Saturday, September 3, 2011

Java comes out

Finally, all the preparatory work has come to its logical conclusion. Official announcement of Java, is already widely accepted and full of promise, was going to happen at the conference SunWorld. It was expected that this will be a short news announcement, since the main purpose of this event - UNIX-systems. But all did not happen as planned.

At four o'clock in the morning on the day of the conference, after a long and difficult negotiations, Sun signed a crucial agreement. The second side - the company Netscape,founded in April 1994, James Clark (he has already played a role in the fate OaK two years ago, when intercepted a proposal from Time Warner) and Mark Andrissenom(creator of the NCSA Mosaic). This company became the leader of the browser market after in December 1994 came out the first version of Netscape Navigator, which was open to free non-commercial use, allowing to take at that time up to 75% of the market.

May 23, 1995 Java and HotJava been officially announced by Sun and at the same time the company reported that the new version of the popular browser Netscape Navigator 2.0 will support new technology. In essence, this meant that from now on Java is a integral part of the WWW, as well as HTML. For the second time the presentation ended with a standing ovation - the triumphant march of Java began.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oak Revival

For the victorious release OaK lacked the final touch - a browser that supports this technology. It was he who had become the most "killer" application Naughton, whocompleted the preparatory work for nearly five years before the official announcement ofthe new platform.

Browser called WebRunner. Naughton took only one weekend to write the bulk of the program. That was in July and in September 1994 WebRunner already demonstratedleadership Sun. Small programs written in OaK for distribution through the Internet, called applets.

The next demonstration took place at the conference, where we met the developers of applications and Internet-entertainment industry. When Gosling began the presentation WebRunner, students showed little interest in deciding that this is just a clone of Mosaic.Then Gosling had his arm on a complex three-dimensional model of chemical molecules.
Following the mouse, a model turned in all directions! Now this function may not produce such an impression, but then it was like the transition from picture to cinema. The following sample demonstrated an animated sort. Initially represented a set of line segments of varying lengths. Then the blue and red lines started to run on this set, sorting the pieces by size. An example of too simple, but clearly demonstrates that the client appeared complete software platform. Both of these applets are now standard and examples included in the Java Development Kit version of each. The success of the demonstration, which ended with thunderous applause showed that OaK WebRunner and able to make a revolution on the Internet, since all the participants in another look at the opportunities provided by the World Wide Web.

By the way, in early 1995, when it became clear that the official announcement is not far off, it took over marketing. As a result of their research OaK was renamed to Java, and WebRunner was called HotJava. Many people wondered what was the reason for this decision. Legend has it that Java - it's sort of coffee (a coffee really is), who were very fond of programmers. Apparently, in a similar manner born, and called HotJava ("Hot Java"). Topic coffee will always be in the names and logos (the technology to create components called Java Beans - coffee beans, custom format for archiving files with Java-programs JAR - Bank of coffee, etc.), and the language of critics began to call "for Coffee" . But now everything is already used to it and not think about the title, perhaps this was intended (and those who continue to express dissatisfaction, lead alternatives that were considered then - Neon, Lyric, Pepper or Silk).

Under the plan, specification Java, HotJava, and implementation of the platform should be distributed freely over the Internet. On the one hand, it is possible to promptly disseminate the technology throughout the world and make it the de facto standard for Internet-programming. On the other hand, with the participation of the entire community of developers who have expressed a comment, you can more quickly eliminate all possible errors and omissions. However, in late 1994, only a few copies have been distributed outside Sun. In February 1995, it appears possible, the first press release indicating that soon will be available alpha OaK and WebRunner.

When this happens, the team began to count the instances of downloading their product for review. Soon, hundreds already had to consider. Then we decided that if he could reach 10,000, it will be just a stunning success. We had to wait does not last as long as you can imagine. Interest grew like an avalanche, after watching a lot of letters came and the power of Internet-channel was not enough. Your letters are always answered in great detail, which at first can be done without interrupting work. Then, one by one began to appoint a developer to it during the week just wrote the answers. Finally, it took a special officer, as has already occurred by 2-3 thousand letters a day. Soon the leadership Sun has realized that the success of such a powerful Java has no budget or plan for advertising and other promotions to market. The first step in this direction is the publication March 23, 1995 in the newspaper Sun Jose Mercury News article describing the new technology, where he gives the address of the official site, which to this day is the main source of information on Java.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

World Wide Web

Chasing the ghost of interactive television, many members of the computer market have missed a truly epoch-making event. In April 1993, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina , working at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, NCSA at the University of Illinois released a first version of the graphical browser  Mosaic 1.0 forWWW. Although the Internet existed at that time about 20 years, the available communication protocols (FTP, telnet, etc.) to have been very uncomfortable and the Global Network was only used in academic and government environments. Mosaic is based on a new markup language hypertext documents (HyperText Markup Language, HTML), which was developed in 1991 at the European Institute of Particle Physics (CERN) specifically to provide information on the Internet. This format allows you to view text and images, and most importantly - support links by which you can navigate with one click as another part of the same page and a page that could reside in a completely different part of the network anywhere in the world. These are the cross-appeal, using which, users can unwittingly set of nodes to visit the Internet, and allowed to assume that all HTML-documents related to parts of a whole - the World Wide Web (World Wide Web, WWW).

