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Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language that was developed by Sun Microsystems. It is not compiled to native binary code but into bytecode that is then run on a virtual machine. Applications written in Java usually run on every Operating System that provides a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) without changing the source code.
When Sun realized in 1990 that they had to break into new markets, they created the "Green" Project. The project members had to forge new products and seemed to be very successful: They invented a PDA with touchscreen, wireless network connections, the PCMCIA device, a Unix version (Solaris) and a robust platform indepentend programming language named "Oak". In 1993, when the WWW was born and the first webbrowser - named Mosaic - was developed, Sun decided to integrate the JVM into a webbrowser and to distribute Java for free (as in free beer) on the internet. Finally, Oak was renamed to Java and in 1995, Sun proudly presented HotJava, the first browser comming with Java support built-in. In 1996, the first Java Development Kit followed: JDK 1.0. Some time later, when the browser-war between Netscape and Microsoft was going on well, Microsoft licenced the JVM, integrated it into the Internet Explorer and distributed the software for free hoping that more users will change from Netscape Navigator to Internet Explorer. Not much time went on when Microsoft tried to compete with Java and released ActiveX, their own Java IDE named Visual J++ and their own JVM. Sun, driven by the fear that Microsoft could alter the Java Standard, Sun went to court forcing Microsoft to omit developing their own JVM. Sun won the case but Microsoft answered by stopping development on Visual J++. In 2006, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced that Sun is willing to put Java under an Open Source Licence, though it is not yet know which licence this could be. Today (September 2006), the current version of Java is 1.5, or also known as "Java Version 5.0".
The development of Java had five main goals in mind, namely:
- Java should be an object-oriented programming language.
- It should be possible to run Java applications on different operating systems.
- The Java Platform should contain built-in networking capabilities
- It should be possible to execute code from different locations securely (this is ensured by Javas security model)
- Successfull aspects of other object-oriented programming languages such as [[C++]] should be available to Java developers
Java's Security Model
Java's security model has three parts
- The code verifier that ensures the JVM not executing invalid bytecode
- The class-loaders that ensure the induction of class information
- The security-managers that ensure the application's not going to access objects where it has no right to.
Java belongs to the object-oriented programming languages. The basic idea of OOP is to represent everything in the source code in a way humans usually experience the real world. This meets easier maintainability, a higher level of quality, a minimum of bugs and the reusability of software projects or components.