A Short History of Nearly Everything Java

A zero-code glance at the Java machine

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JUnit - 82.5% - Top testing framework used by developers  Jenkins - 70% - Most used CI server in the industry Git - 69% - #1 version control technology out there Hibernate - 67.5% - The top ORM framework used Java 7 - 65% - The industry leader for SE development Maven - 64% - Most used build tool in Java Nexus - 64% - The main repository used by developers  MongoDB - 56% - The NoSQL technology of choice FindBugs - 55% - Most-used static code analysis tool in Java  Tomcat - 50% - The most popular application server on the market  Java EE 6 - 49% - Found in the most enterprise Java environments  Eclipse - 48% - The IDE used more than any other Spring MVC - 40% - The most commonly used web framework  MySQL - 32% - The most popular SQL technology

“Most people talk about Java the language, and this may sound odd coming from me, but I could hardly care less. At the core of the Java ecosystem is the JVM.”

-- James Gosling, creator of the Java Programming Language

If a non-developer asked you “What is Java?”, how would you respond? Sure, you can give the Wikipedia definition, which is this:

“Java is a computer programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere" (WORA), meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode (class file) that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of computer architecture.”

Seems reasonable. But this answer cannot stand up to simple inquiries about “who makes Java”, could it? Indeed, could you answer questions from a muggle about how new features get added, who decides what features do or don’t make it to future versions, and how does a team of dedicated Java platform engineers and random developers around the world influence the language? Have you ever wondered what the whole “Java” thing is really about, and why, for Pete’s sake, did it take so long to get lambdas into Java? ;-)

Potentially not. And that’s why we thought it would be cool to write a report that covers, well, basically everything we can think of about Java that doesn’t have to deal with the actual code itself. Regardless of whether you’re a developer, architect or team manager, knowing about how Java is planned, executed, shipped and basically made available consistently and reliably around the world, from students in Afghanistan to former .NET architects switching sides to Java in California.