Java Versions and Products

By bobcat · 9 replies
May 5, 2010
  1. TechSpot’s 8-step Malware Removal advises:
    Now, in my case, in addition to the latest Java 6 Update 20, I also have
    J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 1, which is quite big, 117 MB, see below:


    Java say that J2SE has reached the end of its service life on November 3, 2009:

    It then offers for download JDK 5.0 as the last publicly available release of J2SE 5.0.

    Can some expert clarify what is happening with these different names and products? To help, I pose specific questions:

    1 What is the difference between Java itself and J2SE?
    2 If I have the latest Java, do I also need J2SE?
    3 What is the difference between J2SE and JDK?
    4 Do I need to download JDK?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Don't install anything you don't need. What software are you running that requires J2SE?
    You do need Java 20 because so many pieces of software require it. I would leave the version you have J2SE 5.0, and download, but not install, the latest update in the event you need it later.
    But we cannot tell what you need without knowing all your installed software.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    4) not likely if you need to ask; JDK is the means to create Java Code -- are you a programer?

    3) J2SE is the runtime JAVA 99% of the world needs and (4) is above :)

    2) Latest Java is fine

    There's a great lack of understanding on Java and the JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
    It is possible that more that one JRE is installed and even necessary (watch the debate that follows on that statement :( )

    An application can have a private copy of a JRE (or there can be more than just one)
    and that application will be the sole user of it. Uninstalling it can easily break that application. Yea sure, the application should update, but that doesn't alwasy happen.
    As it's private to the path of the application, your system will not reference it so that application is the only thing that *may* have an issue.

    Your browser should always use the latest and greatest Java and the related plugin.

    How do I know?
    a) I write Java
    b) I have a 3rd party Java encryption tool that has a downlevel JRE 5.*

    If you too have one or more Java applications (which are kind of rare), then you better know
    where it is installed and which version of Java it is using.
    If you are joe typical user w/o any java apps, then prune your system to use only the current release of Java.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    The simplified bottom line:
    > Uninstall J2SE Runtime 5

    Whenever you run (or are notified of) Java updates, it will update your current Java 6 version 20

    For the typical user who's reading this ("typical user"= anyone who isn't sure and has to ask the question)
    > You only need one Java version (*)
    > Just run Java update to get it or if you ever need / want to uninstall all java and install the latest just go here and follow the big "free java download" prompts

    (*)Yes, it's not impossible, but so unlikely for the typical user to need more then one version there's little point for the typical user to assume otherwise and worry about it.
  5. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    My thanks to those who replied, especially since they are all expert Evangelists. As a result I am a lot wiser on java jargon, and surely so are many who followed this thread.

    Needless to clarify that I am not a programmer, otherwise I wouldn’t have posed the questions. And of course I don’t know which of the many apps I have on my PC use which version of Java.

    The only issue that seems to remain is some ambiguity as to whether to uninstall the J2SE, because by my understanding of the following statements, there’s no unanimous agreement on it:

    Given that I am not a programmer, but may run other people's scripts,should I then proceed to uninstall J2SE, or play it safe and leave it? I wouldn’t like the idea of uninstalling it and watching what happens, as I might not notice the consequences on a rarely used program for some time and by then it would be difficult to attribute them to a specific past action.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    yes, you need J2SE and from the above comments, you would do well to uninstall ALL existing Java and then go back and install the most current version.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Since the start of Java's first release in 1996, Java's naming conventions and acronyms have been a nightmare of alphabet soup
    Java Card, J2ME, J2SE, J2EE, JRE, JDK, JVM, JavaFX, JDK+NetBeans bundle just to name a few.... In fact, the Java site even refers people to a Java Naming Help Desk! :rolleyes:​
    Plus, the Java Runtime Environment (which the consumer typically needs) used to keep old and multiple versions around with each new JRE update. So it's little wonder the average joe/jane consumer gets confused!

    But much of the confusion for the consumer improved when Java moved from version 5 to version 6. So uninstall your old J2SE version 5 and then just do java updates
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    ?? J2SE?? Why does 99% of the world need the download which includes the developer's tool kit?
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    :grrr: Brain dead on the subject and totally bogus information. Apologies to all.
    As I code and work with Java at a different level so much of the time, the whole world begins to look like J2SE, when the Java Plugin would suffice.

    Again, apologies.

    @LookinAround: Nicely said rebuff :)
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Thanks. :)
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