J2EE or JEE, Java 5 or Java 1.5 – Is SUN Crazy?

Will they take a J2EE professional or a JEE professional now is the thing I am worrying about. It is obvious for a technical person to know that J2EE and JEE are one and the same except for the HR persons! How do we go about convincing them? Many people including me, still are confused about the version and the mysterious number attached to the “Java” word. Let’s try to explore what actually goes on behind these mysteries. Check this out!

The product confusion

If you are still thinking that Java 2 meant version 2 of Java then you are being duped. Java 2 means version 1.4 of Java. I am still dumbfounded as to where Java 3 and Java 4 disappeared but I guess with the success of Java 5 they were buried in debris even before they born!

I was still in bewilderment until the web started to roar about Java 6. It took me a lot of time to actually sink in the fact whether Java 5 referred to version 1.5 of Java and Java 6 referred to version 1.6 of Java. This confusion was due to the use of Java 5.0 in some places. Are Java 5.0 and version 1.5 of Java one and the same?

The fact is that Sun makes use of dual naming convention for the same thing. One naming convention if for the product and one is for the developer. The official documents mentions,

Both version numbers “1.5.0” and “5.0” are used to identify this release of the Java 2 Platform Standard Edition. Version “5.0” is the product version, while “1.5.0” is the developer version. The number “5.0” is used to better reflect the level of maturity, stability, scalability and security of the J2SE.

Really, a lot of maturity I say!

Developmental and Mental Destruction

SUN has not left people in peril by their naming conventions swapping not only in the case of Java releases but also in the names of the development kits. Earlier for programming in Java I used to download JDK which meant Java Development Kit. I don’t remember which version I was working upon. Maybe it was 1.1.

But when the Java 2 reign started I was asked to download J2SDK which means Java 2 Software Development Kit. SUN had finally realized that people were actually making softwares on Java!!

Java 2 was there to stay for a long time until the hue and uproar for Java 5 came in the picture. But wait, SUN was ready for another swap of naming to gain momentum with the success Java 5, which was reverting back to the name of JDK.
The official document mentions,

Due to significant popularity within the Java developer community, the development kit has reverted back to the name “JDK” from “Java 2 SDK”

Am I supposed to NOW assume if JDK still stands for the same meaning i.e “Java Development Kit“. No! Sun has more surprises for me. NOW, JDK actually means “J2SE Development Kit“. I still fear when this meaning will come crashing by! Did I hear some one shouting “Jean Claude Van Damn Karate Club” for JDK!!

Certifications Confusion

The certifications were also not spared. If you happen to prepare yourself for the SCBCD (Sun Certified Business Component Developer) exam, then you are in for trouble with making sure which exam are you heading for. I bet you would definitely get fumbled in this-

  • SCBCD 1.3 refers to you working with EJB 2.0
  • SCBCD 5.0 refers to you working with EJB 3.0

Didnt it all appear to SUN to keep the version of SCBCD same as the EJB we are working on?

The reality is that EJB 2.x was meant to work with J2EE 1.3 and since now after the up gradation of EJB to EJB 3.0 even the Java EE specifications have been upgraded to 5.0. Hence the certification number is the number of the Java EE specification and not of the version of EJB it is based on. Similarly it is SCJP 1.4 and SCWCD 1.4 which are for J2EE.. err.. I mean J2EE 1.4 or is it so. Jesus, pardon me if I have done anything wrong!

Now you must have been enlightened about which version you are associated with. I will take some time to digest this completely. My head is still reeling with these numerological mumbo jumbo. Maybe there is something more in store for us. Before that hey, which version are you currently working on?

22 thoughts on “J2EE or JEE, Java 5 or Java 1.5 – Is SUN Crazy?

  1. was a nice n funny article.now i am clear with the versions what were buried n wat are in the market thank you so much 🙂

  2. what joy to read an article like this. thank you for your sense of humor. I think we are also indebted to Sun for creating such a mess

  3. I have been thinking the same for several years. Sun are bananas! No one seemed to care or even take notice of all there changes, they just accepted it!

    Very good article, had a chuckle 😛

  4. And the same mess continues in JCP. I still dont understand how they give the numbers to JSR’s.

  5. Really a very good,entertaining and knowledgeable article. I do work on java, but never tried to solve these mystries. I good funny article to understand things.

    Sun guys need a good product naming team. 🙂

  6. Ha ha, thank you so much for the full explanation, and thank you even more for making light of it. Now I know I’m not crazy.

    I finally had enough of being confused for years and was determined to drop everything until I got to the bottom of this.

  7. You defently right with that every time I installing suff on a new computer or after a format I never know what to download ,JDK
    SDK JRE?
    also another one for you: what’s supposed to be your JAVA_HOME?JDK_HOME? does sun gives that info on the install notes??? hell no.

  8. hi, i’m new to java.
    java 2 and java 5 are the same? i mean, are they refer to version 2 of java?

  9. @emily – Nope, they do not refer to the version 2 of java. As I have already mentioned in the post “Java 2 means version 1.4 of Java”. Similarly Java 5 means version 1.5 of Java

  10. Hey.. this is pretty nice article .. Sun should playing around with this name.. I was really lost in all those names..


  11. Cool article! haha I ‘ve always wondered why all these kinda differences on the numerology.

  12. Sun are idiots they should hire some smart people for a change their crap developing software could use a lot of work.

  13. hey ,this article is really helpful to me .But please help me to decide that i m MCA student and I have studied java 6(java version 1.6) now i want to know can i get job on the bases of java 6(java core) and what should i do now to increase my knowledge and get a good decent job in market with Java tech.?
    please also tell me that whether i should go with .net or with java. ?if .net then which framework?Does struts ASp or Jsp what should i do in next 6 months.?

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