Java Versions, Features and History : Getting Started

Java Versions, Features and History-

  • Released on 23 January 1996, JDK 1.0 version.
  • Released on 19 February 1997 JDK 1.1 version.
    New features in JDK 1.1
    1. JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)
    2. Inner Classes
    3. Java Beans
    4. RMI (Remote Method Invocation)
    5. Reflection (introspection only)
  • Released on 8 December 1998 J2SE 1.2 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.2
    1. Collections framework.
    2. Java String memory map for constants.
    3. Just In Time (JIT) compiler.
    4. Jar Signer for signing Java ARchive (JAR) files.
    5. Policy Tool for granting access to system resources.
    6. Java Foundation Classes (JFC) which consists of Swing 1.0, Drag and Drop, and Java 2D class libraries.
    7. Java Plug-in
    8. Scrollable result sets, BLOB, CLOB, batch update, user-defined types in JDBC.
    9. Audio support in Applets.
  • Released on 8 May 2000 J2SE 1.3 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.3
    1. Java Sound
    2. Jar Indexing
    3. A huge list of enhancements in almost all the java area.
  • Released on 6 February 2002 J2SE 1.4 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.4
    1. XML Processing
    2. Java Print Service
    3. Logging API
    4. Java Web Start
    5. JDBC 3.0 API
    6. Assertions
    7. Preferences API
    8. Chained Exception
    9. IPv6 Support
    10. Regular Expressions
    11. Image I/O API
  • Released on 30 September 2004 J2SE 1.5 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.5
    1. Generics
    2. Enhanced for Loop
    3. Autoboxing/Unboxing
    4. Typesafe Enums
    5. Varargs
    6. Static Import
    7. Metadata (Annotations)
    8. Instrumentation
  • Released on 11 December 2006 J2SE 1.6 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.6
    1. Scripting Language Support
    2. JDBC 4.0 API
    3. Java Compiler API
    4. Pluggable Annotations
    5. Native PKI, Java GSS, Kerberos and LDAP support.
    6. Integrated Web Services.
    7. Lot more enhancements.
  • Released on 28 July 2011 J2SE 1.7 version.
    New features in J2SE 1.7
    1. Strings in switch Statement
    2. Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation
    3. Multiple Exception Handling
    4. Support for Dynamic Languages
    5. Try with Resources
    6. Java nio Package
    7. Binary Literals, underscore in literals
    8. Diamond Syntax
    9. Automatic null Handling


Java Features:


Object Oriented : In java everything is an Object. Java can be easily extended since it is based on the Object model.

Platform independent: Unlike many other programming languages including C and C++ when Java is compiled, it is not compiled into platform specific machine, rather into platform independent byte code. This byte code is distributed over the web and interpreted by virtual Machine (JVM) on whichever platform it is being run.

Simple :Java is designed to be easy to learn. If you understand the basic concept of OOP java would be easy to master.

Secure : With Java's secure feature it enables to develop virus-free, tamper-free systems. Authentication techniques are based on public-key encryption.

Architectural- neutral :Java compiler generates an architecture-neutral object file format which makes the compiled code to be executable on many processors, with the presence Java runtime system.

Portable :being architectural neutral and having no implementation dependent aspects of the specification makes Java portable. Compiler and Java is written in ANSI C with a clean portability boundary which is a POSIX subset.

Robust :Java makes an effort to eliminate error prone situations by emphasizing mainly on compile time error checking and runtime checking.

Multi-threaded : With Java's multi-threaded feature it is possible to write programs that can do many tasks simultaneously. This design feature allows developers to construct smoothly running interactive applications.

Interpreted :Java byte code is translated on the fly to native machine instructions and is not stored anywhere. The development process is more rapid and analytical since the linking is an incremental and light weight process.

High Performance: With the use of Just-In-Time compilers Java enables high performance.

Distributed :Java is designed for the distributed environment of the internet.

Dynamic : Java is considered to be more dynamic than C or C++ since it is designed to adapt to an evolving environment. Java programs can carry extensive amount of run-time information that can be used to verify and resolve accesses to objects on run-time.


History of Java:
James Gosling initiated the Java language project in June 1991 for use in one of his many set-top box projects. The language, initially called Oak after an oak tree that stood outside Gosling's office, also went by the name Green and ended up later renamed as Java, from a list of random words.

Sun released the first public implementation as Java 1.0 in 1995. It promised Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA), providing no-cost run-times on popular platforms. 

On 13 November 2006, Sun released much of Java as free and open source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

On 8 May 2007 Sun finished the process, making all of Java's core code free and open-source, aside from a small portion of code to which Sun did not hold the copyright.


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