- Java runs on many operating systems due to a move away from platform-specific dependencies.
Java was developed by James Gosling, a Canadian computer scientist who was employed by Sun Microsystems. It was initially released in May 1995. Java is an object-oriented, general-purpose programming language that allows programmers to write once, and run anywhere (WORA). In layman’s terms, this means that a developer can write and compile Java code once and run it on any platform that supports Java.
Read on to learn more about the differences between these programming languages.
These, and superficial similarities in the code of both languages, have led to a lot of confusion over the last two decades about the differences between the two programming languages, with many wondering if there are speed or performance reasons to use one over the other.
|What it is
|Object-oriented programming language designed to create software that runs on as many platforms as possible
|Scripting language designed to run in web applications and on websites, rather than standalone software
May 23, 1995 (public release)
|December 4, 1995
|Latest Stable Release
|Java SE 17 (September 2021)
|ECMAScript 2021 (June 2021)
|James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, Patrick Naughton
|Yes, Open Source
|Yes, Open Standard
Java: Complete History
The project that would become Java started development at Sun Microsystems in early 1991 as a way to enable interactive television programming.
James Gosling, the primary developer at SUN, focused on creating a programming language and environment that could run on as many platforms as possible without a heavy need for dependencies. Gosling also used syntax that is similar to C++, realizing that many programmers would already be able to code in that language.
The project went through several name changes, starting as Greentalk and then becoming Oak before settling on Java. The first launch of Java was in May of 1995 and an annual Sun Microsystems conference, where it was also announced that Netscape, a popular web browser, would support the technology.
As a result, web browser uses of Java which required a Java “applet” to run became very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2006, Java was released as open source software. In 2011, Oracle acquired Sun and took on what they describe as the “stewardship” of Java. As a result of changes in web browsers and development at Oracle, Java today has shifted almost entirely away from use in browsers and the web.
Instead, most uses of Java take place standalone applications written in the Java runtime environment (JRE), an IDE that has more than 850 million installations on computers.
Although many falsely think Java is dead due to its removal from browsers, the truth is that Java is still a popular language for the same reasons Gosling had in mind when he designed it in the early 1990s.
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