And most important - all these new developments were completely free and available to everyone. For the first time ordinary computer users without any special training to enjoy a global network not only to address operational issues, but also to find information on various topics. The number of documents in the WWW space began to grow exponentially, and soon the Internet has become a real World. True, eventually found that this way of organizing and storing information is very similar to the dump, which is extremely difficult to find information on some specific issue, but this topic applies to a completely different stage of development of the computer world. So, in some incomprehensible way Sun does not see the birth of a new era. Technical Director, Sun first saw Mosaic, only three months later! And despite the fact that about 50% of servers and workstations on the Internet were made by Sun.

The new business plan aims to FirstPerson, which was a kind of intermediate step of interactive TV features to Internet. The idea was to create a platform for cable operators, users, which would have been ordinary users of personal computers, integrated networks of such companies. Using technology OaK, developers could create applications for functionality similar programs distributed on CD-ROM, but have the interactivity that enables people to share any information through the network. It was expected that these networks and eventually develop into interactive TV, and then becomes a full OaK solution for the industry. On the Internet, and Mosaic has not said a word.

For many reasons, this plan did not accept the leadership of Sun (it is not fully consistent with the main expectation - a new development should lead to an increase in demand for products of Sun). Because of the lack of prospects FirstPerson half of the staff was transferred to the newly created command Sun Interactive, which has continued to engage in multimedia services without the OaK. All the company was threatened inglorious death, but at this point Bill Joy once again supported the project, which soon gave the world a platform for Java.

When the creators of FirstPerson, finally, drew attention to the Internet, they realized that the functionality of the network applications that created OaK, very close to the WWW.Bill Joy remembered how he had twenty years ago was involved in the development of UNIX at Berkeley, and then the operating system was very wide spread because it can be downloaded online for free. This principle of free distribution of commercial products made itself WWW, in the same way the company soon became the leader of the Netscape browser market, so many of the technologies had the opportunity to grab market share as soon as possible. These new ideas with the support of Joy finally convinced the Sun, that the Internet will help raise the platform OaK (by the way, this new project initially called "Liveoak"). In the end, Joey sits down to write the next business plan and sends Gosling and Naughton to begin work on adapting OaK for the Internet.Gosling revising the code platform, and Naughton is taken for writing "killer" application that would be immediately demonstrated the power of OaK for the Internet.

In fact, these technologies are well come to each other. Programming Languages ​​has always played an important role in the development of computer technology.Mainframes were not particularly useful until a Cobol. With language, Fortran on IBM, computers have become widely used for scientific computing and research. Altair BASIC - is the first product from Microsoft - allowed all hobbyists to create programs for their personal computers. C + + has become the basis for the development of graphical user interfaces, such as Mac OS and Windows. Creators OaK done everything to make this technology has played a similar role in programming for the Internet.

Despite the fact that by mid-1994 WWW reached unprecedented dimensions (of course, by the standards of the time), web-pages were still more like a traditional paper publication, than for interactive applications. For the most part all the work in the network was to send a request to the web-server and receiving a reply, which contained the usual static HTML-file, the browser displayed on the client side. Even then, the functionality of web-servers extended with the help of CGI (Common Gateway Interface).This technology allows the client's request to run a normal program on the server and the result sent back in response. Since then the speed of communication channels was low (although, it seems, users will never be satisfied with the possibilities of the apparatus), the client could wait a few minutes to see a message stating that he made a mistake in one letter request. Dynamic charting with this method of implementation would be to generate the GIF-files in real time. But often the client machines are full-fledged personal computer that could take a significant part of the user experience for themselves, relieving servers.

Generally, a client-server architecture, just need for most complex corporate (enterprise) applications, has a number of technical difficulties. The basic idea - to place the general data on a server to create a single information space for many users, and programs that display and allow easy editing of these data are executed on client machines. Very often, a corporation uses multiple hardware platforms (it can be as "heritage" and a consequence of the fact that different departments, solving their problems, need a different computer). Consequently, the application needs to be developed in several versions, which greatly increases the cost of support. Also, update the client side means that you need to reconfigure every computer company in the shortest possible time. But the updates often involved several groups of developers.

