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Java

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Java, the general-purpose programming language is one of the most prominent developments in terms of communication and the World Wide Web. It also represents one of Alberta's numerous ties to advanced computer and communications technology.

The Problem

Duke, the Java MascotIn 1991, Sun Microsystems in California knew they had a serious problem. Top developers within its programming team were threatening to quit due to the increasing number of devices that Sun supported.  The problem was not the devices themselves but the differences in platforms they had to deal with when programming. There was no common platform, and thus each computer or electronic device often had its own individual hardware or software system. Worse, different platforms often used different programming languages. Without a single interconnecting language, electronic devices could not communicate or share information with one another.

This was a problem that affected the entire computing and electronics industry. Tiny, inexpensive computer controls were built into everything from cars to microwaves and due to platform differences, they were incapable of communicating with each other. James Gosling, a Sun Microsystems developer, recognized a huge potential market. Gosling had been with the company since 1984, after growing up near Calgary and receiving a bachelor of computing science degree from the University of Calgary.

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