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GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive" released

From: Andrew John Hughes
Subject: GNU Classpath 0.96 "Staying Alive" released
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:42:17 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.9.5

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:

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 ( 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 ( and on using the new OpenJDK code 
within existing Free runtime environments such as cacao 
( and IKVM (  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 (  This provides support for the 
javax.sound API using the GStreamer library (, 
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

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
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:  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 mirrors

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 and
* 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.

Andrew :-)

Help end the Java Trap!
Contribute to GNU Classpath and the OpenJDK

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