1995-05-23 to Present
California, U.S.Java is a general-purpose programming language that is class-based, object-oriented, and designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers write once, run anywhere (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of the underlying computer architecture. The syntax of Java is similar to C and C++, but it has fewer low-level facilities than either of them. As of 2019, Java was one of the most popular programming languages in use according to GitHub, particularly for client-server web applications, with a reported 9 million developers.
In June 1991, James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton initiated the Java language project. Java was originally designed for interactive television, but it was too advanced for the digital cable television industry at the time. The language was initially called Oak after an oak tree that stood outside Gosling's office. Later the project went by the name Green and was finally renamed Java, from Java coffee, the coffee from Indonesia.
In 1997, Sun sued Microsoft, claiming that the Microsoft implementation did not support RMI (Java Remote Method Invocation) or JNI (Java Native Interface) and had added platform-specific features of their own, as Sun's trademark license for usage of the Java brand insists that all implementations be compatible.
In 2006, for marketing purposes, Sun renamed new J2 versions as Java EE (Enterprise Edition included technologies and APIs for enterprise applications typically run in server environments), Java ME (Micro Edition featured APIs optimized for mobile applications ), and The desktop version, J2SE, was renamed Java SE (Java Standard Edition).
As of May 2007, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, Sun had relicensed most of its Java technologies under the GNU General Public License. Meanwhile, others have developed alternative implementations of these Sun technologies, such as the GNU Compiler for Java (bytecode compiler), GNU Classpath (standard libraries), and IcedTea-Web (browser plugin for applets).