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Re: What Java did right (was Re: Y Store now C++)

Neel Krishnaswami <neelk@alum.mit.edu> writes:

> Sundar Narasimhan writes:
> > 
> > There are problems that I had in 94-95 that were not solved by
> > languages that were available then -- as there are today. Some of
> > them I could paper over with JNI calling fortran or C. And many of
> > the languages that people discuss on this list weren't around in the
> > time frame I'm talking about. I am saying I've talked to people who
> > made decisions to adopt Java in their work, and that they seemed
> > intelligent and not the kind to be swayed by marketing hype alone..
> In your opinion, what did Java's designers do right, to persuade
> people to use it?

People use different operating systems, speak different languages and want
(reasonably reliable and secure) applications that can do more than read from
and write to files. Programmers need better error handling and abstraction
facilities than C, but prefer something that still looks reasonably
similar. They also need (to create) API documentation and libraries.

AFAIK Java offered more far more combined infrastructure to accomodate these
needs than other languages at the same time (plus, I guess, applets also
seemed like good idea).

> I mean this as a serious question; languages like Perl, Java, and
> Javascript are obviously successful, and it seems worthwhile to figure
> out what makes them so.

Perl allowed you to do sysadmin-type things much more effectively than sed,
awk, sh and C and combinations thereof (especially across different unices)
while letting you leverage preexisting skills in these languages.

Javascript had a monopoly (the only language for html document fiddling on the
de facto only browser) and was not too unusable or unfamiliar looking to catch