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GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive" released
Andrew John Hughes
GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive" released
Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:42:17 +0100
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.
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 (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 implemented 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 home page:
- Developer information (wiki):
- Full class documentation
- GNU Classpath hackers:
- Autobuilder, current build status, build snapshots:
- Application test pages (wiki)
- GNU Classpath hacking with Eclipse (wiki)
- GNU Classpath promotion banners:
GNU Classpath 0.96 can be downloaded from
or one of the ftp.gnu.org mirrors
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
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.
Help end the Java Trap!
Contribute to GNU Classpath and the OpenJDK
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