Chapter 10. Development Basics

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) provides the backbone for running Java applications. The Java Development Kit (JDK) provides all of the components and necessary resources to develop Java applications.

Java Runtime Environment

The JRE is a collection of software that allows a computer system to run a Java application. The software collection consists of the Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) that interpret Java bytecode into machine code, standard class libraries, user interface toolkits, and a variety of utilities.

Java Development Kit

The JDK is a programming environment for compiling, debugging, and running Java applets, applications, and Java Beans. The JDK includes the JRE with the addition of the Java Programming language and additional development tools and tool APIs. Sun’s JDK supports Linux, Solaris, and Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, and Vista). Additional operating system and special purpose JVMs, JDKs, and JREs are freely available at http://java-virtual-machine.net/other.html.

Table 10-1 lists versions of the JDK provided by Sun Microsystems®. Download the most recent version at http://java.sun.com; download older versions at http://java.sun.com/products/archive/.

Table 10-1. Java Development Kits

Java Development Kits

Codename

Release

Java SE 6 with JDK 1.6.0

Mustang

2006

Java 2 SE 5.0 with JDK 1.5.0

Tiger

2004

Java 2 SE with SDK 1.4.0

Merlin

2002

Java 2 SE with SDK 1.3

Kestrel

2000

Java 2 with SDK 1.2

Playground

1998

J2SE version ...

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