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JavaScript Isn't Java

Despite the name, JavaScript and Java have almost nothing to do with one another. Java is a full-featured programming language developed and marketed by Sun Microsystems. With Java, a descendant of the C and C++ programming languages, programmers can create entire applications and control-consumer electronic devices. Unlike other languages, Java holds out the promise of cross-platform compatibility, that is, a-programmer should be able to write one Java program that could then run on any kind of machine, whether that machine is running Windows, the Mac OS, or Unix. In practice, Java hasn't fully realized that dream, due in no small part to bickering between Sun and Microsoft as to the direction of the language. Microsoft got involved because they first wanted to integrate Java into Windows in their own way (a way that Sun says would make Java work one way on Windows, and another way on other machines, thereby defeating Java's main purpose), then Microsoft dropped Java from Windows altogether, after creating their own Java-like language, C#. As this book goes to press, a U.S. court has ruled that Microsoft improperly removed Java from Windows and has ordered that Java be returned.


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