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Java is an object-oriented applications programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode, although compilation to native machine code is also possible. At runtime, bytecode is usually either interpreted or compiled to native code for execution, although direct hardware execution of bytecode by a Java processor is also possible. The Java Runtime Environment or JRE is the software required to run any application deployed on the Java Platform. End-users commonly use a JRE in software packages and Web browser plugins. One important characteristic of Java is it's platform independence, which means that programs written in the Java language must run similarly on any supported hardware/operating-system platform. One should be able to write a program once, compile it once, and run it anywhere. JavaScript, a scripting language, shares a similar name and has similar syntax, but is not directly related to Java. Sun Microsystems provides a GNU General Public License implementation of a Java compiler and Java virtual machine, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, although the class library that is required to run Java programs is not free software. The release of the complete source code under GPL is expected in 2007.