began at Sun Microsystems around 1990 and was developed primarily
by James Gosling with inspiration from Bill Joy.
as control software for embedded microprocessors in consumer items
(cable set-top boxes,VCR's, toasters) and also personal data assistants
(PDA). Should be
- Platform independent since the processors
would come from multiple manufacturers.
- Extremely reliable and compact.
interactive TV and PDA markets never took off, but in 1993 the internet
and the Web began to explode. So they changed name to Java and shifted
to internet applications.
HotJava browser, written in Java at Sun in a few months, appeared
in 1994. It illustrated the power of applets.
1.0 of the Java Development
Kit (JDK) was released for free by Sun in 1996.
2.0-4.0 included Java 1.0. Microsoft and other companies also licensed
1.1, with substantially greater capabilities,
was released in 1997.
1.2, renamed Java 2, with new
Foundation Classes for improved graphics and user interfaces, was
released in 1999.
turned Java over to a standards body yet still maintains status as
the primary source. Sun controls the copyrights to logos, etc. Sun
also is fighting with Microsoft over non-Pure variations in
the MS version of Java.