Lots of answers:
- Yes, M$ browsers /do/ only support up to java 1.1 and they suck in so many other ways, too! However, you can direct people to download the java plugin for their browser and then it will support the latest java.
- 'EE' means 'Enterprise Edition'
- 'SE' means Standard Edition and
- 'ME' means Micro(?) Edition.
- JDK and J2SDK mean Java Developer Kit and Java 2 Developer Kit - these have all the compilers and libraries you need to get started writing java code. They are the same thing but Sun went through some branding crisis or whatever...
- JRE and J2RE mean Java Runtime Environment and Java 2 Runtime Environment these are the bits you need to run Java programs.
- To learn java programming I'd stick with the Standard Edition. The Enterprise Edition is pretty much the same but comes with many more libraries and is consequently a pig to download. I'd wait 'til you need it.
- From a security p-o-v, I'd generally stick to keeping your database server accessible only from your local machine, which would rule out using Applets to access your database. JSP or servlets are fine if you want to use information from your database to generate HTML pages.
- Tomcat does not come with the EE AFAIK
. It's a product of the Apache foundation and lives at http://tomcat.apache.org/
. I definitely recommend you getting hold of Apache if you're planning on running a webserver - it rocks!
- IDE-wise I've heard great things about eclipse - http://www.eclipse.org/
. Personally, I use VIM - http://vim.org
which kicks ass but is far from intuitive - and javac (the compiler that comes with the ). Notepad is fine for the first few months playing with java, although something which does syntax highlighting could also be handy.
- On java vs flash I don't want to ignite a religious war so this is all IMO.
- Java - more powerful, open source (ish), slower
- Flash - simpler to develop, faster for things like animations, less flexible, proprietary
Don't Stand on your head - you'll get footprints in your hair