This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
It simply means you cant serialize a class using (for example) java 1.3.1 and deserialize it in java 1.4.2
You can deserialize it using java 1.3.1 only. This applies for any other build of java 1.3 too. You cant deserialize using java 1.3.2 ( or something like that ) since the serial version UID would be different.