JDK 1.0 (january 23, 1996) oak
- Initial release

JDK 1.1 (february 19, 1997)
- Retooling of the AWT event model
- Inner classes added to the language
- JavaBeans

J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998) playground
This and subsequent releases through J2SE 5.0 were rebranded retrospectively Java 2 & version name "J2SE"
(Java 2 platform, Standard edition) replaced JDK to distinguish the base platform from
J2EE (java 2 platform, enterprise edition) and J2ME (java 2 platform, micro edition).

- Strictfp keyword
- Reflection
- Swing api integration into the core classes
- JVM equipped with a jit compiler
- Java plug-in
- Java IDL
- An IDL implementation for corba interoperability
- Collections Framework

J2SE 1.3 (may 8, 2000) kestrel
- Hotspot jvm included
- JavaSound
- JNDI included in core libraries
- Java platform debugger architecture (jpda)
- RMI was modified to support optional compatibility with corba

J2SE 1.4 (february 6, 2002) merlin
- assert keyword
- Regular expressions
- Exception chaining (allows an exception to encapsulate original lower-level exception)
- Internet protocol version 6 (IPV6) support
- Non-blocking nio (new input/output)
- Logging API
- Image i/o api for reading and writing images in formats like jpeg and png
- Integrated XML parser and XSLT processor (JAXP)
- Integrated security and cryptography extensions (JCE, JSSE, JAAS)
- Java web start

J2SE 5.0 (september 30, 2004) tiger [originally numbered 1.5]
- Generics: provides compile-time (static) type safety for collections and eliminates the need for most typecasts (type conversion).
- Metadata: also called annotations; allows language constructs such as classes and methods to be tagged with additional data, which can then be processed by metadata-aware utilities.
- Autoboxing/unboxing: automatic conversions between primitive types (such as int) and primitive wrapper classes (such as integer).
- Enumerations: the enum keyword creates a typesafe, ordered list of values (such as day.monday, day.tuesday, etc.). Previously this could only be achieved by non-typesafe constant integers or manually constructed classes (typesafe enum pattern).
- Swing: new skinnable look and feel, called synth.
- Var args: the last parameter of a method can now be declared using a type name followed by three dots (e.g. Void drawtext(string... Lines)). In the calling code any number of parameters of that type can be used and they are then placed in an array to be passed to the method, or alternatively the calling code can pass an array of that type.
- Enhanced for each loop: the for loop syntax is extended with special syntax for iterating over each member of either an array or any iterable, such as the standard collection classesfix the previously broken semantics of the java memory model, which defines how threads interact through memory.
- Automatic stub generation for rmi objects.
- Static imports concurrency utilities in package java.util.concurrent.
- Scanner class for parsing data from various input streams and buffers.
- Assertions
- StringBuilder class (in java.lang package)
- Annotations

Java SE 6 (december 11, 2006) mustang
sun replaced the name "J2SE" with java se and dropped the ".0" from the version number.
Beta versions were released in february and june 2006, leading up to a final release that occurred on december 11, 2006.
The current revision is update 14 which was released in may 2009.

- Support for older win9x versions dropped.
- Scripting lang support: Generic API for integration with scripting languages, & built-in mozilla javascript rhino integration
- Dramatic performance improvements for the core platform, and swing.
- Improved web service support through JAX-WS JDBC 4.0 support
- Java compiler API: an API allowing a java program to select and invoke a java compiler programmatically.
- Upgrade of JAXB to version 2.0: including integration of a stax parser.
- Support for pluggable annotations
- Many GUI improvements, such as integration of swingworker in the API, table sorting and filtering, and true swing double-buffering (eliminating the gray-area effect).

Java se 6 update 10
A major enhancement in terms of end-user usability.
- Java Deployment Toolkit, a set of javascript functions to ease the deployment of applets and java web start applications.
- Java Kernel, a small installer including only the most commonly used jre classes. Enhanced updater.
- Enhanced versioning and pack200 support: server-side support is no longer required.
- Java quick starter, to improve cold start-up time.
- Improved performance of java2D graphics primitives on windows, using direct3D and hardware acceleration.
- A new Swing look and feel called NIMBUS and based on synth.
- Next-generation java plug-in: applets now run in a separate process and support many features of web start applications.

Java se 6 update 12
This release includes the highly anticipated 64-bit java plug-in (for 64-bit browsers only), windows server 2008 support,
and performance improvements of java and JAVAFX applications.

Features and Enhancements JDK Documentation

Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 is a major feature release. The following list highlights many of the significant features and enhancements in Java SE 6 since the prior major release, J2SE 5.0. It is followed by a detailed table with links to related bugs, enhancements, and JSRs.

Note, this web page relates to the Release Candidate milestone for Java SE 6. Its related Umbrella JSR 270 does not itself define specific features. Instead it enumerates features defined in other JSRs or through the concurrent maintenance review of the Java SE platform specification. The final release is expected to include all JSR 270 features, although it is possible for an approved feature to be dropped.

Refer also to:
Java Platform, Standard Edition Differences between 5.0 fcs and 6 Beta .

Highlights of Technology Changes in Java SE 6

Choose a technology for links to further information.
Collections Framework
Deployment (Java Web Start and Java Plug-in)
Drag and Drop
Internationalization Support
I/O Support
JAR (Java Archive Files) - An annotated list of changes between the 5.0 and 6.0 releases to APIs, the jar command, and the jar/zip implementation.
Java Web Start
Java DB 10.2 JDBC4 Early Access

The $JAVA_HOME/db subdirectory contains class libraries for Java DB, Sun Microsystems's distribution of the Apache Derby database technology.
For information on Java DB, see Java DB.
For information on Derby, see: Apache Derby.
For documentation on this version of Java DB, see Java DB - Reference.
For a description of the capabilities of this version of Java DB, see the release notes in the $JAVA_HOME/db subdirectory.
This Early Access version of Java DB is built from Apache Derby source code (revision 453926) using JDK 6 JDBC 4 APIs to build JDBC 4 driver code.
Comments regarding this version of Java DB can be sent to javadb-ea@sun.com.


JMX (Java Management Extensions) - A list of JMX API changes between the J2SE 5.0 and Java SE 6 releases.
JPDA (Java Platform Debugger Architecture)
JVM TI (Java Virtual Machine Tool Interface)
lang and util Packages
Monitoring and Management for the Java Platform
JConsole is Officially Supported in Java SE 6
Networking Features
RMI (Remote Method Invocation)
Serialization of Objects
VM (Java Virtual Machine)

Detailed Table of Technology Changes in Java SE 6

Items are ordered by area/component. The first column indicates the scope of a change:

jsr – A larger feature or feature set having its own Java Specification Request
api – A smaller feature that adds new Java APIs (application programming interfaces)
imp – An implementation enhancement that does not involve new APIs, for example, a performance improvement
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