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Oracle gives Java 6 support another extension

Developers now have until next February to migrate to the Java 7 upgrade

Looking to give developers even more time to migrate to Java 7, Oracle has extended support for Oracle JDK (Java Development Kit) 6 again.

Instead of ending support for the JDK, which is Oracle's implementation of Java Platform Standard Edition 6, in November, updates will be released through February 2013, said Henrik Stahl, senior director for the Java platform technology group at Oracle, in a blog post this week. Previously, Oracle had planned to bring the product to an "end of life" stage last month but in February decided to extend it to November.

[ See Oracle's two-year roadmap for Java. | Also: A top Java official at Oracle has proposed delaying modular capabilities for Java. | For the latest news on Java, subscribe to InfoWorld's Enterprise Java newsletter. ]

"After further consultation and consideration, the Oracle JDK 6 End of Public Updates will be extended through February, 2013. This means that the last publicly available release of Oracle JDK 6 is to be released in February, 2013," Stahl said. "After the End of Public Updates for JDK 6, if you have a valid support contract for an Oracle product that requires JDK 6, or an Oracle Java SE Support contract, there will still be additional support versions of JDK 6 available from My Oracle Support."

Previously available versions of JDK 6 shall remain available via the Java Archive, for debugging and testing purposes, Stahl said. He noted JDK 6 had been the default JDK for five years; thus it seemed fair to extend its publicly available support time.Oracle released Java SE 7 in July 2011. Java SE 8 is due next year. Oracle wants to establish a two-year cadence for major releases, thus making End of Public Update events more frequent for major versions, Stahl said.

Oracle, he said, intends to stop providing public updates to a major JDK when it meets several criteria, including: the passage of three years after the general availability of a major release, one year after the availability of a subsequent major release, and six months after a subsequent major release has been established as the default Java Runtime Environment for end user desktops on java.com.

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