The continuing Revolution of java
By: aathishankaran in Java Tutorials on 2007-02-01
The initial release of java was nothing short of revolutionary, but it did not mark the end of java's era of rapid innovation. Unlike most other software systems that usually settle into a pattern of small, incremental improvements, java continued to evolve at an explosive ace. Soon after the release of java1.0, the designers of java had already created java1.1. The features added by java 1.1 were more significant and substantial than the increase in the minor revision number would have you think. Java 1.1 added many new library elements, redefined the way events are handled by applets, and reconfigured may features of the 1.0 library. It also deprecated (rendered obsolete) several features originally defined by java 1.0. Thus, java 1.1 both added and subtracted attributes from its original specification.
The next major release of java was java 2. Java 2 was a watershed event, marking the beginning of the 'modern age' of this rapidly evolving language! The first release of java 2 carried the version number 1.2. It may seem odd that the first release of java 2 used the 1.2 version number. The reason is that it originally referred to the version of the java libraries, but it was generalized to refer to the entire release, itself. Java 2 added support for a number of new features, such as Swing and the collections framework, and it enhanced the Java Virtual Machine and various programming tools java 2 also contained a few deprecations. The most important affected the Thread class in which the methods suspend (), and stop () were deprecated.
This version java 2, version 1.3, is the first major upgrade to the original java 2 release. For the most part it adds to existing functionality and 'tightens up' the development environment. In general, programs written for version 1.2 and those written for version 1.2 are source-code compatible. Although version 1.3 contains a smaller set of changes than the preceding three major releases, it is nevertheless important.
In this article it explain about both 1.2 and 1.3 versions of java 2. Of course, most of the material applies to earlier versions of java, too. When a feature applies to a specific version of java, it will be so noted, otherwise, you can simply assume that it applies to java, in general. Also, when referring to those features common to not versions of java2, this book will simply use the term java 2, with out a reference to a version number.
As of 2023, the latest Java version is Java 20. According to the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap, version 20 is the latest one, and versions 17, 11 and 8 are the currently supported long-term support (LTS) versions, where Oracle Customers will receive Oracle Premier Support. OpenJDK is also available free of cost and its versions are almost always similar to Oracle's paid versions. The OpenJDK versions can be downloaded from https://openjdk.org/
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