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Total Beginner: Question about what version to download to use with Head First Java

 
Greenhorn
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Hi, I'm a total newbie to Java. I bought the Head First Java book and plan to get going on it. However, it was written with Java 5 in mind. The book recommends downloading the following: 1.5 or greater Java 2 Standard Edition SDK and API documentation. It looks like Java is up to version 11 https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk11-downloads-5066655.html so my questions should I download the latest? Is it close enough that it will work or will I get totally lost using the new version with this book? Also what about the API documentation?

Any help I can get would be great. Any other tips?

Thanks so much!
 
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I always download the latest. If you did load an older version I wouldn't go back further than Java-8, as it had significant changes.

Here's the documentation for Java-11. I'm not fond of 11's new Javadoc layout and sometimes go back to an earlier version just because it's familiar with its use of HTML Frames.
 
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I'm not fond of 11's new Javadoc layout

I agree.  That new layout is much harder to navigate through.  Why did they change it?
 
Greenhorn
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I agree with Carey Brown. If you download the latest version it will either be backward compatible with the programming examples in your reference book. Or! At the very least your chosen IDE software will highlight code that is outdated/superseded and offer to automatically correct such outdated/superseded code!
 
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Welcome to the Ranch

I agree the new‑look documentaiton is not as good as the older versions, so use Java11 and the documentation for Java10. You can use any version ⩾ Java5 for HFJ, but most versions older than 8 are outdated.
 
Carey Brown
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Here's a link to the Java-10 API documents. This should suffice for those working with Java-11 and it's in the older style layout which many people find friendlier than the new Java-11 documents.
 
Carey Brown
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For those writing code for legacy systems, Java-8 was the last version to support Windows 32-bit.  (I still have one client on 32-bit.)
 
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