Java 2 SDK for Solaris Developer's Guide

New Features and Enhancements

The new features of version 1.4 of the JavaTM 2 SDK, Standard Edition, (J2SETM) are listed below. Documentation for the full list of features, including features brought forward from previous versions of the Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition,, is available at

Java 2 Platform

XML Processing

The Java API for XML processing has been added to the Java 2 Platform. J2SE 1.4.0 provides basic support for processing XML documents through a standardized set of APIs. For more information, see

New I/O APIs

The new I/O (NIO) API provides new features and improved performance in the areas of buffer management, character-set support, regular-expression matching, file I/O, and scalable network I/O. For more information, see


For more information on security in J2SE 1.4, see

Java 2DTM Technology

Java 2DTM technology includes many new features including performance improvements, support for hardware acceleration for offscreen images, a pluggable image I/O framework, a new print service API, and several new font features. For more information, see

Image I/O Framework

The Java Image I/O Framework provides a pluggable architecture for working with images that are stored in files and accessed across the network. This framework offers substantially more flexibility and power than the pre-J2SE 1.4.0 APIs for loading and saving images. For more information, see

Java Print Service API

The Java Print Service is a new Java Print API that enables client and server applications to:

For more information, see


Changes to the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) package center on improving the robustness, behavior, and performance of programs that present a graphical user interface. Improvements include the following:

For more information, see


Many new features have been added to Swing:

Several features have been enhanced in Swing:

For more information, see

Drag and Drop

Swing has added support for data transfer between applications. A drag and drop operation is a data transfer request that has been specified by a gesture with a graphical pointing device. In the case of copy/paste, data transfer is often initiated with the keyboard. The ability to transfer data takes two forms: Drag and drop support and clipboard transfer via cut/copy/paste. See

Logging API

The Java Logging APIs facilitate software servicing and maintenance at customer sites by producing log reports suitable for analysis by end users, system administrators, field service engineers, and software development teams. The Logging APIs capture information such as security failures, configuration errors, performance bottlenecs, and bugs in the application or platform. For more information, see

JavaTM Web Start Product

The Java Web Start product is a new application-deployment technology that is bundled with J2SE 1.4.0. With Java Web Start, you launch applications simply by clicking on a Web page link. If the application is not present on your computer, Java Web Start automatically downloads all necessary files. It then caches the files on your computer so the application is always ready to be relaunched anytime you want -- either from an icon on your desktop or from the web-page link. For more information, see

Long-term Persistence of JavaBeansTM Components

The new persistence model is designed to handle the process of converting a graph of JavaBeans eans to and from a persistent form. The new API is suitable for creating archives of graphs of JavaBeans components as textual representations of their properties. For more information, see


The JDBCTM 3.0 API, which is composed of packages java.sql and javax.sql, provides universal data access from the Java programming language. By using the JDBC 3.0 API, you can access virtually any data source, from relational databases to spreadsheets and flat files. JDBC technology also provides a common base on which tools and alternative interfaces can be built.

This API enables you to do the following:

There are two new JDBC data types, BOOLEAN and DATALINK. The DATALINK type enables management of data outside of a data source. This release also establishes the relationship between the JDBC Service Provider Interface and the Connector architecture.

For more information, see

Assertion Facility

An assertion facility has been added to the Java 2 Platform. Assertions are boolean expressions that the programmer believes to be true concerning the state of a computer program. For example, after sorting a list, the programmer might assert that the list is in ascending order. Evaluating assertions at runtime to confirm their validity is one of the most powerful tools for improving code quality, as it quickly uncovers the programmer's misconceptions concerning a program's behavior. For more information, see “Assertion Facility” in Java 2 SDK for Solaris Developer's Guide.

Preferences API

This new feature a simple API for managing user preference and configuration data. Applications require preference and configuration data to adapt to different users, environments and needs. Applications need a way to store, retrieve, and modify this data. This need is met by the Preferences API. The Preferences API is intended to replace most common uses of class java.util.Properties, rectifying many of its deficiencies, while retaining its light weight. For more information, see

Endorsed Standards Override Mechanism

An endorsed standard is a Java API defined through a standards process other than the Java Community ProcessSM (JCPSM). Because endorsed standards are defined outside the JCP, it is anticipated that such standards may be revised between releases of the Java 2 Platform. In order to take advantage of new revisions to endorsed standards, developers and software vendors may use the Endorsed Standards Override Mechanism to provide newer versions of an endorsed standard than those included in the Java 2 Platform as released by Sun Microsystems. For full information on the Endorsed Standards Override Mechanism, see the documentation on the web at

64–bit Support

J2SE 1.4.0 for the Solaris Operating Environment, SPARC Platform Edition, supports 64-bit operation on 64-bit Sparc-v9 platforms when using the Java HotSpotTM Server VM. This allows support for heaps greater than 4 Gbytes, which is the absolute maximum that can be supported by a 32-bit VM. The Java HotSpot Server VM includes support for either 32-bit or 64-bit operation by using an appropriate command-line flag. When using the 64-bit VM a performance penalty of approximately 15% to 25% may be observed, depending on the amount of time your program spends accessing reference variables. J2SE 1.4.0 does not support 32-bit shared libraries, when running the 64-bit VM. Native (Java Native Interface) code must be recompiled in 64-bit mode.

