The Java Version Almanac
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Pre Java 1.0

Some early implementations and specification can be found in the Internet which can be considered as predecessors of Java 1.0.

If you have any additional materials (implementations, source code or specification) please get in touch. In particular I would be interested in the original Oak implementation.

1993 Oak

The initial working title for project which resulted in today’s Java was Oak. The following language specifications are available from that time:

Year Document
1993 Oak Specification
1994 Oak Language Specification

1995 Java Announcement and HotJava

Java was officially announced on 1995/05/23 at the SunWorld ‘95 convention in San Fransico. This is often referred to as the birth date of Java.


The first publicly available Java implementation was part of the HotJava browser. From the original documentation:

HotJava(tm) is a prototype of a World-Wide Web browser with the unique feature that it displays “executable content” written in the Java programming language.

The HotJava distributions contained the respective Java class libraries in source code:

Version Date Documentation Download
1.0 Alpha2 1995/03/34 All - API - Lang hotjava-alpha2.tar.z
1.0 Alpha3 1995/05/19 All - API - Lang hotjava-alpha3.tar.z

If you want to install and run the above downloads please make sure that the system requirements are fulfilled: