Getting answers out of the Java community is like pulling teeth.
They look down on questions relating to web-applets and end-user issues and they live in their own world of java application programming. They are largely unaware that older versions of the JRE are not un-installed when an update is installed, and they have no clue (or they sweep it under the carpet) or are in denial when it comes to how that can make a system vulnerable to exploits.
With regard to the differences between 1.5.x and 1.6.x, there probably is no need to seek 1.6 because no web applets likely exist at this point that depend on 1.6. With regard to any change in the installer after 1.6.07, they deny it, don't know about it, or ignore the question.
There is some mention that 1.6.x is faster than 1.5.x, but it's scanty. Anyone know of any java performance benchmark software that runs on win-98?
Someone did post this:
>> I don't know if it was possible before in a Java applet to select JRE
>> version, but it is now (I think as of SE 6 Update 10).
> Just x.y.z or x.y.z update w ?
You can get as specific as update. From:http://java.sun.com/...tion/index.html
The new Java Plug-In provides a new platform- and browser-independent mechanism for selecting a JRE version upon which to launch an applet: the java_version applet parameter. This new parameter supports:
a.. Selection of a particular JRE version ("1.5.0_11")
b.. Selection of a particular JRE family ("1.5*")
c.. Selection of a particular JRE family or later ("1.5+")
The way I read that, if you install 1.6.10 or higher, then you're opening up your system to any vulnerable Java web-code that can request a specific version be used to process the code. So an exploit for a particular version can be launched with that method.
What I don't know is if you have to have the specific older version installed, or does the 1.6.10 version come pre-packaged with ALL PREVIOUS JRE VERSIONS built inside it (perhaps that's why it's so large) ???