Java Programming Language

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Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. Unlike conventional languages which are generally designed to be compiled to native code, Java is compiled to a bytecode which is then run (generally using JIT compilation) by a Java virtual machine.

The language itself borrows much syntax from C and C++ but has a much simpler object model and does away with low level tools like programmer-manipulable pointers.

Java is only distantly related to JavaScript, though they have similar names and share a C-like syntax.

As with other parts of the Java platform, the Java language has evolved over the years while largely maintaining backwards compatibility.

JDK 1.0 (January 23, 1996) ¡ª Initial release. [press release]

JDK 1.1 (February 19, 1997) [press release]

inner classes added to the language

J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998) ¡ª Codename Playground. This and subsequent releases through J2SE 5.0 were rebranded Java 2 and the version name "J2SE" (Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition) replaced JDK to distinguish the base platform from J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition). Major additions included: [press release]

strictfp keyword

J2SE 1.3 (May 8, 2000) ¡ª Codename Kestrel. [press release]

J2SE 1.4 (February 6, 2002) ¡ª Codename Merlin. This was the first release of the Java platform developed under the Java Community Process as JSR 59. Major changes included: [press release]

J2SE 5.0 (September 30, 2004) ¡ª Codename Tiger. (Originally numbered 1.5, which is still used as the internal version number.[1]) Developed under JSR 176, Tiger added a number of significant new language features: [press release]

Generics ¡ª provides compile-time (static) type safety for collections and eliminates the need for most typecasts. (Specified by JSR 14.)

Metadata ¡ª also called annotations, allows language constructs such as classes and methods to be tagged with additional data, which can then be processed by metadata-aware utilities. (Specified by JSR 175.)

Autoboxing/unboxing ¡ª automatic conversions between primitive types (such as int) and primitive wrapper classes (such as Integer). (Specified by JSR 201.)

Enumerations ¡ª the enum keyword creates a typesafe, ordered list of values (such as Day.MONDAY, Day.TUESDAY, etc.). Previously this could only be achieved by non-typesafe constant integers or manually constructed classes (typesafe enum pattern). (Specified by JSR 201.)

Varargs ¡ª the last parameter of a method can now be declared using a type name followed by three dots (e.g. void drawtext(String... lines)).

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