This book is the most complete and up-to-date resource on Java from programming guru, Herb Schildt a must-have desk reference for every Java programmer.
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Chapter 1: The Genesis of JavaWhen the chronicle of computer languages is written, the following will be said: B led to C, C evolved into C++, and C++ set the stage for Java. To understand Java is to understand the reasons that drove its creation, the forces that shaped it, and the legacy that it inherits. Like the successful computer languages that came before, Java is a blend of the best elements of its rich heritage combined with the innovative concepts required by its unique environment. While the remaining chapters of this book describe the practical aspects of Java-including its syntax, libraries, and applications-in this chapter, you will learn how and why Java came about, and what makes it so important.
although Java has become inseparably linked with the online environment of the Internet, it is important to remember that Java is first and foremost a programming language. Computer language innovation and development occurs for two fundamental reasons:
- To adapt to changing environments and uses
- To implement refinements and improvements in the art of programming
Java's Lineage Java is related to C++, which is a direct descendent of C. Much of the character of Java is inherited from these two languages. From C, Java derives its syntax. Many of Java's object-oriented features were influenced by C++. In fact, several of Java's defining characteristics come from-or are responses to-its predecessors. Moreover, the creation of Java was deeply rooted in the process of refinement and adaptation that has been occurring in computer programming languages for thepast three decades. For these reasons, this section reviews the sequence of events and forces that led up to Java. as you will see, each innovation in language design was driven by the need to solve a fundamental problem that the preceding languages could not solve. Java is no exception.
The Birth of Modern Programming: C The C language shook the computer world. Its impact should not be underestimated, because it fundamentally changed the way programming was approached and thought about. The creation of C was a direct result of the need for a structured, efficient, high-level language that could replace assembly code when creating systems programs. as you probably know, when a computer language is designed, trade-offs are often made, such as the following:
- Ease-of-use versus power
- Safety versus efficiency
- Rigidity versus extensibility
Invented and first implemented by Dennis Ritchie on a DEC PDP-11 running the UNIX operating system, C was the result of a development process that started with an older language called BCPL, developed by Martin Richards. BCPL influenced a language called B, invented by Ken Thompson, which led to the development of C in the 1970s. For many years, the de facto standard for C was the one supplied with the UNIX operating system and described in The C Programming Language by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie (Prentice-Hall, 1978). C was formally standardized in December 1989, when the american National Standards Institute (aNSI) standard for C was adopted.
The creation of C is considered by many to have marked the beginning of the modern age of computer languages. It successfully synthesized the conflicting attributes that had so troubled earlier languages. The result was a powerful, efficient, structured language that was relatively easy to learn. It also included one other, nearly intangible aspect: it was a programmer's language...
Meet the Author
Herbert Schildt is the world's leading programming author with more than 3 million books sold. He is the author of Java 2: A Beginners Guide, Java 2 Programmer's Reference, C++: The Complete Reference, and many, many others.
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