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It's been 5 years since I worked with Java, but I'm in the job market again and there seem to be more Java positions than C/C++ where I live now. Are there any resources to quickly come back up to speed? The last Java I developed with was 1.3.

Also what are the good resources for java technologies like springs and struts?

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1  
To be fair, Spring and Struts are very popular frameworks and libraries, but they are not part of Java. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Apr 4 '11 at 20:47
1  
The sad thing about Java is that it is in fact possible to give a quick update about its evolution in 5 years. Much harder to do that with languages that don't evolve as glacially. – Uri Apr 4 '11 at 21:00
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The only things that are new in the past 5 years are version 6 and the purchase of Sun by Oracle, but if you last programmed in Java 1.3 you need to catch up on the past 11 years. – Peter Taylor Apr 4 '11 at 21:38
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Most important new features:

Language:

  1. C++ template style Generics
  2. Enumerations
  3. Variable Arguments
  4. Autoboxing

API:

  1. New concurrency packages
  2. New JavaBeans package
  3. New Compilation packages

Features:

  1. Great support for Web Services
  2. Huge performance improvements
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3  
1. Generics (compile time type erasure makes it very much unlike C++ style generics) – Tony BenBrahim Apr 5 '11 at 2:29

IMHO the official Oracle pages are a good start to quickly gauge new features in Java 4 to 6. Spring and Struts too have their own tutorials.

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For Java updates/features, see this question. Also, visit the OTN for Java Developers site.

For Spring, the best resource is the official Spring site.

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