The year is 1995…
Microsoft releases Windows 95 in August.
Wow! It’s so crazy to look back and see so many influential software releases happen in such a short period.
In 2009, Node.js was created and the first version of
In 2014++, along came React, Angular (with TypeScript), and Vue. They continue to be the dominant frameworks for writing browser-based applications.
A Brief History of Java
The birthdate that many assign to Java — May 23rd, 2020 — was when the Java programming language and platform’s first public alpha release happened.
Ben Evans published an excellent InfoQ article about Java at 25. In it, he speaks the truth:
The Internet was not yet really a part of the mainstream of public consciousness.
Oh my, how the times have changed!
Java became popular in the late 90s with applets. Then it hit its stride in the early 2000s with server-side development. Struts became one of the first "trendy frameworks" in 2001-2002. If you had experience with it, you could get $100/hour. Or you could learn it on the job (like I did) and still make great money!
Java enjoyed a glorious period from 2002-2006 with J2EE and all its web frameworks. Developers became frustrated with EJBs and Struts, causing Hibernate and Spring to rise to prominence as open-source frameworks.
|You can update this timeline by creating a pull request to the history-of-web-frameworks-timeline repository.
Java 8 was the next major thing to happen in JavaLand, and Oracle didn’t release it until March 18, 2014! A couple of weeks later, Spring Boot 1.0 was released on April Fools Day, no less!
Spring Boot led to Spring Cloud, and both helped fuel the microservices boom that continues today. MicroProfile was created to help with the stagnation in the Java EE world.
Recently, there’s been a lot of innovation happening with new frameworks like Micronaut and Quarkus. All the major server-side Java frameworks are going native with GraalVM and making themselves relevant in a serverless, subatomic-startup-time world.
It’s on soooo many devices around the world! java.com used to be a download site for the Java runtime and brag about how they ran on billions of devices. However, Java’s sweet spot was on the server, as evidenced by the Java web frameworks boom of the early 2000s and the continued proliferation of frameworks like Spring Boot.
Now, if you look at java.com, it’s still a download site for something most will never use, but it also has a What is Java? link that points to an excellent landing page for learning Java. Nice work, Oracle!
Yes, there’s still plenty of folks that think JavaFX is an excellent framework for writing apps. Gluon is doing amazing work in this space.
I believe the "what’s next" is already happening. For Java, it’s the ability to compile to native and make things soooooo much faster with GraalVM. It’s not like Java was slow before (particularly if you have a warm JVM), but it does matter in a serverless, pay-for-20-seconds-then-shutdown world.
I think the real excitement for both languages lies in their better language implementations.
Kotlin and TypeScript
I don’t see Kotlin/JS taking off, but TypeScript is definitely here to stay. Angular 2 was a major rewrite, and their decision to ditch AtScript in favor of TypeScript was a wise one! I use it almost every day and appreciate it.
Android has fueled the fire of Kotlin greatly, and most Android developers I know prefer it over Java.
Happy 25th to Us! 🥳
Even if some new, drastically-better, language comes along in 2021, there’s enough vintage software to maintain for decades to come!
Here are a collection of posts on this blog that show the joy these languages can provide: