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29 July 2010, 12:54

Commotion about current Java release

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Java Logo What should have been a minor modification in the recently released Java 6 release 21 – changing the vendor name in the Java VM from "Sun Microsystems" to "Oracle" – causes Eclipse under Windows to crash.

The change in this release, the third after Oracle's take-over of Sun, was made for marketing reasons. Oracle changed the company name in the company field of the EXE files for Windows but the java.vendor and java.vm.vendor properties continued to read "Sun Microsystems, Inc.", with the expectation that applications would refer to those properties.

However, Eclipse under Windows uses the company field to determine the creator of the VM. If this field reads "Sun", Eclipse will set the virtual machine's MaxPermSize start parameter to a higher value. With this field value changed to "Oracle" the start parameter is not increased and the IDE is left with insufficient memory at runtime. Other Java implementations don't appear to be affected.

Oracle will reverse the change and has announced build b07 of Java 6 release 21 for Windows. At the same time, the Java developers are wondering why Eclipse uses an entry only available under Windows to determine the creator of the JavaVM, instead of accessing the vendor properties, which are always available.

In any case, the Eclipse developers will need to make changes to their code because, by version 7 of Java at the latest, Oracle will replace all instances of "Sun Microsystems Inc." in the JDK.


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