The History of Java and its Applications Today

May 3, 2021

Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash

Computer Science originated with the birth of the first electronic computer in the 1940’s. Prominent coding languages like Java did not exist at the time, requiring  programmers to code in Binary or other complex  languages such as UNIVAC Short Code.

In the early 1990’s James Gosling, known as the “Father of Java”, assembled  a small team of programmers to develop a language called Greentalk. His goal  was to make a simple yet robust coding language that was secure, platform-independent (Does not depend on other computers), multithreaded (Can do several tasks at once), and object oriented (coding based on the concept of “objects”, which contains data and code, read more here). He wanted Java to follow the C/C++ syntax, used by languages that first appeared in the 1970’s and 1980’s. However, Java was originally made for televisions, but the technology in televisions at the time did not use Java to its full potential. Eventually Greentalk  was incorporated into internet programming by Netscape, a web browser.  Shortly after, the language  was renamed to Oak because of the words symbol of strength. However in 1995, Oak was renamed Java due to the trademark held by Oak Technologies. In 2009 Java was acquired by Oracle for 5.6 billion dollars.

Java has had a profound impact on our current day internet. In 2005 Google acquired Android and wanted to create a software platform for mobile devices, this software platform is still used by Android today.. Google ended up copying 11500 lines to create an Application Programming Interface (API). Oracle recently filed a lawsuit against Google for copyright infringement because of this (details can be found here). In the end, Google ended up winning, under the claim that it was “fair use.” Java today is mainly a server side language for back end applications such as big data projects and android development. Java is also used for desktop computing and games and numerical computing.  Java is so widely used due to its exhaustive testing and frequent updating that Java historically provides its developers. Java also has cross platform interaction which allows businesses to provide more services and boost end-user productivity to dramatically reduce the cost of ownership of both the enterprise and the consumer.

In only a short period of time, Java has made a huge mark on the computing industry and is the number one choice for developers. After all, the device you are reading this on most likely has the ability to run Java! As our world becomes more technologically advanced, Java will continue to be a prominent language.


Interested in learning more about Java? Codefy offers free classes in Java and many other Computer Science related fields! Please check out our website for more information!

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