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The Java programming language has a long history. It started in 1991 when Sun Microsystems began something called The Green Project. The goal of The Green Project was to create a new portable programming language, one that could be used to create applications that could be run on multiple operating systems without having to recompile or port the code. The original name of the language was Oak, for a large oak tree that stood outside the windows of the developers' offices.
But between the time the project began and the time the language was released, it was renamed as Java supposedly because of the amount of coffee that the developers were drinking. Java was first released to the public in 1995 and thereafter saw a rapid evolution and change. Starting in 1995 the phrase Write Once, Run Anywhere was popularized. Again the goal of Java was that you'd be able to write a program, you'd be able to compile it once and then run it on UNIX, on Windows, on Mac, and other operating systems for which there was a Java virtual machine.
Java evolved swiftly. In the early years there was a new release about once a year. In 1996, Sun released the first complete Java Developers Kit or JDK supporting a broad range of application development tasks, version 1.1, the following year saw improvements to the object- oriented nature of Java with Inner classes and JavaBeans, the JDBC API for talking to databases, RMI or Remote Method Invocation for distributed systems, and Reflection for improving the dynamic capabilities of the language.
In 1998, Java was rebranded as J2SE or Java 2 Standard Edition. The Standard Edition distinguished it from Enterprise Edition which was the framework for building large scale Web applications. The version number was Java 2, version 1.2. A little confusing, and the 2 after the J stuck around for many, many years, but the versions were incremented using point numbers. Java2SE 1.2 included the swing graphical API for building Desktop applications, the collections framework for managing multiple data elements, and new tools including the Just-In-Time compiler and the Java Plug-in which standardized the version of Java across Web browsers.
A couple of years later J2SE 1.3 added new tools including the HotSpot JVM, a new version of the Java Virtual machine, the Java Sound API and improved debugging. In 2002 version 1.4 added new tools in the language, and then in 2004, a major new release came out J2SE 5.0. This version was known both as 1.5 and 5.0. But subsequent new releases would just use the major numbers.
So it'd become 5.0, 6.0, 7.0 and so on. J2SE 5.0 was a major new change for the language, a new feature called Generics was implemented that lets you strongly data type collection elements. Enumerations, variable arguments, and looping with for-each were all improved. And in terms of language syntax this was really the last major change to the language. Everything since then has been nibbling around the edges.
In 2006 Java 6.0 came out. It improved performance for database connectivity, improved graphical programming and added other small features to the language. And then the pace of change slowed, from 2006 to 2010 Sun Microsystems released occasional maintenance releases to the language. So you'd have Java 6.0 Maintenance Release 10, 11, 12, and so on. And as of this recording Java 6.0 Maintenance Release 29 is the most recent version of that version of Java.
Then in 2010 a major event occurred. Oracle bought Sun. Sun Microsystems and all of its assets including the Java programming language became a part of Oracle. And as of the time of this recording Oracle Corporation manages Java along with JCP, the Java Community Process that Sun began. In 2011 J2SE 7 was released. It included minor changes in the language listed here and some other small scale tools.
And we are expecting another version of Java down the road, possibly known as J2SE 8.0 and it would include many things that were deferred from the version 7.0 effort including something called Lambda expressions or closures. If you don't know what those are, don't worry about it, they are not currently a part of the Java language. So that's what's happened in the world of Java since it began. Java has been around in strength since 1995 and it's been used in a lot of programming environments, and I'll talk about some of those programming environments in the next video.
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