Java Development - the last word in portability
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Java was first written in 1991 as the "Oak" project at Sun Microsystems. In 1995 it had it's first public release, and offered the Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA) model.
Java's portability has been the major selling point of the language, & it is still widely used in many areas, not the least of which is as an embedded OS on, for example, mobile phones,
printers/copiers etc. The beauty of this is that it allowed for anyone to write applications for these devices without specialist development tools.
Today, one could argue that the portability of applications is not necessarily a big selling point for Java. In reality, most applications are written for a specific platform
and simply stay there. Many Windows administrators would argue "Jack of all trades, master of none", and for the Windows platform this is a strong argument.
Over the many releases, Java has also suffered from a lack of commitment by Sun to backwards compatibility, & many a Java application simply ceased to work with the upgrade of the
Java Runtime. In 2007 Sun completed the release of Java under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) making Java's core code open source. What the impact of this
will be in the backwards compatibility stake we have yet to see.
With the wealth of Java developers, however, it is still a sound choice for many applications. If your application is to run on Linux/Unix, so much the better. Java on Windows
is prone to "mysterious" occurrences, & the performance is not all we may hope for. Neither of these issues are apparent on Linux/Unix, & it is an excellent choice for applications to run
on these platforms.
If you application is to run exclusively on the Windows platform, in my opinion, there is probably a better choice!