Java is an object-oriented programming language that was created by Sun Microsystems in 1991 for use in consumer goods like VCRs. In the mid-1990's Java became a popular programming language for the World Wide Web, and it has increased in popularity sinc
e. Java's popularity for Web applications has, in large part, been a result of the popularity of Netscape. (The Netscape Navigator browser has supported Java since release 2.0. )
Recently, Java has been in the news because its developers, Sun Microsystems, have tussled with the Microsoft Corporation over Microsoft's licensing agreement with Sun. Microsoft has not included important Java development material in its developer's ki t for Internet Explorer 4.0. (Jones) At the heart of the conflict is Java's identity: is Java a language or is Java a platform? Sun says Java is a platform--the company has 3,000 Java-based network computers at their company. Microsoft has countered b y saying that Java is just a language. (Engst) Another sticking point is Microsoft's reluctance to support the "100% Pure Java" endeavor by Sun. Java's official slogan "Write once, run anywhere" is indictative of the language's portabilty. It is a lang uage than can used for any programming application, not just Web programming, and it can be used on any computing platform. Microsoft, a company that has sold the most Java development tools, offers development tools that allow programmers to write Wind ows-specific Java, and that impinges upon the portability of Java. And there's the rub. And the lawsuit. (Wired)
Java is easier to learn than C++, the language it was modeled upon. For experienced programmers, it is quite simple. Novice Java programmers, on the other hand, first have to understand the basics of object oriented programming.
Small Java programs ("applets") can be inserted into HTML documents using the SGML-compliant <APPLET> tag. Java enables static HTML documents to become interactive, by adding features like forms, by manipulating user input, and by helping to automate Web design and maintainance.
Java 1.0 is supported by: Netscape Navigator for Windows 2.0 and above; Netscape Navigator for Macs 3.0 and above; Internet Explorer 3.0 and above; and Sun's HotJava.
Only one browser fully supports Java 1.1: Sun's HotJava. Netscape's Navigator Communicator and and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 only support portions of Java 1.1. (Harold)
Harold, Elliotte Rusty
functionality of Sun Microsystems' Java programming language with HTML for WWW
applications. The hope was that this new language, which would be a "scripting
language," would be simpler to understand than Java and would provide web
designers with the ability to include interactive elements in their pages without
having to master a complex programming language. The initial attempt yielded a
scripting language known as "LiveScript." Recognizing the value of this project,
Ready, Kevin, Paul Vachier and Benoit Marsot. _Plug-n-Play Java Script_ Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Press, 1996.
Applets vs. Scripts | Comparison Chart | Resources