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13 July 2018

With the recent release of Java 9 in September 2017, here are the answers to your questions and some interesting facts you ought to know before you use the computer programming language synonymous with coffee.

Firstly, what is Java?

Java is a computer programming language that was developed over 23 years ago by Sun Microsystems (which has since been acquired by Oracle Corporation).

The man behind it all is James Gosling who is credited as being the ‘father’ of the Java programming language.

Java was way ahead of its time and was initially designed for interactive television but was considered too advanced technology for the digital cable industry.

In 1995 after its initial release Time magazine called Java one of the Ten Best Products of 1995.

The process of naming the language

Java was initially named ‘Oak’ because Gosling worked at Sun as part of a group of engineers called the ‘Green Team’. However, the programming language was renamed to Java before its release as the name Oak was already trademarked by Oak Technologies.

The name Java derives from the island of Java in Indonesia, known as being the birth place of coffee.

Java is in fact just a name and not an acronym like most other computer software products. However, it is sometimes known as the acronym ‘Just Another Vague Acronym’ ironically noting that the letters stand for nothing at all and it is simply just a name.

The infamous logo

The Java coffee cup logo is widely known and the word Java has become synonymous with coffee because of both the island it originates from and the computer programming language.

The Android issue and feud with Google

The Java computer programming language is used as the basis for Android applications.

The use of Java related technology in Android led to a legal dispute between Oracle and Google

In 2012, a San Francisco Jury found that if API’s (application programming interface) could be copyrighted then Google had infringed Oracle’s copyrights by using Java in Android devices. However, the court ruled in favour of Google as API’s cannot be copyrighted.

Coincidentally, Gosling, who had worked at Sun Microsystems for 26 years, left Sun when it was acquired by Oracle and moved to their rival company Google.

Is Java not the same as JavaScript?

Many people think the Java and JavaScript are the same thing or related products. However, JavaScript was created by totally different developers and adopted the name JavaScript as a marketing ploy to gain success of the back of Java as it was released shortly after. Ironically JavaScript was initially developed under the name ‘Mocha’ another coffee related name.

Now we have answered your burning questions and with these facts in mind now you know a little more about the computer programming language you’ve been unknowingly using this whole time.

Marta López

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