Introduction To Java Programming | Java History | Java Versions

Introduction to Java, Java definition, Java for beginners, Java tutorial, Core java tutorial, Core java interview questions, Java version, Latest java course.

In this article we will learn,

  • What is Java? Why it is popular?
  • Java History
  • List of Java versions
  • Can I learn Java?
  • Just started java learning. Which one should I install?
  • Java platforms
  • Important terminology of java
  • How to Kick start java for beginners?

What is Java? Why it is popular?

Java is a general purpose object oriented programming language. James Gosling introduces Java in 1991 in Sun Microsystems. He planned to make simple programming language. As a result, Java is most popular programming language in the world because of its simple design, easy to compile, execute and easy to code debug.

When we write program, it will be in the form of human readable statement. But machine can read only binary form data (i.e. in the form of 0 and 1). If java would have converted human readable program to binary form, then java won’t be that much popular as now. But Java first converts human readable form into Byte Code during compiling process. This byte code can be executed in any machine irrespective of which machine you have compiler the code. So java is called portable programming language. That is why java is called platform independent programming language. These byte code will be executed by JVM (Java Virtual machine) and it converts Byte code into machine readable form (i.e. binary). Note that JVM is platform dependent.

Today java is so popular because of its platform independent nature and it is more secure programming language. According to the Oracle, today more than 3 billion devices running java. But still Oracle does not charges any money for it! It is free!

Some of the milestones of java are,

  • In 1990 Sun Microsystems (which has been acquired by Oracle Corporation) decided to develop software for electronic devices like TVs, VCRs, etc. Formed 5 members (James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Mike Sheridan and Ed Frank) of team called ‘Green Project team’ headed by James Gosling.
  • James Gosling did the original design and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine so James Gosling will be called the inventor of java in 1991.
  • The language was initially called Oak.
  • In 1995 due to copy right issue ‘Oak’ has been renamed as ‘Java’ (‘Java’ is an island of Indonesia where first coffee was produced.)
  • Java was released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems’ Java platform.
  • Sun Microsystems released the first public implementation as Java 1.0 in 1996.
  • In 2006, Sun released much of its Java virtual machine (JVM) as free and open-source software (FOSS).
  • Java 8 was long-term-support (LTS) version and Java 11 is the current LTS after Java 8.

Java versions

Java Version Release Name Release Date
JDK 1.0 Oak Jan, 1996
JDK 1.1 (none) Feb, 1997
J2SE 1.2 Playground Dec, 1998
J2SE 1.3 Kestrel May 2000
J2SE 1.4 Merlin Feb, 2002
J2SE 5.0 Tiger Sep, 2004
Java SE 6 Mustang Dec, 2006
Java SE 7 Dolphin Jul, 2011
Java SE 8 Spider Mar, 2014
Java SE 9 Sep, 2017
Java SE 10 Mar, 2018
Java SE 11 Sep, 2018
Java SE 12 Mar 2019

Can I learn Java?

It is the common question for beginners who does not know anything about programming language, and also who know some basic programming concept. Answer is Yes for all!
‘I’m possible’! Don’t make too much plan, get into action immediately.

Today there are many people wish to become java programmer. But truth is that in academic level we will learn only 20% to 30% of programming concepts. One who really need to become programmer self study takes major role with proper planning. Now a days we get lot of articles, online courses to make better understanding. Only we need to invest our time!

Just started java learning. Which one should I install?

According to Oracle corporation, java has 4 platforms, All Java platforms consist of a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and an application programming interface (API). Each platform has different set of API for different usage.

  • Standard Edition (Java SE)
  • Enterprise Edition (Java EE)
  • Micro Edition (Java ME)
  • JavaFX

Standard Edition (Java SE): It is formerly known as Java 2 Platform (J2SE). It is used to develop desktop applications and it is the base for developing in Java language. Java SE is the best one to start with basics. So you should install Java SE for your project. Read more on Step by step process to install java in your machine.

Enterprise Edition (Java EE): It is used to develop wed based application and large-scale enterprise applications. It is built on Top of Java SE.

Micro Edition (Java ME): Java ME is a subset of the Java SE. It provides an API and a small-footprint virtual machine for running Java applications on small devices like mobile phones.

JavaFX: JavaFX is a platform for creating rich internet applications using a lightweight user-interface API. It is a recent addition to the family of Java platforms.

Some of the terminology of java

While learning java first time you may new for some of the terminology which are listed below,

Java Virtual Memory (JVM): The JVM is responsible for interpreting Java bytecode (.class file) and translating this into machine readable form.

Java Development Kit (JDK): It provides the environment to develop and execute (run) the Java program.

Java Runtime Environment (JRE): It provides the minimum requirements for executing/develop a Java application.

Source code (.java): Programmer writes java program in programming language is called Source code. Which will be saved in the form of .java. Example: If programmer saved java program with name as SampleProgram, It will be saved as

Byte code (.class): Once the program is executed, java compiler converts source code (.java) into Byte code (.class). Example: will be converted into SampleProgram.class file. During execution .class file will be executed by JVM and coverts into machine readable form.

How to Kick start java for beginners?

Step 1: Install Java in your machine. Click here to know more.

Step 2: Check Java installed properly or not in your machine. Click here to know more.

Step 3: Set Java Environment variable. Click here to know more.

Step 4: Install IDE (like Eclipse). It is one of the platform to run your java program. Click here to know more.

Step 5: Launch the eclipse and start with basic programs.

Top interview questions

  • What is java and brief on java history?
  • What is the latest LTS version of java?
  • What are the Java platforms and where it is used?

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