Introduction to Java : Getting Started


Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. Unlike conventional languages which are generally designed either to be compiled to native (machine) code, or to be interpreted from source code at runtime, Java is intended to be compiled to a bytecode, which is then run (generally using JIT compilation) by a Java Virtual Machine.

Before starting to learn Java, let us plunge into its history and see how the language originated. In 1990, Sun Microsystems Inc. (US) has conceived a project to develop software for consumer electronic devices that could be controlled by a remote. This project was called Stealth Project but later its name was changed to Green Project.

In Jan of 1991, Bill Joy, James Gosling, Mike Sheradin, Patrick Naughton and several others met in Aspen, Colorado to discuss this project. Mike Sheradin was focused on Business Development, Patrick Naughton worked on the Graphics systems and James Gosling was to identify the proper programming language for the project. Gosling thought C and C++ could be used to develop the project. But the problem he faced with them is that they were system dependent languages and hence could not be used various processors which the electronics devices might use. So he start to develop a new language which was completely system independent. This language was initially called as OAK.  Since this name was registered by other company, later it was changed to JAVA.

WHY THE NAME IS JAVA? James Gosling and his team members were consuming a lot of coffee while developing this language. They felt that they were able to develop a better language because of the good quality of coffee they consumed. So the coffee had its own role in developing this language and good quality of coffee was exported to the entire world from a place called 'JAVA ISLAND'. Hence they fixed the name of the place for the language as JAVA. And the symbol for JAVA Language is coffee cup and saucer.

By September of 1994, Naughton and Jonathan Payne started writing WebRunner-a Java based Web browser, which was later renamed as HotJava. By October 1994, HotJava was stable and was demonstrated to Sun executives. HotJava was the first browser, having the capabilities of executing applets, which are programs designed to run dynamically on Internet. This time, Java's potential in the context of the World Wide Web was recognized. 


Sun formally announced Java and HotJava at SunWorld conference in 1995. Soon after, Netscape Inc. announced that it would incorporate Java support in its browser Netscape Navigater. Later, Microsoft also announced that they would support Java in their Internet Explorer Web browser.


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