If a candidate were to mix and match techniques, etc from Java 5 and Java 6, would this (negatively) affect ones score? For example, suppose that one decided to use a Deque to solve a certain problem and then pre-Java 6 table sorting technique to solve another problem, would it matter in terms of one's ultimate score?
That is fine anything that is in Java 5 is also a feature of Java 6 (unless it has been depreciated) the important thing is that you use the appropriate technique. It is not important what version of tha language that feature was first added in.
BTW I submitted my project on Java 6 with almost entirly 1.4 code (except for a few Generic Collection changes, and it worked perfectly .
There is something that I probably was not clear on, however. Perhaps I could have worded my question like the following... Does it change your response in any way? Thanks.
If we use Java 6 table sorting example, I am guessing that we would need to anticipate the Java 6 addition in our design decisions document and why we elected not to use it. If we don't do so, then we would lose points for not being thorough in our understanding of available solutions. Is this correct?
The changes to the Java language between versions 5 and 6 are relatively small - version 5 brought much more new things. So, if you mainly use Java 5 features and something new from Java 6, the result probably isn't really a mix, but normal Java 6 code, since most of Java 6 is like Java 5 anyway.
I would, however, if table sorting is provided, at all (I think it is not explicitly required, but it is a common user expectation that tables can be sorted by clicking on the header), suggest that this should be implemented with the new possibilities for table sorting Java 6 offers because it is much easier. For me, table sorting was the reason why I have switched from Java 5 to Java 6 for the SCJD assignment I am working on. With earlier versions of Java, there might be doubts whether table sorting should be implemented because it is not explicitly required and may make the code more complicated - but with Java 6 table sorting requires so little code that I think it is worth implementing.