Trying to make Internet-browser features a full client encounters even greater difficulties.First, the usual increase of the maximum - on the Internet are nearly all existing platforms, and the number of geographically dispersed users and makes a quick update just impossible. Second, it is particularly acute question of security. Through a network of remarkably quickly spread not only important information, but also viruses. Textual information and images do not contain any threat to the client machine, and another thing - an executable code. Finally, an application with a beautiful and convenient graphical interface, as a rule, had no small amount, that's why the primary means of dissemination were CD-ROMs. It is clear that the Internet had to work hard over a compact package.

If you look at the history of OaK, it becomes clear that this platform is an amazing meet all the requirements Internet-programming, although it was created at a time when about WWW nobody even thought of. Apparently, this indicates how well the development of industry foresight project participants Green.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Company FirstPerson.

Large manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Electric, France Telecom, Dolby Labs, interested in new technology, the negotiations began. Sheridan has prepared a business plan with the original title "Beyond the Green Door" ("Behind the Green Door"), in which he proposed to establish a wholly owned subsidiary Sun to promote the platform OaK on the market. November 1, 1992 the company created FirstPerson, which was headed by Wayne Rosing, passed on from Sun Labs. Rent luxury office, the number of employees increased from 14 to 60 people.

But later it turned out that the cost of such solutions (CPU, memory, screen) is not less than $ 50. Manufacturers of home appliances is not used to paying substantial sums for additional functionality that facilitates the use of their products.

At this time the attention of the computer industry captures the idea of ​​interactive television, a feeling that is it will be the next revolutionary breakthrough. So when in March 1993, Time Warner announced a contest for manufacturers of computer consoles to a TV network for the deployment of a test of interactive television, FirstPerson completely switches to the task. Again, failure - the winner is James Clark (James Clark), founder of Silicon Graphics Inc., Despite the fact that a technologically inferior to his proposal OaK. However, one year project Time Warner and SGI fail, and James Clark creates a company Netscape, which still play an important role in the success of Java.

Another potential client was a manufacturer of game console 3DO. It took only 10 days to import OaK on this platform, but after three months of negotiations, the director 3DO demanded full rights for the new product, and the deal never took place.

Finally, in early 1994, it became clear that the idea of ​​interactive TV proved to be unviable. Expectations were not destined to become a reality. Analysis of the state FirstPerson revealed that the company has no single customer or partner, and its future prospects rather vague. Sun Guidelines requires the immediate preparation of a new business plan, allowing the company profitable again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project Green.

December 5, 1990, the day when Naughton had to go to the company NeXT, Sun has made him a counter offer. Management agreed with all of its terms. The objective - "to create something extraordinary." February 1, 1991, Patrick Naughton, James Goslingand Mike Sheridan (Mike Sheridan) started to close the project, called Green.

Goal they have chosen themselves ambitious - to find out what will be the next wave ofcomputer industry (considered to be the first appearance of semiconductors andpersonal computers) and what products should be developed for successful participation. From the very beginning the project was not considered as pureresearch, the challenge was to create a real product, device.

At the annual meeting of the Sun in the spring of 1991 Gosling noted that the computer chips have an unusual distribution, they are used in video recorders, toasters,doorknobs, even in hotels! However, until now in every house you can see up to threeremote controls - for TV, VCR and music center. Thus was born the idea to develop a small device with an LCD touch screen, which will interact with the user through animation showing what can be managed and how. To create such a device, Naughton began work on a specialized graphics system, Gosling took up the software, and Sheridan took up business matters.

In April 1991, the team leaves the office Sun, being disconnected from your internal network even corporations, and moves into new premises. Purchased a variety ofconsumer electronics devices such as game consoles Nintendo, set-top boxes, remote controls, and developers are playing a different game all day, to betterunderstand how to make user interface easy to understand and use. As a perfect example, Gosling noted that the modern toaster with microprocessors have exactly the same interface as the toaster of his mother, who has served for 42 years.

First, Gosling attempted to modify C ++ to create a language for writing programs, the minimum-oriented platform. However, it soon became clear that it is virtually impossible. The main advantage of C ++ - program speed but not reliability. A reliable performance for normal users should be as absolutely guaranteed, as the compatibility of conventional electrical plugs and sockets. Therefore, in June 1991, Gosling, who wrote his first programming language in 14 years, begins to develop a replacement C ++. Creating a new catalog and wondering what to call him, he looked out the window and his gaze focused on the growing underneath the tree. So the language got its first name - OaK. A few years later, after conducting market research, the name was changed to Java.

The task was quite new, had nothing to lean on, had no experience, no prior developments. The team worked without interruption for a single day. In August 1991, held its first demonstration to Bill Joy and Scott McNealy. In November, the group again joined the network from a Sun dial-up line. The further developed the project, the more new professionals joined the team. Around that time, was coined name for the ideology that they created, - 1st Person (can be roughly translated as "first person").

