What is Java Programming Language?

Table of Contents
1 What is Java?
2 What are the benefits of Java Programming?
3 What are the Core Components of Java?
4 Version History of Java
5 Should I learn Java in 2019?
What is Java?
Java is an Object-Oriented Programming Language. It was first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 and now maintains the release and support of Java programming language.
Java applications support Write-Once-Run-Everywhere paradigm. It means that you can develop and compile a java program in one system and run the compiled code in any other type of operating system.
For example, you can write and compile a java application in Windows and then run it on Linux and Mac OS systems without any issues.
Java is used in almost every Fortune 500 companies. It’s still the most preferred language for server programming and enterprise applications.
What are the benefits of Java Programming?
Java is used by everyone. There are more 3 billion devices on which Java is running.
Java is free and open source. It has great documentation and community support.
We can create almost any type of application in Java. You can create standalone utility apps, web applications, web services, distributed, and highly scalable applications in Java.
There are tons of frameworks developed on Java. You can use Spring framework for web applications and web services, JUnit/TestNG for unit testing, Log4J for logging, etc. Most of these frameworks are free and open source.
Java allows us to create concurrent applications. It’s useful in creating applications that take advantage of the latest technological advancements, such as using multi-core CPUs efficiently.
What are the Core Components of Java?
The three core components of Java are:
JDK: Java Development Kit is the core component of Java Environment and provides all the tools, executables and binaries required to compile, debug and execute a Java Program.
JVM: Java Virtual Machine is the heart of Java programming language. When we run a Java program, JVM is responsible for converting the byte code to the machine-specific code. JVM is platform dependent and provides core java functions like memory management, garbage collection, security, etc.
JRE: Java Runtime Environment is the implementation of JVM. It provides a platform to execute java programs. JRE consists of JVM, java binaries and other classes to execute any java program successfully.
Version History of Java
Java was originally conceptualized and developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems. It was first released for public use in 1995. Java 13 is the current and latest version of Java. From Java 10 onwards, there is a new major version release every 6 months.
Version
Release Date
Important Features
JDK Beta
1995
First Beta Version
Java 1.0
23 January 1996
First public release. The stable version Java 1.0.2 is called Java 1.
Java 1.1
19 February 1997

Inner Classes
Java Beans
JDBC
RMI

Java 1.2
8 December 1998

Swing
JIT Compiler
Collections

Java 1.3
8 May 2000

HotSpot JVM
JNDI
JPDA

Java 1.4
6 February 2002

Assertions
RegEx improvements
Image IO API
XML Parser
XSLT Processor
Preferences API

Java 5
30 September 2004

Generics
for-each loop
Varargs
Autoboxing
Enum
Annotations
Static imports

Java 6
11 December 2006

JAXB 2
JDBC 4.0 support
Pluggable annotations

Java 7
7 July 2011

String in switch statements
Try with Resource
Java NIO Package
Binary Literals
Catching Multiple Exceptions in a single catch block

Java 8
18 March 2014

forEach() Method in Iterable interface
default and static method in interfaces
Functional interfaces and Lambda expressions
Stream API
New Date Time API

Java 9
21 September 2017

JShell
Module System – Project Jigsaw
Reactive Streams
HTTP 2 Client

Java 10
20 March 2018
Local-Variable Type Inference
Java 11
25 September 2018

Running Java program from single command
New String Class methods
var for lambda expressions

Java 12
19 March 2019

Shenandoah Garbage Collector
Teeing Collectors
New methods in String class
Switch Expressions

Java 13
17 Sep 2019

Text Blocks
Switch Expressions Enhancements
Socket API Reimplementation

Should I learn Java in 2019?
Yes, Java is still one of the most popular programming languages. According to StackOverflow Developer Survey 2019, its popularity is almost the same as Python. It’s still the most preferred programming language for backend applications.
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