0.5 – Hisory of java

by subbu on November 2, 2018

Before starting java let us spend some time to know the history of java. By 1990 there was demand for a small and platform independent language to control electronic home appliances like VCR, Television, microwave Oven and security systems etc.

Sun Microsystems initiated to develop such language with James Gosling, Mike Sheridan and Patrick Naughton called “Green Project”. The team “Green” leaded by James Gosling developed a language called Oak during 1991. It was named as Oak after an Oak tree stands outside the Gosling’s office. In fact Oak is the symbol of strength and national tree to many countries like U.S.A., France, Germany, Romania etc.


Gosling developed Oak with C/C++ syntaxes to make it familiar to programmers. Oak is demonstrated as an embedded language by controlling the Television using a hand held device with no cable and buttons but with the touch screen. There was no demand to the Oak at that time as it was too advance in those days. Though Oak is a failure at that time, became so popular in the age of internet because, it was only the platform independent language, capable to run on any platform.

Small Oak programs called applets can be executed on any platform by installing a web browser called “Hot java” developed by Sun Microsystems. Later Netscape navigator and Microsoft Internet explorer incorporated Oak to run applets.

The Oak language was renames as Java as the Oak was the trademark of Oak technologies. The name java is not an acronym, came from “Java coffee” said to be consumed in large quantities by the language’s creators. Actually the name Java is an island of Indonesia where first coffee was produced

james gosling

Sun Microsystems released the first public version of java JDK1.0 as the platform independent language that is “Write Once, Run any Where” (WORA).

From JDK 1.2 Sun released different builds for different platforms like

  • J2SE (Java 2 Standard Edition) : to develop desktop applications
  • J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) : to develop enterprise applications which run in server environments
  • J2ME (Java 2 Mobile Edition) : to develop mobile applications

For marketing purpose sun renamed java editions as Java SE, Java EE and Java ME

java editions


Sun has licensed java technologies under GNU General Public License as a freeware.

Sun Microsystems has takeover by the Oracle Corporation. Now java is the product of Oracle Corporation. Now java is a popular programming language especially for client-server, Web and mobile applications.

Time Line of java versions

Here we will see different versions of java released by both Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation

  • JDK 1.0 (January 21, 1996)
  • JDK 1.1 (February 19, 1997)
  • J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998)
  • J2SE 1.3 (May 8, 2000)
  • J2SE 1.4 (February 6, 2002)
  • J2SE 5.0 (September 30, 2004)
  • Java SE 6 (December 11, 2006)
  • Java SE 7 (July 28, 2011)
  • Java SE 8 (March 18, 2014)

java versions

What is java?

Sun Microsystems defined java as Simple, Object-Oriented, Platform independent, Secured, Robust, Architecture neutral, Portable, Dynamic, Interpreted, High, Performance, Multithreaded and Distributed programming language.

green project team

In the next session, we will discourse how java works like a platform independent language.

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