Ten-year history of Java

The concept of being “open” makes Java so appealing
Many developers say that they chose to become programmers because they were inspired by Java. Java, which enables programmers to develop applications just as they initially envision, is an attractive programming language for developers. At the base of its appeal is Java’s concept of being open, says President Akifumi Onaka of Aoyama Planning Arts.

CYBER VISION created by Aoyama Planning Arts is a system developed in Java. This presentation tool, based on the cognitive structure model of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, is used in many different industries for many different purposes such as the IR presentation tool of Suruga Bank and the sales support system of Hitachi Maxell. For the lower house election that took place in August of last year, the Democratic Party of Japan waged a campaign by using CYBER VISION-based broadband broadcasts, which helped the party make huge strides.
Mr. Akifumi Onaka, the president of the company who was in charge of the development of the tool, says that, without Java, CYBER VISION would never have existed. President Onaka, who had worked as a video and music producer, encountered Java in 1996 and was so impressed by its mechanism and philosophy that he decided to enter the world of programming.
“The concept of being open was appealing. A lot of developers, myself included, are romantics. I think many of them are attracted to the restriction-free structure of Java.”
Later, President Onaka developed video and music systems by using the Java Media Framework. CYBER VISION was born in the process.
President Onaka, who stresses the importance of imagination in programming, emphasizes that the Java framework is very useful in multimedia connectivity.
“We had a lot of problems with multimedia connectivity in C. With Java, though, all these problems are gone and we can write programs free of stress.”
Conventional programming languages like C and C++ require enormous amounts of money and time to fix bugs before completing the system. President Onaka explains the reason for this by using the Japanese language as an analogy. He says: “When you write in Japanese, you have the grammar and the rules for standardizing expressions. In C and other conventional programming languages, by contrast, the rules are very loose. Typically, multiple people take part in the development of a system, and that often results in a problematic situation in which, for example, you have a literal style mixed with a colloquial style in one article. This makes the program prone to bugs.”
In contrast, Java has strict rules to follow, which helps narrow where bugs may occur.
In addition, President Onaka cites the established interface with the conventional languages as another excellent feature of Java.
“Look at programming languages over a long span of time. If a programming language still remains in use after a certain period of time, it is the proof that the language has kept evolving in the right way. Those that stop evolving or cannot keep up with changes in the environment are certain to become obsolete,” thinks President Onaka, who expects that Java will become increasingly important in the future.
Having a high opinion of this programming language, he says, “It means a lot that Java is still around despite the tremendous changes that have taken place in the environment. Java has made me realize anew that, by gathering the knowledge and know-how of many people, you can create something remarkable even if it is incomplete at first.”
President Onaka also reveals his view on another aspect of programming, saying: “With the advent of the broadband society, we are now in a video-oriented age. So I think that an enhanced video framework will give a boost to the development of video systems.”
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