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JVM 5 is the new IE 6

Posted by Prashant Deva on November 1, 2011

Note that I mentioned JVM 5, not Java 5.

Since Chronon requires running on JVM 6, we do get people time to time asking “Does that mean Java 5 is not supported?”.

Backward Compatibility

It seems some people still don’t understand that you can run Java 5 code on JVM 6. The JVMs are, and have always been, fully backward compatible.

This also means, that you can still write your code as Java 5 and even use JVM 5 to compile and build your  application, but during deployment you can choose JVM 6 instead of JVM 5 and gain all the advantages of using a more recent JVM while making sure your code still can, if really needed, run on JVM 5.

Disadvantages of JVM 5

The JVM 5 is over 7 years old. It was even End Of Life’d over 2 years ago.  That means it won’t be receiving any more updates, so if you run into a jvm bug, tough luck… On Macs, its not even possible to install JVM 5 unless you use some hacks.

Frankly, why anyone would use a a 7 year old technology which won’t receive any new updates, when a perfectly good alternative is available, is beyond me!

Advantages of JVM 6

The JVM 6 has been with us for > 5 years now and is still very much under active development. It has had 29 updates so far and is used by millions. It has much better performance than JVM 5 and the vast number of updates have ensured it is pretty damn stable.


At this point it baffles me that enterprises are sticking with a 7 year old, discontinued technology which has a perfectly good replacement which performs better and gets active updates. JVM 5 is the new IE 6 and like IE 6, it would be good for everyone if it was completely eradicated from this world.


Tagged 5 Comments |

5 thoughts on “JVM 5 is the new IE 6

  1. JVM 5 is still luxury for some. One of our clients demands us to write code for JVM 1.3. Yes, in the year 2011…

  2. In my company, we use COBOL on z/OS on mainframes. The browser used is IE7. I could not understand why they use Windows XP with tools like WinSCP and putty instead of directly using *nix.

  3. What concerns me is that Java 7 (any by extension JVM 7?) continues to be plagued by problems. Java 6 is great, and JVM 6 likewise has excellent performance and provides lots of great features compared to 5, even if it is beginning to show its age a bit. But with no compelling successor yet I can see JVM 6 running into a similar situation that Windows XP did, what with JVM 7 starting to look vaguely Vista-ish.

  4. I agree. You should run JVM applications with Java 6 wherever is possible. No point on using Java 5.However, I have a scenario where I just can’t do that. That is, when you need to use some weird JAX-WS library, and JVM 6 simply doesn’t behave as Java 5 would. I keep getting errors, unless you start messing up with "lib/endorsed" directory.

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