Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Java IoT, IBM Cloud, Weblogic

Java IoT: Article

2005 Marks Ten Years of Java Technology

Calvin Austin Steps Back In Time and Tracks Java's Course

This year will mark the tenth anniversary of the official launch of Java technology. It seems like only yesterday. No doubt there will be celebrations similar to the five-year anniversary, so I thought I would take this opportunity to step back in time and track Java's course.

In January 1996, less than a year before that first launch, the first full developer kit, JDK 1.0.2, was released. This was my first experience of the Java platform. Like many other developers I had been using C and C++ and myriad third-party libraries. Suddenly the ease with which anyone could build a UI, or a web applet, and make an application both thread- and networking-aware was exciting. I attended the first JavaOne in 1996 and it captured that energy, even with only 6000 attendees it was a sellout. Sessions overflowed, handouts disappeared in minutes, and were never to re-appear at any JavaOne conference again; many speakers were overwhelmed by speaking to a large conference for the first time.

The JDK 1.1 release appeared a year later and bumped along by way of maintenance updates for many years, finally ending with 1.1.8.

Some of you may remember that the only browser that initially supported 1.1 was Sun's own Hotjava browser. This lag in support for the latest runtime would lead to the modular Java Plugin and Java Web Start technology.

JDK 1.1 also introduced JDBC, RMI and the JavaBean model. The JavaBean component model, while introducing the powerful getter/setter pattern to the Java platform, also introduced the infamously deprecated methods in AWT. To move to the JavaBean pattern with as little risk as possible, AWT code that needed updating simply called the deprecated methods, which made removing them later unlikely. AWT also introduced the event-delegation pattern that would be heavily used by another step on the Java roadmap, the Swing project.

Project Swing, or the JFC components, had a parallel release train before being integrated into the JDK. Anyone remember com.sun.swing? The Netscape browser team already had a technology called IFC that Netscape had acquired and this was used as the basis for JFC. JFC was a pure Java graphical toolset and required a little support from AWT. However, the amount of work required was huge. Essentially anyone who was working on AWT was moved to JFC and Swing, All new development for features like accessibility and full drag-and-drop were earmarked for Swing only. The next step was to merge the Swing code base into JDK 1.2.

JDK 1.2 was supposed to be called JDK 2.0. Since its release was close to the millennium, even Java 2000 was considered. The naming discussions resulted in Java 2 version 1.2. The release didn't just include Project Swing, but it did include the Collections API, a new Java 2D rendering engine and a new sound engine. The last two technologies were adapted from existing third-party products and their integration put a strain on the release process. Some of the bugs introduced by this integration weren't fixed until the 1.4 maintenance releases and J2SE 5.0

Most developers have probably forgotten 1.2.1. It was a short-lived security bug fix. The true maintenance bug fix was 1.2.2. JDK 1.2.2 was also the first time Sun released a JVM port on Linux. The JVM itself was called the classic JVM and used a JIT compiler.

Waiting in the wings was the Hotspot JVM. Sun had acquired the technology that was used to power Smalltalk and had spent a lot of cycles getting it release-ready.

Unlike the JIT compiler, the Hotspot product was a full JVM in its own right. It used native operating system threads, where the classic JVM could also use the userspace threads called green threads and introduced new garbage allocation techniques, finer thread management and faster monitor locks.

J2SE 1.3 was released in 2000 and introduced the Hotspot JVM on all platforms. With such a fundamental change, it took until 1.3.1 for the JVM to be supported by all the tool interfaces.

The last five years are fresher in everyone's memory. J2SE 1.4 arrived in 2002, and introduced NIO, Java Web Start, a 64-bit JVM and Swing focus, performance tweaks and the logging API. It was followed by the 1.4.1maintenance release, which previewed an Itanium port and new garbage collectors. J2SE 1.4.2 brought the 1.4 release train into the station.

This brings us to the present times with J2SE 5.0. J2SE 5.0 focuses on improved startup time, new language features and system monitoring and improved product quality.

The Java platform has certainly come a long way in 10 years, but I'm sure you'll agree it's been an interesting ride.


  • http://java.sun.com/features/2000/06/time-line.html

    More Stories By Calvin Austin

    A section editor of JDJ since June 2004, Calvin Austin is an engineer at SpikeSource.com. He previously led the J2SE 5.0 release at Sun Microsystems and also led Sun's Java on Linux port.

