How it works
The Web Page Triad
In late 1995, when Microsoft cottoned-on to the competitive threat the Web posed, the Internet Explorer project was started in an all-out attempt to wrestle control of the emerging platform from Netscape.
Sun began development of Java in 1990 in an attempt to write a language for “smart appliances”. This approach floundered and in 1994, Sun regrouped and set sights on the Web as the delivery platform of choice.
So the Netscape/Sun partnership meant Sun acquired the use of a competitive browser and a delivery system for their strategic technology.
Netscape, on the other hand found a powerful ally against Microsoft. They also aimed to out-manoeuvre Microsoft by being the official browser of the highly anticipated platform that was Java.
The unique circumstances of the birth of the language, including:
- the aforementioned marketing ploy,
- time-compressed initial development,
- a prejudice that development for the Web was not “serious”,
- the ubiquitous and “unbreakable” deployment environment (the Web), and
- the inclusion of language design elements unfamiliar to most developers