` Version numbering madness — imaginary family values

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Once upon a time in 1998, Sun Microsystems released “Java 1.0” onto an unsuspecting world. As is the case with most “1.0” products that neither embarass nor bankrupt their sponsors, this was followed by “Java 1.1”. When it was time for the next version to be released, there must have been some kind of tug of war between the development and marketing wings of the company: as far as hackers were concerned, it was “Java 1.2,” but as far as the marketing department was concerned, it was “Java 2”. At some point—I don’t know whether this was at the 1.2 or 1.3 release—the Java platform split into “Java 2 Standard Edition,” “Java 2 Micro Edition,” and “Java 2 Enterprise Edition.” But at any rate, when the version numbers were bumped again, you didn’t have “Java 2 Standard Edition” become “Java 3 Standard Edition”; instead, it was “Java 2 Standard Edition 1.3.” Likewise for 1.4.

And now, Sun is almost ready to foist a new version of Java on us, and what do they call it? “Java 2 Platform Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0.”

I hear that Sun is in difficult financial straits these days. Free advice: fire your marketing department before they announce “Son of Java 2 Platform Extended Turbocharged Standard Edition 2010, Release 7.1.”

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    Version numbering madness — imaginary family values

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