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Oracle Restores TZUpdater for JDK 7

Oracle reversed course this week on its earlier decision to cut the popular Time Zone Updater (TZUpdater) tool from the latest version of the Java Development Kit (JDK 7) --  or was that just a slip of the knife? The tool, which allows developers to update the time zone in any version of the JDK and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) without having to update the JDK/JRE itself, was removed from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Web site "as part of maintenance tied to the end of public updates for Oracle JDK 6," wrote Henrik Stahl, senior director of product management in the Java platform group, on the Oracle blog.

In that blog post, Stahl also apologized to the Java community for "any confusion or inconvenience we caused."

When Java 6 reached end-of-life status in March, Oracle dropped a note on the site informing users that the tool was now available only for Oracle Java SE Support customers. Those users were not happy, and they let Oracle know about it. Stahl called the decision "an unintentional side effect" and "not in line with our policy."

Stahl also said that, though the company's goal is "to make sure that the most recent version of the JDK and JRE always contain the most recent time zone data," (by eliminating the need for a separate TZUpdater tool) it's not always possible to do that, "given the timing of the time zone updates." He added that his group is reviewing its own development process "to determine what guarantees we can put in place for the gap between a time zone update and it being available in a public JDK/JRE release."

The most recent version of the Oracle JDK will always be available royalty free, Stahl said, including any tools required to keep it up to date. The TZUpdater is available now for download here.


Posted by John K. Waters on June 12, 2013