> What is Java?
Java is a new programming language invented by a small group of computer scientists at Sun Microsystems. According to the language's creation myth, it was originally called Oak and intended as a way to program TV set-top boxes. All the exciting featur es and hype came later. A separate Java division at Sun, called JavaSoft, has since grown from Oak.
> Q: What is JavaBeans?
A: Java Beans is a portable, platform-independent component model.
Developers use it to create software components other developers can use in their programs.
>Q: If Java's just another programming language, why the hype?
A: Technically, Java's just a programming language, but one with a far-reaching goal: to allow programmers to create one copy of a program users can run on almost any computer and operating system. This capability, commonly called "write once, run anywh ere," is a very big deal because it makes Java the linchpin technology in network computers and a vital component of programmability on the Web.
>Q: I don't program, and I use only Microsoft Windows, so why should I care about write once, run anywhere?
A: Because of Java's importance to the NC effort, it's also a driving force in the total cost of ownership (TCO) issue. This debate has pushed Microsoft and other companies to pay more attention to the nasty problems of upgrading and maintaining a fleet of Windows systems. Microsoft has already shipped a zero- administration tool kit and is expected to add more such features to new versions of Windows. The company is also reportedly working on its own NC competitor, the Windows-based terminal, which em ploys a server running a multi-user version of Windows.
Also, if you use a recent-vintage Web browser, chances are you've already run some Java applets; many of the scrolling banners and animated gizmos on Web pages are written in Java. By the end of this year, many companies will begin using Java to create more serious and interactive content, such as wizards that help consumers configure or
try out products.
>Q: What's the difference between a Java app and a Java applet?
A: An application is a stand-alone program you run on your system.
Non-Java apps include the dozens of programs you run now, such as
Microsoft Word or Lotus Organizer. Very few Java apps exist today. Java applets are typically much smaller programs that run only