Java is a general-purpose programming language that is class-based, object-oriented,
and designed to have as few implementation
dependencies as possible.
It is intended to let application developers write once, run anywhere (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation.
Java was originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems (which has since been acquired by Oracle) and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The original and reference implementation Java compilers, virtual machines, and class libraries were originally released by Sun under proprietary licenses.
As of May 2007, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, Sun had relicensed most of its Java technologies under the GNU General Public License. Meanwhile, others have developed alternative implementations of these Sun technologies, such as the GNU Compiler for Java (bytecode compiler), GNU Classpath (standard libraries), and Iced Tea Web(browser plugin for applets).