According to Jesús Rodríguez, the Apache group finally released version 1.2 of Axis, still the most popular SOAP toolkit for Java despite being complex and slow, while I was celebrating my birthday with a particularly horrible cringe. Good. Now I can replace the RC version I've been using. It should show up here soon, but you can download it here until then.
Drools 2.0 RC1 was also released. I've been using a beta version in an ongoing project so I am glad to see a release candidate version. FYI, Drools is the fastest open source Rete-based rules engine that I know of. It supports JSR-94 (Java Rules Engine API) and domain-specific rule declaration languages. Definitely recommended.
Updates to two key third party components in a single day!