Draft of the Java VM Specification, Third Edition
By abuckley on May 12, 2009
The Second Edition of the Java Virtual Machine Specification was published in 1999 and describes the Java SE platform circa JDK 1.2. Since then, numerous JSRs have updated the content, notably JSR 14 (generics) in Java SE 5.0 and JSR 202 (typechecking verification) in Java SE 6. Some of these updates are on the maintenance page for the Second Edition. However, no single document has been available that incorporated all these updates plus the smaller corrections and improvements that are made from time to time.
Certain JCP procedures are required to produce an official Third Edition of the Java Virtual Machine Specification. In the meantime, I am making available a draft of the Third Edition (ZIP, 1.9MB) to let the Java community observe the changing structure of the specification. There is an ongoing effort to identify and remove a) references to the Java Language Specification and b) assumptions about the compilation process that produced a ClassFile.
To emphasize the informal nature of the draft, I am not providing a change log or anything else that could be construed as starting a formal review. Nor are potential updates from JSR 292 and JSR 294 included; the draft pertains solely to Java SE 6 as defined by JSR 270 in 2006.