I would suggest not using anything older than Java-8. Java-8 added some major language changes that, even if you don't use today, you may find that you need it to run example code that takes advantage of them. Java-8 is also the last version to support Windows 32bit if that makes any difference.
I know the Python community has a bit of a rift over Python 2 vs 3. Is there anything like that in Java? Are there any advantages at all to starting in something other than the latest?
Python version 3 is not compatible with Python 2. This actually makes that change very different from the change of Java. Java is mainly backward compatible.
As for learning Java I recommend that you start to learn Java 11 and if you face a project that uses Java 8 or -- God forbid -- Java 6 then you will learn what NOT to use. You may face some old legacy code that uses Java 6, but they will run fine with newer versions of Java, unlike Python 2 code that fails many times on a Python 3 interpreter.
Of course, I found a very beautiful couch. Definitely. And this tiny ad:
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