Java is a powerful, versatile, and simple general-purpose programming language. It is one of the most widely used high-level programming languages in the world.
Java is a full-featured general-purpose programming language that is used for developing platform-independent software (applications) running on desktop computers, mobile devices, and servers.
It is a simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, secure, robust, architecture neutral, portable, high performance, multithreaded, and dynamic programming language.
From the beginning, Java attracted programmers to own because programmers can run Java programs from a web server. Such programs are called applets.
Therefore, Java technology is now very popular for developing applications on Web servers. These applications process data, perform computations and generate dynamic Web pages.
Several commercial Websites are developed by using Java technology on the backend side. The applications for Android cell phones are developed by using Java.
Note: Platform means any hardware or software environment in which a program runs. Since Java supports a runtime environment, it is called a platform.
Creation of Java
In this section, we will know the history of Java that is very interesting. In 1990, Sun Microsystems Inc. (US) imagined a project to develop software for consumer electronic devices that could be controlled by a remote.
Initially, this project was named Stealth Project but later its name was changed to Green Project.
In January of 1991, Bill Joy, James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, and several others met in Aspen, Colorado to discuss this project.
The job of Mike Sheridan was to focus on business development. Patrick Naughton was to work on the graphics system.
James Gosling was to recognize the proper programming language for the project. He thought that C and C++ programming languages could be used to develop this project.
But the problem he faced in using these languages is that C and C++ were system-dependent programming languages. Due to which they could not be used on various computer systems or electronic devices.
So, he started to develop a new programming language that was completely platform-independent and could be run on any electronic device.
This programming language was initially named Oak but later it was changed to Java in 1995.
Thus, Java was developed by James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Ed Frank, and Mike Sheridan at Sun Microsystems in 1991. It took 18 months to develop the first working version of Java.
Why named Java?
James Gosling and his team members were consuming a lot of tea while developing the Java programming language. They felt that they had developed a better programming language because of the good quality tea they had consumed.
Thus, the tea also had its own role in developing Java language. Hence, they kept the name for the language as Java. Since Java was so unique name, most of the team members preferred to name Java.
Java is an island of Indonesia where the first time coffee was produced, was named java coffee. Java name was chosen by James Gosling while consuming coffee near his office during the development of java language. Thus, the symbol for Java is tea cup.
Java’s Lineage: C and C++
As we know that the modern age of programming began with C, then it moved to C++ and then to Java. C and C++ are the most important computer programming languages ever invented and are still in widespread use today in the world.
Java inherits its syntax from the C language. Several object-oriented features of Java were influenced by C++. At the time of Java creation, many programmers were familiar with C/C++ syntax.
That’s why, Java used similar syntax related to C/C++ so that it was relatively easy for C/C++ programmers to learn Java.
C, C++, and Java define a common and conceptual framework for the professional programmer so that programmers do not face any major problems while switching from one language to another.
Although both C++ and Java support object-oriented programming. But Java is not an enhanced version of C++. It is not simply the “Internet version of C++.” It is neither upwardly nor downwardly compatible with C++.
Furthermore, it is true that Java was not designed to replace C++. Java was designed and developed to solve a certain set of problems that occurred during the project.
C++ was developed many features to solve a different set of problems. Both C++ and Java will coexist for many years to come.
C# Connection with Java
C# was developed by Microsoft to support .NET Framework. It is closely related to Java. For example, both define the same general syntax, support distributed programming, and uses the same object model.
Of course, there are many differences between Java and C# but the overall “look and feel” of these languages is very alike.
How Java Impacted the Internet?
The Internet played an important role in forwarding Java programming. In turn, Java also contributed a profound effect on the Internet.
First, the creation of Java technology simplified web programming in general, acting as a catalyst that drew lots of programmers to the Web.
Second, Java innovated a new type of networked program called the applet that changed the way of online thought in the world.
Finally, and most importantly is that Java also solved some of the thorniest issues associated with the Internet: portability and security. Let’s see these topics briefly.
At the time of Java creation, the applet was one of the most existing features. An applet is a special kind of small Java program that is designed to be transmitted over the Internet.
It is automatically executed by a Java-compatible web browser. If a user clicks a link that contains an applet, the applet will automatically download and run in the browser.
Applets are typically used to display data provided by the server, handle user input, or provide simple functions, such as a loan calculator. They also allow some functionality to be moved from the server to the client.
The creation of the applet changed the way of web programming because it expanded the universe of objects that can move about freely in cyberspace.
In the beginning days of Java, applets were a vital part of Java programming. But over time they became less important. At last, applet support was completely removed by JDK 11.
As we know that when we download a program, we are taking a risk because the code we are downloading might contain a virus, Trojan horse, or other harmful code.
For example, a virus program might collect private information such as credit card numbers, bank account balances, and passwords by searching the contents inside the local file system of computer.
Java technology enables programs to be safely downloaded and executed on the client computer. Java achieved this protection (security) by confining an applet application to the Java execution environment and prevent it from accessing other parts of the computer.
It is a major aspect of the web because there are various different types of computers and operating systems connected to internet.
Java enables to run program virtually any computer connected to the internet and shows the same result. Java made internet portable in nature.
History of Java Version
Several java versions have been released till now. They are as follows:
1. JDK Alpha and Beta (1995): The JDK Alpha and Beta was the first release in 1995 but they have highly unstable APIs and ABIs.
2. JDK 1.0 (23rd Jan 1996): JDK 1.0 was the first stable released version of Java. Its code name was Oak. The first stable version of JDK was JDK 1.0.2 and it was named Java 1.
3. JDK 1.1 (19th Feb 1997)
4. J2SE 1.2 (8th Dec 1998)
5. J2SE 1.3 (8th May 2000)
6. J2SE 1.4 (6th Feb 2002)
7. J2SE 5.0 (30th Sep 2004)
8. Java SE 6 (11th Dec 2006)
9. Java SE 7 (28th July 2011)
10. Java SE 8 (18th Mar 2014)
11. Java SE 9 (21st Sep 2017)
12. Java SE 10 (20th Mar 2018)
For more detailed version of Java, go to this link: Java version history
Hope that this tutorial has covered the basic introduction of Java and its versions. I hope that you will have understood what is Java and its interesting creation.
Thanks for reading!!!
Next ⇒ Features of Java