Oracle has released its first versions of the Java Development Kit and JavaFX software development kit for the Mac OS X operating system.
JavaFX 2.1 came out on Thursday, along with Java Platform, Standard edition 7 Update 4 (Java SE 7 Update 4). The consumer Mac version of Java SE 7 and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) will follow soon and, according to Oracle Java chief Hasan Rizvi, this will boost Java security.
"With the upcoming Mac OS X port, we look forward to delivering simultaneous releases of the JRE across all major operating systems later this year, so all Java users will be able to take advantage of the latest features and security fixes," Rizvi said in a statement.
The updated JDK includes a new version of the Garbage First (G1) 'garbage collector' algorithm, which is used to improve system memory management. The Java SE7 Update 4 Java Virtual Machine (JVM) also offers several performance enhancements, which Oracle said "can also deliver a performance boost to Oracle Fusion Middleware products".
"With the release of Java SE 7 Update 4, all of the performance enhancements available in Oracle JRockit have been merged into Oracle Java HotSpot and OpenJDK, the open source Java SE implementation," the company said, adding that it was working to merge the HotSpot and JRockit JVMs.
As for JavaFX 2.1, for which a developer preview is now also available for Linux users, the updated platform includes several enhancements of its own. "Playback support for digital media stored in the MPEG-4 multimedia container format containing H.264/AVC video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio" has been added, as have UI enhancements such as application-wide menu bars and stacked charts.
Oracle also unveiled a public early access programme for JavaFX Scene Builder, a new drag-and-drop visual layout tool for the platform.