Java is one of the most widely used Object oriented Programming language in the world. Java came into existence in 1991 when a team headed by James Gosling set out to create a language intended for interactive television. Java was initially called “Oak”, it was later named “Green” and finally it got the name “Java”.
Java had a host of features which made it unique in its early days. Features like Inheritance, Polymorphism, Encapsulation, and Platform Independence made very powerful. Java was originally intended for Embedded Systems but as the World Wide Web came into existence Java power became more apparent. With the onset of the Web, developers faced a big challenge. The web was accessible from all platforms like Mac(Apple), Linux, Windows(Microsoft) etc. So the developers needed a language which was platform independent. Java came to the Web developers aid offering “Write once, Run Anywhere” capabilities. Thus it became the Language preferred by most web developers.
Java has gone many changes from its original release in 1992. The latest version Java 7 has many new features supporting advanced animation, sound and video handling etc. Java Platform is divided in three Parts: Java SE(Standard Edition), Java EE(Enterprise Edition), Java ME(Micro Edition). The Standard Edition for Standalone Applications, The Enterprise Edition for Web Applications, The Micro Edition for Mobile Applications.
Though Java has a host of features it also has some shortcoming. Most important among them is the execution speed of Java applications which were very low compared to applications written in native languages like C and C++. This shortcoming was significantly reduced by the use of JIT (Just In Time) Compilers.
Java has been one of the most Successful programming languages in the world and with the arrival of Oracle by Java’s side, I thing the future of Java look very bright.