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Java versions

Thursday Mar 1st 2001

Although I test the code in this book with several different vendor implementations of Java, I generally rely on the Sun implementation as a reference when determining whether behavior is correct.

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Although I test the code in this book with several different vendor implementations of Java, I generally rely on the Sun implementation as a reference when determining whether behavior is correct.

By the time you read this, Sun will have released three major versions of Java: 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 (Sun says it will make a major release about every nine months!). Version 1.1 represents a significant change to the language and should probably have been labeled 2.0. (And if 1.1 is such a big change from 1.0, I shudder to think what will justify the number 2.0.) However, it’s version 1.2 that seems to finally bring Java into the prime time, in particular where user interface tools are concerned.

This book covers versions 1.0, 1.1 and selected parts of 1.2, although in situations where a new approach is clearly superior to the old, I definitely favor the new approach, often choosing to teach the better approach and completely ignore the old approach. However, there are some cases where it’s unavoidable to teach the old approach before the new, in particular with the AWT, since not only is there a lot of old Java 1.0 code out there, but some platforms still support only Java 1.0. I will try to be scrupulous about pointing out which features belong to which version.

One thing you’ll notice is that I don’t use the sub-revision numbers. At this writing, the released version of 1.0 from Sun was 1.02 and the released version of 1.1 was 1.1.5 (Java 1.2 was in beta). In this book I will refer to Java 1.0, Java 1.1 and Java 1.2 only, to guard against typographical errors produced by further sub-revisioning of these products.

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