Finally, September 4, 1992 Star7 was completed and demonstrated McNeely. It was a small device with a 5 "color (16 bit) touch-screen, without a single button. To turn it on, I had simply touch the screen. The interface was built as a cartoon - no menu! Duke moved from room to room painted houses, and to manage them, had simply drive across the screen with your finger - no special controls. You could take a virtual TV show with painted sofa, choose the gear and "drag" it to the image recorder to program it to record.

The result exceeded all expectations! It is worth mentioning that devices such as handheld computers (PDA), beginning with Newton, appeared much later, not to mention a color screen. It was a time 286i and 386i CPU Intel (486i already appeared, but were very expensive) and MS DOS, even the mouse has not been a mandatory attribute of a personal computer.

Leaders of Sun Microsystems were just delighted - appeared a great weapon against such powerful competitors such as HP, IBM and Microsoft.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What is Java? History of the Java. Part 2.

If you look at history of creation Java, it turns out that the original language was calledOaK, and work for its establishment began in 1990 with a rather controversial historywithin the corporation Sun. These facts are true, but actually it was more interesting.

Difficulties in Sun Microsystems

Indeed, the events begin to unfold in December 1990, when the rapid development ofWWW (World Wide Web - "World Wide Web"), yet no one could even predict. Then the computer industry was taken over by taking off personal computers. Unfortunately, the company Sun Microsystems, which occupies a significant market share and high-performance servers, stations, according to many employees and independentexperts, could offer nothing of interest to ordinary "PC users" - for their computers from Sun's "too complicated, very ugly and too "dumb" devices. "

Therefore, Scott McNealy, a member of the Board of Directors, President and CEO (chief executive) Corporation Sun, was not surprised when 25-year-old well-established developer Patrick Naughton, having worked for only 3 years old, announced his desire to go to the company NeXT. They were friends, and Patrick explained his decision simply and briefly: "They do everything right." Scott thought for a moment and uttered the historic phrase. He asked Patrick before going to describe what, in his opinion, the Sun is wrong. We had not just talk about the problem, but offer a solution without looking at the existing rules and tradition, as if at his disposal unlimited resources and opportunities.

Patrick Naughton complied with the request. He relentlessly criticized the new software architecture NeWS, over which the firm was working at the time, but also praised the newly announced OS NeXTstep. Naughton suggested involving professional artists, designers, user interfaces to make Sun more attractive, choose one tool of development and focus on one technology, rather than several at once (Naughton was forced to support hundreds of different combinations of technologies, platforms and interfaces used in the company) and finally, to dismiss almost all employees of the Window Systems Group (if you do the above conditions, they will simply not needed.)

Of course, Naughton was certain that his letter be ignored, but still delayed his transfer to NeXT waiting for some response. However, it has surpassed all expectations.

McNeely Naughton sent a letter to all the officers the corporation, and they sent it to their senior staff. Responded to just about anything, and, reputedly, Naughton described what they thought but were afraid to express. Decisive support was Bill Joy (Bill Joy) and James Gosling (James Gosling). Bill Joy - co-founder and vice president of Sun, as well as a project participant to create the UNIX operating system at UC Berkeley. James Gosling came to Sun in 1984 (before that he worked in a research lab IBM) and has been a leading developer and author of the first implementation of the text editor EMACS on C. These men had great authority in the corporation.

In order not to stop there, Naughton decided to offer a completely new project. He teamed up with a group of technical experts, and they stayed until 4:30 in the morning, discussing the basic concepts of such a project. They got only three: the main thing - the consumer, and everything is built entirely in accordance with its interests, a small team to design a small hardware and software platform, the platform needed to bring in a device designed for personal use, convenient and simple to use - ie . a computer for ordinary people. These ideas were enough to John Gage (John Gage), Head of Research Sun, was able to arrange a presentation to senior management of the corporation. Naughton presented the conditions that it considers necessary for the successful development of this enterprise: the team must sit out of the office Sun, so do not feel any resistance revolutionary ideas, the project will be the secret to all but senior management Sun; hardware and software platform may be incompatible with Sun products , for the first year the group needed a million dollars.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What is Java? History of the Java. Part 1.

Java is widely recognized as the latest object-oriented language, easy to learn and allows you to create programs that can run on any platform without any modification(cross platform). Even with Java for some reason is always connected theme coffee(images logos, product names, etc.). Programmers can add to this description, that language is similar to a simplified C or C + + with the addition of garbage collector - Automatic garbage "Collector" (the mechanism of free memory that is no longer used by the program). We also know that Java is focused on the Internet, and its most common applications - little programs, applets that run in the browser and are part of HTML-pages.
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