Sun has finally made a sensible decision when it comes to the naming of Java. To see how unprecedented this is, let’s stop for a quick history lesson.

In 1996, there was Java 1.0. A year later, we got Java 1.1. Then at the end of 1998 Java 1.2 came along, but Sun’s marketing brains belatedly decided it was worthy of a whole new version number, so it was renamed after release to Java 2 version 1.2.

By the end of 2000, Java had been split into three segments: Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) version 1.3, for desktop application development; Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), which extended J2SE to building enterprise apps (including Web sites); and Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME), a stripped-down version of Java for building applications for mobile and embedded devices.

J2SE 1.4 came out in 2002, and then in 2004 we got J2SE 1.5. Once again, Sun’s marketing department stepped in at the last moment and gave it a new version number: Java 2 Standard Edition 5.0, version 1.5. It it weren’t true, it would be unbelievable.

This week at the JavaOne conference, Sun announced a new naming scheme for Java. Not only is it sensible for once, but it’s also being announced well in advance of the first release to which it will apply.

The next desktop version of Java will be called Java Standard Edition 6 (Java SE 6 for short). Similarly, we will have Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Mobile Edition (Java ME).

Sun is not endorsing the three letter abbreviations JSE, JEE, and JME that suggest themselves, but I have no doubt they will find a place in common parlance regardless.

Kevin began developing for the Web in 1995 and is a highly respected technical author. Kev is a world-renowned author, speaker and JavaScript expert. He has a passion for making web technology easy to understand by anyone. Yes, even you!

  • Sudar

    Hopefully there will not be any more confusion in version names for java.

  • gnarly

    Ah, the marketing department eh? Brilliant.

  • charmedlover

    Finally they do something easy to remember, lol. I always hated how Java’s naming scheme just couldn’t be something easy to use.

  • anjanesh

    This sounds far better than J2SE, J2EE, J2ME and instead of SDK names like J2SE 1.5 or JDK 5.0 !

  • vijay_rb


    Anybody has the enhancement list in the new versions of Java. Just needed some basic info on them.

Special Offer
Free course!

Git into it! Bonus course Introduction to Git is yours when you take up a free 14 day SitePoint Premium trial.