Java: History and its Evolution

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On the previous page, we have seen the Overview of Java.

Now, you must be eager to know about its history. Actually, Java was made just by accident.

Was it an accident? Yes! you heard it right.

And, on this page, we are going to learn about its History and Evolution, that how this popular language came to be.

As I said Java is a very interesting language and equally interesting is its history. So, let’s start it.

History of Java

james gosling

Java was developed by James Gosling in 1995, who is known as the father of Java. James Gosling and his team members started the project in the early ’90s.

The history of Java is quite interesting to know about, as 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.

The history of Java starts with the Green Team.

It was just an accident. How?

Java team members (also known as Green Team), initiated this project to develop a language for digital devices such as televisions, set-top boxes, etc which was started by “cleaning up” the C++ and they all wound up with a new language called Java or Oak.

And now, Java become the second most popular language among developers.

The Java language project was started at Sun Microsystems by James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Mike Sheridan, Chris Warth, and Ed Frank in June 1991. Many more people from Sun Microsystems contributed to this project.

Sun Microsystems released the first public implementation in 1996 as Java 1.0. It promised to Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) functionality, meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. The Java program is compiled to bytecode and that bytecode can run on any JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Why is Java named ‘Oak’?

Oak tree

Why Oak? The reason behind this name was:

  1. The language was initially called Oak after an oak tree that stood outside Gosling’s office.
  2. Oak is a symbol of strength and chosen as a national tree by many countries like the U.S.A., France, Germany, Romania, etc. James Gosling decided to name it ‘Oak’.

In 1995, the Oak was renamed “Java” because it was already registered as a trademark by Oak Technologies.

Why is Java Programming named ‘Java’?


After the Rejection of the name ‘Oak’, the team started to find out a new name for the language.

The suggested name for the new language were “dynamic”, “revolutionary”, “Silk”, “jolt”, “DNA”, etc. But, they wanted something that reflected the essence of the technology: revolutionary, dynamic, lively, cool, unique, and easy to spell and fun to say.

According to James Gosling, “Java was one of the top choices along with Silk”. Since Java was so unique and easy to spell, most of the team members preferred Java to other names.

Also, Java is an island of Indonesia where the first coffee was produced (called java coffee). ‘Java’ name was finally chosen by James Gosling and its team which was officially released by Sun Microsystems in 1995.

Key Principles of Java:

The primary goals of the Green team while creating the Java language were:

  1. It must be simple, object-oriented, and familiar.
  2. It must be robust and secure.
  3. It must be architecture-neutral and portable.
  4. It must execute with high performance.
  5. It must be interpreted, threaded, and dynamic.

And currently, Java is considered one of the most widely used programming language used in internet programming, mobile devices, games, e-business solutions, etc. with more advanced features along with its key principles.

Java Version (1996-2020)

There are many released versions of Java, as of March 2020, Java 8 and 11 are supported as Long Term Support (LTS) versions.

Major released versions of Java are listed below till now:

JDK 1.0
JDK 1.1
J2SE 1.2
J2SE 1.3
J2SE 1.4
J2SE 5.0
Java SE 6
Java SE 7
Java SE 8
Java SE 9
Java SE 10
Java SE 11
Java SE 12
Java SE 13
Java SE 14

January 23, 1996
February 19 1997
December 8 1998
May 8 2000
February 6 2002
September 30 2004
December 11 2006
July 28 2011
March 18 2014
September 21 2017
March 20 2018
September 25 2018
March 19 2019
September 17 2019
March 17 2020

For detailed information on Java Versions, click on the link provided below:

Java Version Detailed Information. , I hope it will help you to gain more knowledge related to Java versions.


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