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Our world. Moved by Java.

It’s been 25 years since Java set our world spinning with new possibilities. Explore this timeline to learn about the people and innovations of the last quarter of a century—and those yet to come.

Timeline of key Java milestones

1991–1994

    Green Team at Sun. Star7 Device
  • Sun Microsystems begins work on the Oak programming language as part of the Green Project.
  • The Green Project team demonstrates the Star7 tablet computer.
  • Duke, the Java mascot, is designed by Joe Palrang, art director for the Star7 demo animation. Palrang went on to work for DreamWorks on such animated films as Shrek and Antz.
  • To demonstrate Oak technology and create a vehicle that would get its software into as many hands as possible, the Green Project team develops its own web browser, WebRunner, named as homage to the movie Blade Runner. The browser was created using the Oak programming language and ran Oak applications.
  • Star7 Introduces Duke.

1995

    Original Java logo
  • In preparation for its initial public offering, Sun tries to register Oak as the product name, but the name was already taken. Alternatives considered during brainstorming sessions included Silk, Lyric, Pepper, NetProse, Neon, Ruby, WebDancer, and WebSpinner. A legal review eliminated most of these names, but one was left standing: Java. Soon thereafter, the Java programming language got its now-infamous cup and steam logo.
  • The San Jose Mercury News runs a front-page article covering Java technology.
  • The WebRunner browser, later renamed HotJava, is demonstrated for the first time at a TED conference.
  • Java 1.0a2 is announced at the SunWorld conference, where Netscape leadership announced browser support for Java. Netscape licenses Java and releases the first Java-enabled version of the Netscape Navigator browser.
  • Sun introduces the slogan “Write Once, Run Anywhere” to describe Java’s unique cross-platform capabilities.
SunWorld 1995

1996

The Amazing Adventures of Duke
  • Java Development Kit 1.0 is released.
  • The Java operating system (JavaOS) is introduced. JavaOS is written primarily in Java and is intended for network computers and embedded systems.
  • Sun unveils its first, developer-focused engagement program: the Java Developer Connection.
  • Sun holds the inaugural JavaOne conference in San Francisco.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Duke comic book is released. The 16-page comic book dubs the Java mascot the “Net’s Smoothest Code Man.”

1997–2000

  • Java Development Kit 1.1 is released with the key features of inner classes, JavaBeans, RMI Complier, Reflection, the just-in-time (JIT) compiler, internationalization, and Unicode support.
  • Java Development Kit 1.2 is released and is rebranded as Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE 1.2). New features include Swing, Java 2D, and the Collections Framework.
  • The Java Community Process (JCP) is established to formalize a mechanism that allows interested parties to help develop the technical specifications for Java technology.
  • J2SE 1.3 is released with new features that include the HotSpot Java VM, Java Naming and Directory Interface, and Java Platform Debugger Architecture.
  • More than 100 million Java-enabled smartcards, based on Java Card (introduced in 1996), are shipped by the end of 2000.
  • The first Java-enabled Blu-ray optical disc player prototype is unveiled.

2001–2004

  • Oracle CEO Larry Ellison joins Sun leadership onstage at JavaOne to demonstrate Java-enabled software.
  • J2SE 1.4 is released with the key features of Java Web Start, non-blocking I/O, the Logging API, the Preferences API, and regular expressions.
  • Mars Rover Spirit
  • At JavaOne, Sun’s Java development team introduces the first annual Duke’s Choice Awards, which recognize innovators who have used Java technology in a unique way.
  • The Java.com website is launched to allow consumers to download a Java runtime package onto desktops and laptops to enable them to run Java applications.
  • NASA demonstrates a Mars rover prototype onstage at JavaOne, showing how Java technology will help remotely guide it from NASA’s Mission Control Center.
  • Approximately 75 percent of professional developers use Java as their primary development language.
  • J2SE 5.0 is released with the key features of generics, annotations, enumerations, and variable arguments (varargs).
  • The debate about whether to release Java as open source software begins onstage at JavaOne.
  • NASA’s Spirit rover touches down on Mars on January 4, 2004, bringing Java applications to a new planet.
  • By the end of 2004, Java is running on 1.5 billion devices.

Java + electronic healthcare record systems
https://www.jmir.org/2001/4/e33/

Java + telematics
https://www.eetimes.com/java-moves-windows-counters-in-auto-market/

Java + Mars rover
https://www.cnet.com/news/java-runs-remote-controlled-mars-rover/

Java + SIM cards
https://www.securetechalliance.org/java-technology-is-everywhere-surpasses-1-5-billion-devices-worldwide/

2005

    Java turns 10
  • Java celebrates its 10th birthday.
  • Sun estimates that Java drives more than US$100 billion in revenue annually. There are more than 4.5 million Java developers, 2.5 billion Java-enabled devices, and 1 billion Java-based smartcards.
  • The Java Champions program is launched at JavaOne to recognize leaders in the developer community.
Java Champions program

2006–2008

  • Sun releases Java to open source development under the GNU General Public License, the same license that governs the use and development of the Linux operating system.
  • Java SE 6 is released.
  • The Java HotSpot VM and compiler are released under the GNU General Public License.
  • Duke is open sourced
  • The Duke mascot image is open sourced under the BSD license.
  • Java technology is used by more than 6 million developers and runs on more than 5.5 billion devices.
  • The first Java Virtual Machine (JVM) Language Summit is held in September 2008 in Santa Clara, California. Learn more: openjdk.java.net/projects/mlvm/jvmlangsummit/.

