Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 A Bit of History

The Java® programming language is a general-purpose, concurrent, object-oriented language. Its syntax is similar to C and C++, but it omits many of the features that make C and C++ complex, confusing, and unsafe. The Java platform was initially developed to address the problems of building software for networked consumer devices. It was designed to support multiple host architectures and to allow secure delivery of software components. To meet these requirements, compiled code had to survive transport across networks, operate on any client, and assure the client that it was safe to run.

The popularization of the World Wide Web made these attributes much more interesting. Web browsers enabled millions ...

Get The Java® Virtual Machine Specification, Java SE 8 Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.