The Java Programming Language
Although the Java programming language is usually associated with the World Wide Web, its origin predates the web. Java began life as the programming language Oak.
Oak was developed by the members of the Green Project, which included Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan and James Gosling, a group formed in 1991 to create products for the smart electronics market. The team decided that the existing programming languages were not well suited for use in consumer electronics. The chief programmer of Sun Micro-systems, James Gosling, was given the task of creating the software for controlling consumer electronic devices. The team wanted a fundamentally new way of computing, based on the power of networks, and wanted the same software to run on different kinds of computer, consumer gadgets and other devices. Patenting issues gave a new name to Oak – Java.
During that period, Mosaic, the first graphical browser, was developed. Non-programmers started accessing the World Wide Web and the Web grew dramatically. People with different types of machines and operating systems started accessing the applications available on the web. Members of the Oak team realised that Java would provide the required cross-platform independence that is, independence from the hardware, the network, and the operating system. Very soon, Java became an integral part of the Web.
Java software works just about everywhere, from the smallest devices to supercomputer. Java technology components( programs) do not depend on the kind of computer, telephone, television, or operating system they run on. They work on any king of compatible device that supports the Java platform.
No Discussion of the genesis of Java is complete without a look at the Java Buzzwords. Although the fundamental forces that necessitated the invention of Java are portability and security, other factors also played an important role in modelling the final form of the language. The key considerations were summed up by the java team in the following list of buzzwords:
9. High performance
Applications: They are programs that do not need a browser for execution.
Applets: They are Programs that run off a Web page.
Servlets: These programs extends the functionality of Web servers.
Packages: They are collections of classes that can be shared by others Java programs.
The content was taken from SMU book B0831 Edition: Fall 2007