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Java SE 6, Platform Name and Version Numbers

At this release, the platform name has changed from J2SE to Java SE. The official name is Java Platform, Standard Edition 6.

Both version numbers ( 1.6.0 and 6) are used to identify this release of the Java Platform. Version 6 is the product version, while 1.6.0 is the developer version. The number 6 is used to reflect the evolving level of maturity, stability, scalability and security of Java SE.

Version 6 Used in Platform and Product Names

Version 6 is used in the platform and product names as given in this table:

Full Name Abbreviation
Platform name Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 Java SE 6
Products delivered under the platform Java SE Development Kit 6 JDK 6
Java SE Runtime Environment 6 JRE 6

Due to significant popularity within the Java developer community, "JDK" continues to be the acronym for the development kit, as does "JRE" for the runtime environment. Notice that "JDK" stands for "Java SE Development Kit" (to distinguish it from the Java EE Development Kit known as SDK). The name "Java Development Kit" is no longer used, and has not been offically used since 1.1, prior to the advent of Java EE and Java ME.

Version 1.6.0 Used by Developers

Java SE keeps the version number 1.6.0 (or 1.6) in some places that are visible only to developers, or where the version number is parsed by programs. As mentioned, 1.6.0 refers to exactly the same platform and products numbered 6. Version numbers 1.6.0 and 1.6 are used at:

  • java -version (among other info, returns java version "1.6.0")
  • java -fullversion (returns java full version "1.6.0-bxx")
  • javac -source 1.6 (is an alias for javac -source 6)
  • java.version system property
  • java.vm.version system property
  • @since 1.6 tag values
  • jdk1.6.0 installation directory
  • jre1.6.0 installation directory