The Java Programming Language

Click below to go directly to a specific section:
History | Significant Language Features | Areas of Application | Sample Programs
Related Links | Printed References | Acknowledgements


The Java programming Language evolved from a language named Oak. Oak was developed in the early nineties at Sun Microsystems as a platform-independent language aimed at allowing entertainment appliances such as video game consoles and VCRs to communicate . Oak was first slated to appear in television set-top boxes designed to provide video-on-demand services. Just as the deals with the set-top box manufacturers were falling through, the World Wide Web was coming to life. As Oak’s developers began to re cognize this trend, their focus shifted to the Internet and WebRunner, an Oak-enabled browser, was born. Oak’s name was changed to Java and WebRunner became the HotJava web browser. The excitement of the Internet attracted software vendors such that Jav a development tools from many vendors quickly became available. That same excitement has provided the impetus for a multitude of software developers to discover Java and its many wonderful features.

Significant Language Features

Areas of Application

Sample Programs

Related Links

Printed References

  1. Chan, Patrick and Lee, Rosanna (1996). The Java Class Libraries: An Annotated Reference (Java Series). Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
  2. Daconta, Michael C. (1996). Java for C/C++ Programmers. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  3. Flanagan, David (1996). Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference for Java Programmers (Nutshell Handbook). O'Reilly & Associates.
  4. Gosling, James and Yellin, Frank (1996). The Java Application Programming Interface (Java Series). Longman Publishing Group.
  5. Lemay, Laura and Perkins, Charles L. (1996). Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days. Sams.
  6. Niemeyer, Patrick and Peck, Joshua (1996). Exploring Java. O'Reilly & Associates.


The history of Java presented here is really an abridged version of Sun's What is Java? page written by Jason English. I would like to thank Michael C. Daconta for writing the wonderful book Java for C/C++ Programmers which provided an excellent introduction to the language for a C++ programmer like me and served as a great reference for describing the language features. I would also like to thank Ed Bott for writing the &quotJava Jump Start" article in the December 1996 column in PC/Computing which pointed me to the best Java links.

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Last modified: 2:37 PM on 12/16/1997

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