2009–2011

    Oracle’s Larry Ellison at JavaOne 2009
  • Oracle announces its acquisition of Sun. Larry Ellison joins Sun leadership onstage at JavaOne in 2009 to talk about Oracle’s commitment to investing in Java technology for the benefit of customers and the community.
  • Oracle launches Java Magazine, a technical publication written by developers for developers. As the official publication about Java, it provides profiles of new Java apps, technical how-to articles, community news, and more.
  • Java SE 7 is released with new features that include Project Coin, invokedynamic, the fork/join framework, and a new file system API (NIO.2).
Java + unmanned aerial vehicle avionics:
https://www.aerodefensetech.com/component/content/article/adt/features/articles/10785

2012–2014

  • 97 percent of enterprise desktops run Java.
  • Java SE 8 is released with the key features of lambda expressions, annotation of Java types, and the Date and Time API.
  • More than 80 Java SE 8 technical publications in eight languages are available worldwide.
  • More than 9 million developers worldwide use Java by the end of 2014.
Java 8 publications
Java + NASA mission software
https://jaxenter.com/netbeans/developing-nasas-mission-software-with-java

2015

  • Java celebrates its 20th birthday.
  • Java is the #1 developer platform in the world.
  • More than 10 million developers use Java worldwide.
  • 13 billion devices run Java.
Java + Twitter
https://go.java/twitter.html

Java + Netflix
https://go.java/netflix.html

2017

  • Java SE 9 is released with key features of Project Jigsaw (Java Platform Module System), jshell, ahead-of-time compilation, jlink, and compact strings. Learn more.
  • Java is ranked the #1 programming language.
  • 12 million developers run Java worldwide.
  • There are 38 billion active Java Virtual Machines (JVMs).
  • There are 21 billion cloud-connected JVMs.
  • To accelerate developer innovation, Oracle introduces a six-month release cadence for Java, to start with Java SE 10 in 2018.
Oracle announces Java SE Subscription

2018

  • Java is ranked the #1 language used by developers for the cloud.
  • The Java Champions program boasts 150 members.
  • The Java Community Process celebrates its 20th birthday.
  • Oracle announces it will open source several commercial Java features, including application class data sharing, the Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), Oracle Java Flight Recorder, and Oracle Java Mission Control.
  • Java is ranked the #1 language used by developers for the cloud
  • Java SE 10 is the first release in the six-month release cadence. New features include local variable type inference, application class-data sharing, time-based release versioning, the fully parallel G1 garbage collector, root certificates, and thread-local handshakes. Learn more.
  • Oracle enhances Java’s commercial licensing options for developers and companies who want enterprise-grade support with the introduction of the Java SE Subscription program.
  • Java SE 11 is released; new features include an HTTP client, Oracle Java Flight Recorder, launch single-file source-code programs, Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, and ZGC—a scalable and experimental low-latency garbage collector. Learn more

2019

Java 2019
  • Java is once again ranked the #1 language used by developers for the cloud.
  • Java SE 12 is released with key features of switch expressions (first preview), JVM Constants API, and default class data sharing (CDS) archives. Learn more.
  • Java SE 13 is released with key features of dynamic CDS archives, the ability to uncommit unused memory, switch expressions (second preview), and text blocks (first preview). Learn more.
Java + Spotify
https://www.oracle.com/corporate/pressrelease/java-se-power-spotify-031919.html

Java + Siemens
https://www.oracle.com/corporate/pressrelease/oow19-new-java-release-091619.html

Java + Ocado Technology
https://www.infoq.com/articles/java-robot-swarms/

Java + satellite application suitability
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330514160_The_Suitability_of_Java_for_Satellite_Applications

2020

Java turns 25
  • Java SE 14 is released with the key features of pattern matching for instanceof (preview), JDK Flight Recorder event streaming, nonvolatile mapped byte buffers, helpful null pointer exceptions, records (preview), switch expressions, text blocks (second preview), ZGC for macOS and Windows, foreign-memory access API (incubator), and a packaging tool (incubator). Learn more.
  • Java celebrates its 25th birthday.
  • Java SE 15 is released with the key features of sealed classes (preview), hidden classes, pattern matching for instanceof (second preview), text blocks, and records (second preview). Learn more.
  • Java remains the #1 programming language for developers.
  • Oracle launches Inside.Java offering news and updates from Oracle's Java Team. Learn more.
  • Oracle launches the Inside.Java podcast series. Learn more.
Java + genetic algorithms
https://jenetics.io

Java + United States Geological Survey
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/software/pensive/index.shtml

Java + NASA Open Code Project
https://code.nasa.gov/

Java + Minecraft
https://codakid.com/minecraft-coding/

Java + MATLAB
https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/using-java-libraries-in-matlab.html

Java + STEM robotics
https://stemrobotics.cs.pdx.edu/node/4196