Java started as a project called “Oak” by James Gosling in June 1991 for use in a set top box project. Gosling’s goals were to implement a virtual machine and a language that had a familiar C/C++ style of notation. The first public implementation was Java 1.0 in 1995. It promised “Write Once, Run Anywhere“, providing no-cost runtimes on popular platforms. It was fairly secure and its security was configurable, allowing network and file access to be restricted. Major web browsers soon incorporated the ability to run secure Java “applets” within web pages. Java became popular quickly. With the advent of “Java 2“, new versions had multiple configurations built for different types of platforms. For example, J2EE was for enterprise applications and the greatly stripped down version J2ME was for mobile applications. J2SE was the designation for the Standard Edition. In 2006, for marketing purposes, new “J2” versions were renamed Java EE, Java ME, and Java SE, respectively. On 13 November 2006, Sun released much of Java as free 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 open source, aside from a small portion of code to which Sun did not hold the copyright.
There were five primary goals in the creation of the Java language:
- It should use the object-oriented programming methodology.
- It should allow the same program to be executed on multiple operating systems.
- It should contain built-in support for using computer networks.
- It should be designed to execute code from remote sources securely.
- It should be easy to use by selecting what were considered the good parts of other object-oriented languages.