The technology community is celebrating 20 years of the Java programming language, heralding its use by some nine million developers and the fact that it runs on seven billion devices worldwide.
The language was launched in 1995 by Sun Microsystems, and is now run as part of Oracle after the firm acquired Sun in 2010.
Georges Saab, vice president of development for the Java Platform Group at Oracle, explained that the Java programme has been one of the most important of the past two decades.
“Java has grown and evolved to become one of the most important and dependable technologies in our industry today,” he said.
“Those who have chosen Java have been rewarded many times over with increases in performance, scalability, reliability, compatibility and functionality.”
As part of the celebrations, Oracle has released a detailed timeline of the history of Java, starting as far back as 1991 and the background to its inception when it was called Oak.
Other technology giants that use Java, such as IBM and Fujitsu, have lined up to sing the praises of the platform, and executives from both firms noted its impact over the past 20 years and looked ahead to its future.
"IBM is celebrating Java's 20th anniversary as one of the most important industry-led programming platforms spanning mobile, client and enterprise software platforms,” said Harish Grama, vice president of middleware products at IBM Systems.
“IBM looks forward to the next 20 years of growth and innovation in the Java ecosystem, including mobile, cloud, analytics and the Internet of Things."
Yasushi Fujii, vice president of Fujitsu's Application Management Middleware Division, said: “Fujitsu recognised the utility of Java in IT systems as soon as it first became available, and even now we are working to promote its applications.
"We expect that Java’s continuing evolution will lead to further ICT development and a changing society, and look forward to working with the Java community to develop Java technologies."
One company that is perhaps not going to join in the celebrations is Google, which is in the middle of a long-running $1bn patent battle with Oracle over the use of Java in the Android operating system.
Oracle has also faced criticism for its management of Java, specifically that it releases security updates for the software only every quarter, often leading to huge patch releases that can cause headaches for IT admins.
Nevertheless, Oracle said that its stewardship of Java since acquiring Sun has seen two major platform releases, Java 7 and Java 8, as well as the next release, Java 9, slated for 2016.
Java 9 is set to include a new feature called Project Jigsaw which aims to "modularise the platform" to make it scalable to a wider range of devices and easier for developers to build larger applications on the platform.
As part of the celebrations, Oracle is offering a 20 percent discount on all Java certification exams until 31 December.
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