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Java - the Programming Language

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Java™ is the programming language of choice for the Internet. It arose when a smart researcher realised that most of the bugs in computer programs come from using powerful1 and elegant2 features.

By copying other programming languages and 'borrowing' ideas from well-understood areas of computing, a safe yet strong programming language was born. Because it produces programs any computer can understand, it's the babel fish of software, and in just the same way, has started more, more bitter, wars than any programming technology before it. And no, you can't use it to write computer viruses. They thought of that.

But why is it called Java? Isn't that the name of a rather hot place? Well yes. Indonesia, in fact. But it's because of the Americans, you see.

Just as with football, Americans tend to see things a little differently to the rest of the English-speaking world. For reasons lost in the dawn of recorded history, Americans use 'Java' to mean 'coffee'. Not gourmet coffee like the rest of us would mean, but any kind of coffee. Anything brown and wet qualifies. To the rest of us 'Java' may bring to mind volcanos and dictators, but to an American the word has connotations such as friendly, cheap, simple, accessible, easy. Hence Java programming: cheap, cheerful and easy.

1Safe, like a gun2As in "I wrote this program yesterday and today I can't understand it any more".

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