Java Version History

Java Language is one of the fastest evolving language and has progressed tremendously. A brief description of all the java versions are given below:

Java 1.0 (Jan 1996)

This first version was Java 1.0 and had only  200 classes in it. This was internally called OAK Even though the language was quite naive, the concept of portability was fresh and widely accepted. This laid the foundstone for other version of Java and thus an exciting journey started!

Java 1.1 (Feb 1997)

300 new classes were added in Java 1.0 making it 500 classes. This version was  Java 1.1. Java 1.1 has many new features and many library elements were changes too. In fact some of the features in Java 1.0 we deprecated and many new features were added.

Java 2.0 (Dec 1998)

Then came java 1.2  and  the number of classes increased from 500 classes to a whopping 2300 classes. The changes were so significant that the java developers  decided to call  it java 2.0 .  The Sun Microsystems called it J2SE( Java 2 Platform Standard Edition).

Java 1.3 (May 2000)

Java 1.3 being the first major upgrade to Java 2 ,added to existing functionality of Java 2.0.

Java 1.4 (Feb 2002)

The Java 1.4 version had several important enhancements and  additions . Some new features were:

  • The keyword assert was introduced in this release
  • Chained Exceptions were added.
  • A channel based Input-Output System was added.
  • Changes to Collections Framework and Networking classes .

Both Java 3.0 and Java 4.0 were source code compatible with Java 2.

J2SE 5 (Sep 2004)

This was the next release after Java 1.4 and once again the changes were so huge that  It was not acceptable to call it just Java 1.5 so they called it called Java 5.0 (J2SE 5)to show the magnitude of changes . While the version 1.3 and 1.4 made changes to the existing feature, Java 5 added a whole set of new features to the Java Suite and expanded the scope of Java. The list of new features added are:

  • Generics
  • Annotations
  • Autoboxing and auto-unboxing.
  • Enumerations
  • Enhanced For loop (foreach Loop )
  • Static Import
  • Variable length Arguments
  • Formatted Input-Output.
  • Concurrency utilities.

Java 6.0 (Dec 2006)

The next release was called Java SE 6, The official product name in “Java Platform Standard Edition 6”. Though it did not add any new features but made improvements  to  API Libraries, added a few packages and improved the run time.


Java 7 (July , 2011)

The latest version of Java is Java 7 which has a lot of new enhancements like switch statements now accept strings, a numerical constant can have underscores  in between  like 1_000, new file system API is introduced etc.

Banner to

Hide Page Information

Versions of Java: History and Evolution of Java

Placement yogi contains contains a lot of Information on Java Versions and explains how the Java language evolved.