Monday, February 4, 2008

Code Names of Standard Java Releases

Some Java developers have used code names for different releases of the Java SE SDK/JDK as a supposed "badge of honor." They seem to think it is more impressive to others if they refer to releases by these code names rather than by their numeric versions. Other people like these names because they are easier to remember than the changing numeric schemes or because they get used to the code names before the numeric release numbers are assigned. No matter what the reason, it can be useful to know these code names when reading articles, blogs, or other materials in which the code names are used.

A list of many of these code names is provided in the obviously named At the time of this writing (4 February 2008), this page lists code names and release dates for standard Java from JDK 1.1.4 through J2SE 5.0. There is no listing for the current release (Java SE 6) or for the next major release (Java 7.0), so I have added those to a table below with all of these mappings. In addition, I have added some references and links for each version in my table.

Standard Java VersionCode NameRelease DateReference
JDK 1.1.4Sparkler12 September 1997 
JDK 1.1.5Pumpkin3 December 1997 
JDK 1.1.6Abigail24 April 24 1998 
JDK 1.1.7Brutus28 Sept 1998 
JDK 1.1.8Chelsea8 April 1999 
J2SE 1.2Playground4 December 1998 
J2SE 1.2.1(none)30 March 1999 
J2SE 1.2.2Cricket8 July 1999 
J2SE 1.3Kestrel8 May 2000 
J2SE 1.3.1Ladybird17 May 2001JSR-911
J2SE 1.4.0Merlin13 February 2002JSR 59
J2SE 1.4.1Hopper16 September 2002Roadmap
J2SE 1.4.2Mantis26 June 26 2003End of Life Announced
J2SE 5.0 (1.5.0)Tiger29 September 2004JSR-176
Java SE 6Mustang11 December 2006JSR-270
Java SE 7DolphinSummer 2008Java SE Language Features: Today and Tomorrow

Another resource listing many of the code names of the various versions of standard Java is the PDF Java SE Language Features: Today and Tomorrow. Another listing of Java Release Dates is available in the Java Glossary.

As is often the case, Wikipedia offers some good information about the various versions of Java and their code names in the Java version history entry.

Finally, in his blog entry Mustang and Dolphin ... We'll Miss You, Ray Gans writes about the phasing out of code names for standard Java.

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