java.util.Calendar and the before method

Came across this nice problem today:

The java.util.Calendar class provides a method "before(Object)" which is supposed to tell you if the calendar calling that method is before the given object. BUT, as stated in the javadocs [] it only works if the passed object is a calendar itself. If its a java.util.Date object, then forget it, the method just returns false, even though you would expect the calendar to be able to compare its date with a Date object.

I can’t quite figure out how come they don’t just require a Calendar instead of an object. There is nothing in the code to give the reason. So, I just don’t get it. But it’s been like that for three years now, so I guess we just need to get used to it 🙁