Remembering what the programming world was like in 1995 is no easy task. Object-oriented programming, for one, was an accepted but seldom practiced paradigm, with much of what passed as so-called object-oriented programs being little more than rebranded C code that used
>> instead of
class instead of
struct. The programs we wrote those days routinely dumped core due to pointer arithmetic errors or ran out of memory due to leaks. Source code could barely be ported between different versions of Unix. Running the same binary on different processors and operating systems was crazy talk.
Java changed all that. While platform-dependent, manually allocated, procedural C code will continue to be with us for the next 20 years at least, Java proved this was a choice, not a requirement. For the first time, we began writing real production code in a cross-platform, garbage-collected, object-oriented language; and we liked it ... millions of us. Languages that have come after Java, most notably C#, have had to clear the new higher bar for developer productivity that Java established.
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