Differences between java 1.4 and 1.5???



I did actually search for this before asking but my scenerio is a bit different than the other ones I read. I'm a programmer and for the past year or so have been coding in java. My learning consists of a basic foundation of OO principles and c++ from college, but as we know, college rarely prepares one for the real world. I have 3 1/2 year experience under my belt. All of this is pretty much seat of the pants programming; I have a problem, I research it, and I write the code.

I say all of that to lead to this. I have no formal teaching on java save for what I have learned by teaching myself. I am at a new job where they are using java 1.4. The company that hired me wants me to get SCJP certified for 1.5. I don't have any issues with this save that I fear I will still be utterly confused when looking at our code as it is done in 1.4. I need a firm foundation to stand on and build from.

Are the differences between 1.4 and 1.5 small enough that I would likely not encounter many of them in the system I am working on (It's an enterprise level system)? Is there someway I could read up and certify for 1.5 and not be completely lost when looking at 1.4 code? I'm not entirely lost now, but the code is using several things that look advanced. I honestly wouldn't be able to say with 100% certainty though.

For the most part, I think I'm planning on just certing with 1.5 and figuring the rest out. I know i'm more than capable of this. I suppose i'm just curious to see what any of you experts might have to say regarding this.
jbaisdenAsked:
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kannan_ekanathConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Java 1.5 is backward compatible with Java 1.4 I guess a lot of features in 1.5 are *syntactic sugars* and the byte code generated has to be compliant. Refer the following link,

http://java.sun.com/javase/technologies/compatibility.jsp

Guess, most software projects (except for the maintenance only ...types) have moved to 1.5 :) or Java 5
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reach2piyushCommented:
All JDK versions are built on top of the previous versions, so there is no reason, why learning JDK1.5 should confuse you?
In fact it will help in broadening your view for better options to do certain tasks.

For whats new in JDK 1.5 refer to the article below,
http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-04-2004/jw-0426-tiger1.html

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saintsairforceCommented:
Like reach2piyush said it shouldn't confuse you. I had to upgrade to 1.5 because I came accross errors in 1.4 that were fixed in 1.5. So if anything 1.5 will be better for you to learn on. Other than that language is pretty much the same but with more options and less errors.
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SamsonChungCommented:
Hey,

I can tell you one thing, what works in 1.5 will not work in 1.4

that's kinda stupid ain't it? but its not.

Take one example, in 1.5, we have a new 'toy' call generics.

you simply take the same method, which you have to design it to the point where it will function with any type of objects, and simply write it once.

(no, not using Object type, it could be tedious that way)

but you won't expect it.

(Ok, i started off with the wrong side of things, but yes, there are some changes in 1.5 some big changes. but if you have 1.4 it shouldn't matter much.

just look for the deprecated stuff and convert them if possible)
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