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Whats the difference between SDK and API

merlin_barmerlin_bar Posts: 136Member
Whats the difference between SDK and API? I know what they stand for both they sound very similar. Is it that the SDK contains API's?

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  • DariusDarius Posts: 1,666Member
    : Whats the difference between SDK and API? I know what they stand for both they sound very similar. Is it that the SDK contains API's?
    :

    API is Application Programmer Interface; it's how the program talks to some other system. For example, the Win32 API lets a Win32 program talk to the OS.

    SDK is Software Developer's Kit; it's the tools, libraries, and documentation you need to use a system. For example, the Java Foundation Classes are necessary to program in Java.

    This question is similar (in scale/meaning, though not quite in technical details) to asking what's the difference between the Linux kernel and the RedHat distribution.

    If you had a program that made Widgets and exported a function, createWidget, then you could call that an API for other programmers to use when using your program. If you had a suite of tools and documentation that helped other programmers easily use this API, then you could call THAT an SDK. Typically, though API and SDK are used in narrower contexts. Usually they are fairly large interface or suites for APIs usually the reference is to lower-level system utilities (hence the Application in API as if the system program wasn't an Application (and it may not be)), SDKs are usually just for programming tools, not application specific tools.

    "We can't do nothing and think someone else will make it right."
    -Kyoto Now, Bad Religion

  • simpsonaddictsimpsonaddict Posts: 53Member
    I read this question and have a question similar to it.
    Does a jdk 1.4 exist? Im pretty sure it does but when i went to sun.com and downloaded j2se it gave me j2re1.4.1. But it doesnt have javac in it to compile java files. Why not and were can i get another jdk higher than version 1.3.1? also, what is the difference b/w java and javaw, and what does javah do?


  • DariusDarius Posts: 1,666Member
    : I read this question and have a question similar to it.
    : Does a jdk 1.4 exist?

    Yes.

    Im pretty sure it does but when i went to sun.com and downloaded j2se it gave me j2re1.4.1. But it doesnt have javac in it to compile java files. Why not and were can i get another jdk higher than version 1.3.1?

    Why not? j2re1.4.1 is Java 2 RUNTIME ENVIRONMENT, i.e. the virtual machine. If you want to download the Java SDK download the Java SDK. As to where, java.sun.com.

    :also, what is the difference b/w java and javaw, and what does javah do?

    I'll give you java/javaw. They do the same thing, only one is console mode and one isn't (the utility, this doesn't effect your program) (Actually I believe java is basically a wrapper around javaw which actually does the work of starting the virtual machine, but typically as far as you care they do the same thing). If you don't intend to use the console then javaw is probably a little prettier looking/less cluttering. Really it doesn't make much of a difference. Though most error messages go to the console which with javaw, there won't be one. As for javah, in the immortal words of whoever said it first, RTFM.


    "We can't do nothing and think someone else will make it right."
    -Kyoto Now, Bad Religion

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