Are you ready for Java 5.0?

Surfing around today I found that the next major release of Java will not be the long awaited 1.5 but have decided to go straight for 5.0.

Java has always had a rather strange numbering system as they called Java 1.2, Java 2. This saw the inclusion of the swing toolkit among other things which was the real start for Java as a multi-platform solution as it allowed programmers to create one program with a GUI that could be run on any OS(Operating System) with a Java Runtime Environment or JRE.

But what is getting into Java 5.0 that makes Sun’s marketing department justify such a large jump in numbering? Well from the user perspective we will see another improvement in speed but not all that much new functionality. However programmatically we programmers will see a great deal of change and most likely many more pages into Java in a Nutshell 5th edition when it’s released. Some of these features include:

  • Generics – Similar to templates from C++
  • Automatic type conversion – from primitives to objects ie. int to Integer, double to Double…

This probably doesn’t really explain the fact that the people at Sun can not count but it’s probably more logical than when Netscape went from version 4.5 to 6 just to be at the same version number as Internet Explorer.

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