Java is one of the world's most important and widely used computer languages, and it has held this distinction for many years. Unlike some other computer languages whose influence has weared with passage of time, while Java's has grown.
As of 2015, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in use, particularly for client-server web applications, with a reported 9 million developers using and working on it.
James Gosling initiated the Java language project in June 1991 for use in one of his many set-top box projects. The language, initially called Oak after an oak tree that stood outside Gosling's office, also went by the name Green and ended up later being renamed as Java, from a list of random words.
Sun released the first public implementation as Java 1.0 in 1995. It promised Write Once, Run Anywhere(WORA), providing no-cost run-times on popular platforms.
On 13 November 2006, Sun released much of Java as free and open source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
On 8 May 2007, Sun finished the process, making all of Java's core code free and open-source, aside from a small portion of code to which Sun did not hold the copyright.