History of Java
Java was conceived by James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Ed Frank, and Mike Sheridan at Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 1991. It took 18 months to develop the first working version. This language was initially called “Oak,” but was renamed “Java” in 1995.
The original impetus for Java was not the Internet! Instead, the primary motivation was the need for a platform-independent (that is, architecture-neutral) language that could be used to create software to be embedded in various consumer electronic devices, such as microwave ovens and remote controls. As you can probably guess, many different types of CPUs are used as controllers. The trouble with C and C++ (and most other languages) is that they are designed to be compiled for a specific target.
By 1993, it became obvious to members of the Java design team that the problems of portability frequently encountered when creating code for embedded controllers are also found when attempting to create code for the Internet. In fact, the same problem that Java was initially designed to solve on a small scale could also be applied to the Internet on a large scale. This realization caused the focus of Java to switch from consumer electronics to Internet programming. So, while the desire for an architecture-neutral programming language provided the initial spark, the Internet ultimately led to Java’s large-scale success.
Java derives much of its character from C and C++. This is by intent. The Java designers knew that using the familiar syntax of C and echoing the object-oriented features of C++ would make their language appealing to the legions of experienced C/C++ programmers.
The Java Programming Language
The Java programming language is a high-level language that can be characterized by all of the following buzzwords:
- Object oriented
- Architecture neutral
- High performance
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