JavaTM HotSpot Virtual Machines

The Java virtual machines in this release include several enhancements.

For more information, see


This release includes performance enhancements. For more information, see

Networking Support, Including IPv6

New features include support for IPv6 in TCP- and UDP-based applications, and support for unconnected/unbound sockets, allowing more flexible socket creation, binding, and connection. A mechanism called Java Secure Socket Extension provides encryption for data sent via sockets, and a new class, URI, allows URI construction and parsing without the presence of a protocol handler. The FTP Protocol Handler has been overhauled for conformity to current standards. The default character set is now UTF8, and APIs have been added to enable other character schemes.

A new class, NetworkInterface, allows enumeration of interfaces and addresses, and JNDI DNS SP Support in InetAddress enables applications to configure a pure Java name service provider. TCP out-of-band data provides support for legacy applications; a UDP Connection function registers destination address with the OS, enabling asynchronous errors to be returned on the UDP socket; and full SOCkS V5 and V4 TCP support includes auto-negotiation with the proxy for which version to use. In addition, there are improvements to streaming, request and response headers processing, and error handling.

For more information, see


The RMI runtime implementation will now preserve the server-side stack trace information of an exception that is thrown from a remote call, in addition to filling in the client-side stack trace as it did previous releases. Therefore, when such an exception becomes accessible to client code, its stack trace will now contain all of its original server-side trace data followed by the client-side trace.

In J2SE 1.4.0, certain static methods of java.rmi.server.RMIClassLoader delegate their behavior to an instance of a new service provider interface, java.rmi.server.RMIClassLoaderSpi. This service provider object can be configured to augment RMI's dynamic class-loading behavior for a given application. By default, the service provider implements the standard behavior of all of the static methods in RMIClassLoader.

The java.rmi.server.hostname property can now be dynamically updated to indicate that future exports should use a new host name. Therefore, the new host name value will be contained in the stub for an object that is exported after the property is updated.

For more information, see


This release has several changes and enhancements to the serialization API, including

For more information, see

Java Naming and Directory InterfaceTM (JNDI)

Java Naming and Directory InterfaceTM (JNDI) has the following enhancements in J2SE 1.4.0:

For more information, see


The ORB shipping as part of Java 2 Platform now includes a Portable Object Adapter (POA) functionality. An ORB makes it possible for client(s) to make method invocations on the objects being supported by server(s) executing on the same or different machine(s). The POA functionality allows programmers to construct object implementations that are portable between different ORB products, provide support for objects with persistent identities, and much more. Other new features include Portable Interceptors, Interoperable Naming Service, GIOP 1.2 support, Dynamic Management of Any values, and new tools that support a persistent naming service and other features.

To learn more about the changes in Java IDL between J2SE v.1.3 and J2SE v.1.4, see For general information, see

JavaTM Platform Debugger Architecture Product

J2SE 1.4.0 includes an enhanced Java Platform Debugger Architecture that has the following new features.


Character handling in J2SE 1.4.0 is based on version 3.0 of the Unicode standard. This character handling affects the Character and String classes in the java.lang package as well as the collation and bidirectional text analysis functionality in the java.text package.

J2SE 1.4.0 supports Thai and Hindi in all areas of functionality. See the Supported Locales document online for complete information on supported locales and writing systems.

Class java.util.Currency was introduced so that currencies can be referenced independent of locales. There are new methods on java.text.NumberFormat and related classes to specify the currency for formatting monetary values.

JavaTM Plug-in Product

Java Plug-in 1.4 offers the following new features:

Version 1.4 also provides the following:

For more information, see

Collections Framework

The collections framework has several enhancements in J2SE 1.4, including a marker interface to advertise random access, an identity-based (rather than equality-based) Map, insertion-order-preserving Map and Set implementations, and several new algorithms for manipulating and returning values from lists. See for details.


J2SE 1.4.0 offers new support for accessibility in the following areas:

For more information, see

Regular Expressions

The new package java.util.regex contains classes for matching character sequences against patterns that are specified by regular expressions. For details, see the API specification for java.util.regex at


A new, efficient method for generating prime numbers with no need for the caller to specify a certainty has been added to class java.math.BigInteger. For more information, see


Certain reflective operations, specifically java.lang.reflect.Field, java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(), java.lang.reflect.Constructor.newInstance(), and Class.newInstance(), have been rewritten for higher performance. Reflective invocations and instantiations are several times faster than in previous releases. For more information, see

JavaTM Native Interface

The Java Native Interface (JNI) has been enhanced in J2SE 1.4 to reflect a new feature of the java.nio package: direct buffers. The contents of a direct buffer can, potentially, reside in native memory outside of the ordinary garbage-collected heap. Also, new Invocation Interface routine AttachCurrentTreadAsDaemon allows native code to attach a daemon thread to the virtual machine; this is useful when the VM should not wait for this thread to exit upon shutdown. See JNI Enhancements online at

Tools and Utilities

See also the Tools Changes online documentation at