In this chapter, our primary aim will be to get acquainted with Java’s history and basic things about Java. I don’t want you to go blank when someone asks you what was the original name of Java (the answer is Oak btw). Also, Java was named after Java coffee.
James Gosling is the father of Java. Java started with his contribution and idea along with Mike Sheridan and Patrick Naughton in the year 1991.
There are words which you’ll often hear in the world of Java like JDK, JRE, J2ME, J2EE, J2SE. Don’t freak out, they’re weird names for easy things and we’ll get to know all of them shortly. Now, let’s see how many versions Java has and which is the current version. The first version of Java was released in 1996 and was called Oak and the first stable version JDK 1.0.2 is called Java 1 (JDK stands for Java Development Kit and is an environment which is used for developing Java applications and applets). Next was JDK 1.1 which was released in 1997 with additional features than Java 1. The release on 1998 was one of the most important releases in the history of Java and was called J2SE as it distinguished J2SE, J2ME and J2EE. The next release, J2SE 1.3 was released in the year 2000, with added features to J2SE 1.2 obviously. To get more details on what features were added for the entire section, you can go through this article on Wikipedia. Next version, J2SE 1.4, released in 2002 added language changes and library improvements. Now, the next release which was originally numbered 1.5 was changed to J2SE 5 for better reflection of what was going with the updates and releases. J2SE 5.0 came with new language features and improvements in the standard libraries. Next release was Java SE 6 (please note that .0 has been dropped in this version and version name has been changed as well) in the year 2006, this version was followed with many updates. A newer version, Java SE 7 was released 5 years later in 2011 which was followed by many updates later. Java SE 8 was released in 2014 and is till date the latest version of Java.
Note: J2SE stands for Java 2 Platform Standard Edition and is the most basic and standard version of Java and can be seen as the basic foundation of all the versions and was mainly developed for creating desktop environments. This consists of all the basics and all other version follows this basic version further.
J2ME stands for Java 2 Platform Micro Edition and as the name suggests this version was developed while keeping in mind micro devices (small devices such as mobiles). J2ME uses it’s own libraries as well as that of J2SE(like I said, all other versions follow J2SE). The main motive was to work on mobiles, wireless devices and other similar machines.
J2EE stands for Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition and has a wide usage in the development of web services, networking, server side scripting and other various web based applications. And like other editions, it uses library of J2SE as well of it’s own. Servlets, Java Beans are some examples of the features of J2EE.