Java, which was code named “Oak” and “Green” during initial development, came on the scene in May 1995. Many saw it as a successor to or evolution of C/C++ since it borrowed much of the same syntax while introducing new concepts that made coding safer and easier. One of the primary tenets of Java was, and still is, the idea that programmers should be able to “write once, run anywhere.” Instead of compiling to separate executables for different target platforms, Java code is compiled to a single JAR file that runs on any Java-supporting system.
This is made possible by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM reads the JAR file (which is a collection of Java-specific instructions), compiles it to platform-specific instructions at runtime, then executes the app. This process is aptly named just-in-time compilation. Learn more in our overview of the JVM.
So how is Java used in the real world?
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