I tried described feature with JRE 1.4.2 and was not able to get it working, so this is not a regression.
Wording "doesn't seem to work well" is not exact, since if you try to turn tracing/logging properties "ON" through vm args, it does not work at all. On the positive side, users can turn tracing/logging through "Advanced" tab in Control Panel for jre 1.5.0.
This is not a show stopper. Lowering the priority and committing to next release.
I think we should update documentation and remove the last paragraph completely from the developers' guide.
I investigated this bug further. There are two issues here:
1. The fix for the problem is in UserProfile.java at line 63. This line should be
i.e. should use equals to compare Boolean objects, not ==
This is where we arrive at the second issue.
2. If above fix applied, this feature will start working (according to the file history this feature never worked, since above error was there from day one), and default behavior for the trace file name would be to always generate new name. Currently, we overwrite plugin<version>.trace file. New behavior is due to the fact that if property has not been specified, "false" would be returned from doPrivileged(Action).
In our case, if -Djavaplugin.outputfiles.overwrite option is not specified, doPrivileged(Action) will return "false", which is the default value to turn this feature "ON".
We should probably change this property name to reflect the actual meaning with "true" being default value to turn the feature "ON". Since we have not heard any complaints about this feature not working, I suspect that it has not been used much, so changing property name would not have too much impact.
It was decided at the engineering meeting to fix the incorrect behavior without introducing a new option name (for now).