process spaces improves the reliability of both, and gives applets the same flexibility and control over configurations that other Java software has always enjoyed.
For more information on switching between Old Classic plug-in and Next generation plug-in, please visit Switch between old and new plug-in