C++ was invented by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979, while he was working at Bell Laboratories
in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Stroustrup initially called the new language "C with Classes."
However, in 1983, the name was changed to C++. C++ extends C by adding object-oriented
features. Because C++ is built on the foundation of C, it includes all of C's features, attributes,
and benefits. This is a crucial reason for the success of C++ as a language. The invention of C++
was not an attempt to create a completely new programming language. Instead, it was an
enhancement to an already highly successful one.
The Stage Is Set for Java
By the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s, object-oriented programming using C++ took
hold. Indeed, for a brief moment it seemed as if programmers had finally found the perfect
language. Because C++ blended the high efficiency and stylistic elements of C with the
object-oriented paradigm, it was a language that could be used to create a wide range of
programs. However, just as in the past, forces were brewing that would, once again, drive
computer language evolution forward. Within a few years, the World Wide Web and the
Internet would reach critical mass. This event would precipitate another revolution in
The Creation of Java
Java was conceived by James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Ed Frank, and Mike
Sheridan at Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 1991. It took 18 months to develop the first working
version. This language was initially called "Oak," but was renamed "Java" in 1995. Between
the initial implementation of Oak in the fall of 1992 and the public announcement of Java in
the spring of 1995, many more people contributed to the design and evolution of the language.
Bill Joy, Arthur van Hoff, Jonathan Payne, Frank Yellin, and Tim Lindholm were key
contributors to the maturing of the original prototype.
Somewhat surprisingly, the original impetus for Java was not the Internet! Instead, the
primary motivation was the need for a platform-independent (that is, architecture-neutral)
language that could be used to create software to be embedded in various consumer electronic
devices, such as microwave ovens and remote controls. As you can probably guess, many
different types of CPUs are used as controllers. The trouble with C and C++ (and most other
languages) is that they are designed to be compiled for a specific target. Although it is possible
to compile a C++ program for just about any type of CPU, to do so requires a full C++ compiler
targeted for that CPU. The problem is that compilers are expensive and time-consuming to
create. An easier--and more cost-efficient--solution was needed. In an attempt to find such a
solution, Gosling and others began work on a portable, platform-independent language that
could be used to produce code that would run on a variety of CPUs under differing
environments. This effort ultimately led to the creation of Java.
About the time that the details of Java were being worked out, a second, and ultimately
more important, factor was emerging that would play a crucial role in the future of Java.
This second force was, of course, the World Wide Web. Had the Web not taken shape at
about the same time that Java was being implemented, Java might have remained a useful
but obscure language for programming consumer electronics. However, with the emergence
of the World Wide Web, Java was propelled to the forefront of computer language design,
because the Web, too, demanded portable programs.
Search WWH :
Custom Search
Previous Page
Java SE 6 Topic Index
Next Page
Java SE 6 Bookmarks