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The History of Java


If you have ever played online games, set up a Facebook or Twitter account, or conducted financial transactions online, you were completing these activities using Java applications. These are just a few of the many functions that Java allows us to perform online. Java applications are created using a computer programming language called Java.

Prior to Java, programming languages such as C and C++ dominated the programming industry. C++ replaced C because programming in C was too tedious and difficult. The Object-Oriented Programming, or OOP, technology was created because of trends in computer hardware and performance. The OOP technology allowed programmers to write computer code that could be repeatedly used without having to rewrite the code. C++ was created using this new and better technology so it quickly replaced C.

In 1991, Sun Microsystems created a group called The Stealth Project, which was later renamed The Green Project. Members working on this project were known as The Green Team. Initially, The Green Team set out to create a device to control electronic devices, but quickly realized that they needed a new programming language. James Gosling, a member of The Green Team, created the Oak programming language which was based off C++. Oak used some of the features of C++ but it was more powerful and reliable than C++. One setback to Oak was that its code was not as fast as C++, but reliability was chosen over speed. Oak was used to create a small touch-screen device which made it possible to operate a VCR by touching a television screen. For many reasons, this technology wasn’t successful. The Green Team felt the project had failed. About this time, a new wave of computing was developing called the Internet. In 1994, Bill Joy, a member of The Green Team, saw that Oak would work well with the Internet. With modifications, Oak was being re-developed to work with the web, but first had to be renamed because Oak was already trademarked. One day after having coffee, team members renamed Oak to Java after Java coffee. In 1995, Sun Microsystems released Java to run on popular platforms. It wasn’t until Java code was embedded in a web browser, inside an applet, or small application, that it began to grow in popularity.

Java is a computer programming language that has greatly enhanced the internet. It has been successful primarily for its ability to run on a wide variety of computer systems regardless of the platform being used. It was designed specifically for the internet, but can also be used independently of the internet. Java code is used by businesses and individuals. Individuals can download Java free, as long as it is being used for noncommercial purposes.

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