Java TM SE 6, Platform Name and Version Numbers

At this release, the platform name has changed from J2SE TM to Java TM SE. The official name is Java TM 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 TM Platform, Standard Edition 6 Java TM SE 6
Products delivered
under the platform
Java TM SE Development Kit 6 JDK TM 6
Java TM SE Runtime Environment 6 JRE TM 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