History & Characteristics of Java Programming language

History & Characteristics of Java Programming language

4 November 2023 0 By Anshul Pal

This article provides an interesting overview of the Java programming language history and Java Characteristics. Learn about the history and Java characteristics that have made Java a flexible, platform-independent, and extensively used language in the technology industry, from its beginnings as “Oak” to its application in contemporary software development.

Java is a general purpose, object-oriented programming language developed by SUN Microsystems of USA in 1991. Originally, James Gosling, one of the language’s inventors, named it Oak.

Developers used Java to create software for consumer electronics, including TVs, VCRs, toasters, and other similar devices. The Java development team, which included Peter Naughton, based their new language on C and C++. However, they eliminated several features from C and C++ that experts found problematic, turning Java into an incredibly robust, reliable, portable, and user-friendly language.

The language’s most notable java characteristics is that it is platform-neutral. Java programs are portable and run on a variety of platforms.

History of Java Programming language

In 1991, James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Ed Frank, and Mike Sheridan of Sun Microsystem Inc. came up with the concept for Java. The first version that worked took eighteen months to develop. In 1995, this language, originally known as “Oak,” underwent a renaming to “Java.” Many more people contributed to designing and developing Java between the fall of 1992, when it was first implemented, and the spring of 1995, when it became public. Tin Lindroln, Jonathan Payne, Frank Yellin, Bill Joy, and Arthur Van Hoff all made significant contributions to the original prototype’s development.

The goal was to create a platform-neutral language for writing embedded software in consumer electronics products. Because these programs necessitate hardware-specific compilation before execution, C and C++ proved highly inefficient for the intended use due to their lack of platform independence. It was necessary to recompile the code because the original compilation was wasteful for other processors. Thus, the five-person group, popularly known as the “Green team,” set out to create a simpler and more affordable alternative. They spent eighteen months creating a platform-neutral, portable language that could generate code that could execute in a range of processor environments.

The creators of Java responded to the growing popularity of the WWW and the need for platform-independent, compact, and portable applications that could function on any OS and transmit safely across networks. This architecturally neutral language quickly became the preferred choice for developing internet programs, shifting its focus from consumer gadgets to the web.

Characteristics of Java

Java, a versatile programming language, has gained renown for its platform independence, object-oriented approach, robustness, and automatic memory management. It prioritizes security with features like classloaders and bytecode verification. Java excels in multi-threading, allowing concurrent task execution. Its extensive standard library simplifies common tasks. With bytecode portability and strong performance, Java remains a developer favorite.

Some important characteristics of a Java Programming Language that makes it so popular are as follows:


It’s easy to learn Java. Because there aren’t many linguistic constructs, it’s simple to learn and use. Java employs many of the same language constructs as C and C++, as one can observe when examining programs written in C and C++. Additionally, the designers of Java eliminated certain capabilities that were accessible in C and C++ in order to keep the language familiar and smaller. Java, for instance, does not support the go to statement; instead, it has the exception handling capability and the marked break and continue statements. Java does away with C methods and header files.

Java is an object-oriented language, so C structures like union and struct have been dropped. Additionally, Java removes C++’s many inheritance features. Another important simplification, is that Java does not use pointers. Pointers are not used the bugprone aspects of C and C++ program. Since, java does not have structure the arrays and string are objects. There is no need for pointers. Java automatically handles the referencing and dereferencing of objects. Java also automatically implements garbage collection.

Object Oriented

Java is an object oriented programming language. This means that the programmer can focus on the data in the application and methods that manipulate that data, rather than thinking strictly in terms of procedure. In an object oriented system, a class is a collection of data and methods that operate on that data. Taken together, the data and methods describes the state and behaviour of objects.

The object model in Java is simple and easy to extend, and it maintains simple types such as integers as high-performance non-objects. Java includes an extensive set of classes organized in a hierarchy that always possesses a root class, which exhibits very general behavior. Thus a class is a basic unit of compilation and execution in java, all java programs are classes.


Java was created to simulate the practical need of developing interactive, networked applications. Java offers multithreaded programming, which enables us to create programs that perform multiple tasks at once, in order to achieve this. The Java run-time errors are simple yet powerful enough to let us build an interactive system that works flawlessly.

Architecture Neutral

A primary concern for Java designers was the durability and mobility of their code. One of the biggest issues with programming is that there is no assurance that a program we build today will still function tomorrow, even on the same computer. The java virtual machine is an attempt to change the difficult choices the java language inventors had to make. A Java program can run on any system as long as the system supports the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) because Java applications compile into an architecture-neutral byte code format.

Applications that are dispersed over the Internet or other heterogeneous networks should pay special attention to this. Java goes one step farther and ensures that the language specification contains no “implementation dependent” elements. Their goal is to write once, run anywhere anytime forever is accomplished.

Interpreted and High Performance

Java is an interpreted language. The java compiler creates byte code for the JVM rather than the native machine code. To run a Java program, we utilize the Java interpreter to execute the compiled bytecode. Furthermore, Java bytecode’s platform-independence allows Java to run on any platform where developers have ported the JVM, resulting in high performance.


Another name for Java is a distributed language. This indicates that it offers a great deal of high-level networking support. Due to its ability to handle TCP/IP protocols, it is intended for usage in dispersed environments. For instance, filing is nearly as simple with the help of the java.net package’s URL Class and OA-related classes. In a similar vein, Java 1.1’s RMI API permits a Java program to use remote Java objects’ methods just like local objects would have.

Java’s distributed architecture truly comes to life when paired with its dynamic class loading features. When we combine these functionalities, they enable a Java interpreter to download and use globally over the internet.


Java’s security features make it one of the most taught languages. Java is dispersed, therefore this is particularly significant. With security in mind, Java has multiple security controls that guard against malicious code while enabling users to execute untrusted apps like applets with ease.


One dynamic language is Java. A Java interpreter that is now executing can load any Java class at any moment. Then, a dynamic reinstantiation of these dynamically linked loaded classes is possible. It is possible to load native code libraries dynamically. We represent Java classes with classes that allow us to dynamically retrieve class information at runtime.

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