Authored by: Georges Saab
(VP, Java Platform Group and Chair, OpenJDK Governing Board)
It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since Java became officially available. On the other hand, it seems like several eras have passed - and in some sense, they have.
I still remember the sense of excitement I had joining JavaSoft, hanging out with the small but devoted team that looked forward to every day we got to work on this cool new language. The team came from a wide background of programming languages and runtime design, UI and graphics experts, OS engineers, and even the odd Ontologist. We had an excellent group of technical writers, quality engineers, marketeers, product managers and business folks. And, best of all, we were on a mission – to make developers’ lives simpler. As we used to say (only half-jokingly) “We wrote native code so you won’t have to!”
Despite being a small group – we thought big. There were so many companies and people who believed in the prospect of “write once run anywhere” that instead of how to cover all the disparate HW and OSes – the challenge we had to meet was how to channel, focus, and organize the efforts of so many parties that wanted… to join the party!
Thankfully we did – and they did. And so now, 25 years later, we're happy to celebrate “the first quarter century of Java”.
By now that original vision, however ambitious, has been achieved and surpassed many times over as Java has evolved to help developers meet new challenges. The software industry embraced Java because it made development a pleasure, solved problems with distribution, and removed the pain of constantly porting across platforms.
Java was leveraged by the growing universe of websites and it made static content come alive, not only with fun things like bouncing Dukes, but also with real use for distribution of business applications.
Java’s usefulness compounded when people realized how it could solve their problems on servers – bringing productivity, performance and scalability to new levels. From internet distribution of software to server-side scaling of multi-tier architecture, to taking advantage of constantly improving hardware architectures – to the cloud-native deployments, and a whole lot more.
All along, those who chose to bet on Java were rewarded with a technology which continually evolved to support them. Through constant change in the industry, Java provided a constant heartbeat of stability, compatibility, and an ever-increasing ecosystem of tools, libraries, and frameworks to choose from.
25 years on, I’m honored to lead this journey here at Oracle. My team continues to focus engineering efforts building on the early goals of ease-of-use, reliability, security and platform independence, working transparently and welcoming feedback and collaboration to keep Java strong in its second quarter century.
Our vision is the same today as it was then – a relentless pursuit of developer productivity and program performance while maintaining readability and compatibility in the face of an ever-evolving tech landscape.
To mark the 25th birthday of Java, we are using the theme “Our World. Moved by Java.” This celebration is meant to honor the past, acknowledge the present, and offer a glimpse into the future…as well as to thank the many influential voices in the Java community.
As Java moves us forward through technological advancements, a diverse set of community programs will highlight innovators, innovations, and organizations moving the world with Java. From companies building applications that we depend on every day, to teachers bestowing the craft of programming onto the next generation of developers, to students who will carry the torch for many years to come. And through it all, we’ll share Oracle’s ongoing technology leadership and community stewardship that are driving the continual innovation and evolution of Java.
We invite you to participate in the inaugural online webcast taking place on May 20th where we’ll feature many recognized technical and community faces who will share their Java memories and insight [Please register here]. I also encourage you to follow @Java and engage with #MovedbyJava on Twitter, as well as to learn more about on-going celebration programs throughout the year.
25 years? Yes, it’s been an amazing journey, but it’s a journey that continues forward. Let’s keep the world moving forward and make the next 25 years even better…TOGETHER!
Our World. Moved by Java.