    Comments (10) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

    Most Recent Comments
    Calvin Austin 03/23/05 04:25:37 PM EST

    Yes webrunner was the original internal project name for the original browser. I was lucky to get a copy internally in 1995. I wasn't involved in the renaming but they would have done a trademark search at some point

    HotJava 03/18/05 07:12:11 AM EST

    Java used to be Oak but what was the HotJava web browser first called, wasn't it WebRunner? Whatever happened to that name?

    from tiny acorns 03/18/05 06:44:43 AM EST

    ### "Project Oak" seems like just yesterday. ###

    Check out the useful history of Oak (and of the Green Project that spawned it) at http://today.java.net/jag/old/green/

    Another major byproduct of the Green project was a little cartoon character named "Duke" - invented and drawn by Joe Palrang.

    J-History 03/18/05 06:23:01 AM EST

    [[[ The Java platform has certainly come a long way in 10 years, but I'm sure you'll agree it's been an interesting ride. ]]]

    10 years! Where does the time go?! "Project Oak" seems like just yesterday.

    webdevguy 03/17/05 07:30:46 PM EST

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAVA! may your offspring be open source and free.

    Jonathan Bruce 03/14/05 10:19:30 AM EST

    Nice article Calvin - I remember working on JDK for the first time when I started with Sun in '98 working on the JNDI API and it's LDAP, COSNaming and RMI provider.

    It is interesting to review this history, and I too remember the start-up feel that was the buzz of the Cupertino office. I think now it is important to recognize the maturity of the Java 5.0 platform and how in the future the outside in view developers have of Java 6.0 should trigger early adoption of the new platform. As a fellow Sun retiree, I remain invested in the continued success of the Java platform.

    -Jonathan Bruce
    Technology Evangelist - XQuery

    Calvin Austin 03/12/05 11:59:31 PM EST

    Thanks for the comments Alex. Swing was used as a catch all term inside Sun although officially the set of components, including Swing were JFC (there was no JFC team per say)

    One other reason for Java 2 was the change in licensing, anyone could sign up to port JDK 1.x to any platform for research use. With Java 2 you had to agree to the SCSL terms instead.

    Alex Blewitt 03/12/05 08:23:51 AM EST

    JFC was the Java Foundation Components, and contained more than just Swing; JFC contained what became the standard Collections classes introduced in Java 2, and other improvements in text/message formatting from IBM.

    Java 2 was created as a marketing name in 1999 to make businesses aware that it was a language ready for prime-time application use. Before then, the only serious contender for 'real' applications was the Corel package for word-processing, that died a death because they just translated C++ code into Java code, without doing any kind of redesign to suit Java's garbage collection model sufficiently.

    Java 2 was also the start of Sun's inconsistent naming conventions. Java 1.1.1 through 1.1.8 was sensible enough; but Sun didn't want people to know about how many bugfixes/releases (or compatibility issues) were given out; hence, we now have 1.2.1, and 1.2.2, 1.2.2_01b7... even now, my JVM is listed as 1.4.2_05-141.4. It was also crazy when they went to 1.3 that it was still called Java 2, due to the marketing people; it also explains why we're going from 1.4 to 5.0 -- a feat normally matched by Microsoft products.

    If we're really going down memory lane, early Java adoptees will know that when you've got a UI application, simply closing the last window would automatically terminate the application. This stopped in 1.2 when a programming bug introduced in the event handling system for Swing prevented the application terminating without a call to System.exit(), something that has now become synonymous with the way applications are written. (The long-time bug number 4030718 lists it as being open all the way through to 1.4, despite me showing that (a) it was fixable, and (b) I wrote a demo app that re-wrote the classes.zip to fix the bug to demonstrate it).

    In short, Java is/was an excellent idea for its time, and thanks to the explosive birth of the internet, made a good launchpad to today's computer use. It's just a shame that Sun is an excellent innovation company, and not a marketing or collaborative company, because Java will ultimately fail because of them. It 10 years time, we'll have a more open programming language either managed by the Apache Software Foundation or (more likely) the Eclipse foundation that will be the de-facto standard. Just as long as it's not C#.

    Calvin Austin 03/11/05 07:19:39 PM EST

    You are right, I meant garbage collection. You could make a case for the gc shuffling between old and new space as allocation though

    B. Smith-Mannschott 03/11/05 03:05:41 PM EST

    QUOTE: [java 1.2.2] ... introduced new garbage **allocation** techniques

    ... yea, programming in java feels that way on bad days, but I'm sure that's not what you meant.

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
    Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
    As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
    Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
    Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
    In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
    In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
    Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
    Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
    With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
    Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.