forward compatibility : Java Glossary

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forward compatibility
If new data files can be used by an old version of a program, that is called forward compatibility. Java JVMs (Java Virtual Machines) are not backward compatible. JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.0 cannot run version 1.5 class files. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) arranged some forward compatibility by making the rule that HTML viewers much ignore any tags they don’t understand. That way they can still do some rendering of more advanced files. Watch out. Many people are confused by the terms backward compatibility and forward compatibility and use them interchangeably. Backward compatibility is the ordinary kind. Forward compatibility is much trickier to arrange.

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