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At first glance, it may appear that Java was developed specifically for the World Wide Web. However, interestingly enough, Java was developed independently of the web, and went through several stages of metamorphosis before reaching its current status of de facto programming language fro the World Wide Web. Below is a brief history of Java Since its infancy to its current state.
In January of 1991, Bill Joy, James Gosline, Mike Sheradin, Patrick Naughton (formerly the project leader of Sun's Open Windows user environment), and several other individuals met in Aspen to discuss the ideas for the Stealth Project. The goal of the Stealth Project was to do research in the area of application of computers in the consumer electronics market. The vision of the project was to develop "smart" consumer electronic devices that could all be centrally controlled and programmed from a handheld-remote-control-like device.
Gosling began with C++, but soon after he was conviced that C++ was inadequate for this particular project. His extensions and modification to C++ (also know as C++ ++ --), were the first step towards the development of an independent language that would fit the project objectives. He named the language "Oak" while staring at an oak tree outside his office window!. The name "Oak" was later dismissed due to a patent search, which determined that the name was copyrighted and used for another programming language and renamed "Oak" as "Java". The major milestones in the development of Java technology are listed below :
Important Years in Java History
- "Stealth Project" (as named by scott McNealy) brainstorming meeting in Aspen with Bill Joy, Andy Bechtolsheim, Wayne Rosing, Mike Sheridan, James Gosling and Patrick Naughton.
- Gosling starts working on the "Oak" interpreter, which several years later (following a trademark search), is renamed "Java".
- The development team, now incorporated as FirstPerson, focuses on interactive television after learning about Time Warner's RFP for its interactive cable TV trial in Orlando, FL.
- NCSA Mosaic 1.0, the first graphical browser for the Internet, is released.
- "Liveoak" project started. Designed by Bill Joy to use Oak for a big small operating system project.
- Jonathon Payne and Naughton start writing "WebRunner", a Mosaic-like browser later renamed as "HotJava".
- Van Hoff implements Java compiler in Java. (Gosling had previously implemented it in C).
- Sun formally announces Java and HotJava at SunWorld '95.
- Netscape annouces its intention to license Java for use in Netscape browser.