Java was first released in mid-1995, just 6 months before JS.

By 98, when I went to college, Java was already used for all the first level courses in the CS program.

How did it catch on so quickly (just 3 years) to shift university curriculum, which is usually so slow/behind?

I wonder why Java was so respected and JS was not? Why/how was Java already seen as such a stable and mature language?

Not just Java, other languages (like python) were also released around/near 95, and also seemed to get to "mature" respect status. much quicker.
I bring all this up because my impression of Java in 98 was that it had been around "forever" (as had C++ first developed in 79, but not standardized until 98!), but that's not. true at all. These were all new languages around the same time.
I'm sure the language designs had different merits, and the target applications meant a different perception and reception, but...

it sure seems like the industry (and academics) just decided Java and C++ were the stable mature ones and langs like JS were toys.
BTW, before you assume JS was nascent/immature b/c the web wasn't much of a thing yet, remember that JS was actually released as LiveScript on the server before it was released in a browser. So "server-side JS" was always part of the story, not just Node 15 years later in 2009.
Why didn't "we" push JS on the server the way Java and C++ were pushed in that space?

Why wouldn't a university consider teaching JS alongside Java and C++ (and python), given they were all roughly the same age?
My point is, technologies and ideas don't always win on merits the way we hope/claim. More often than we admit, we just pick winners based on less tangible things like marketing.
There's a lot of tech (frameworks, tools, etc) floating around that are just as mature/stable/useful as the hyped bandwagon stuff, just without the huge community, fancy logos, conferences, and big corporate backers.

They're the "Java" and "C++" of today. They've been chosen.
Through a variety of intentional and accidental effects (like marketing), they're the "winners" right now.

But a lot of equally worthy candidates are floating around waiting for their moment (which may or may not ever come).
Are there any "toys" (tech that's not respected) right now that might accidentally end up ruling the world 25 years from now? What would you place your long-future bets on?

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Recently, the @CNIL issued a decision regarding the GDPR compliance of an unknown French adtech company named "Vectaury". It may seem like small fry, but the decision has potential wide-ranging impacts for Google, the IAB framework, and today's adtech. It's thread time! 👇

It's all in French, but if you're up for it you can read:
• Their blog post (lacks the most interesting details):
https://t.co/PHkDcOT1hy
• Their high-level legal decision: https://t.co/hwpiEvjodt
• The full notification: https://t.co/QQB7rfynha

I've read it so you needn't!

Vectaury was collecting geolocation data in order to create profiles (eg. people who often go to this or that type of shop) so as to power ad targeting. They operate through embedded SDKs and ad bidding, making them invisible to users.

The @CNIL notes that profiling based off of geolocation presents particular risks since it reveals people's movements and habits. As risky, the processing requires consent — this will be the heart of their assessment.

Interesting point: they justify the decision in part because of how many people COULD be targeted in this way (rather than how many have — though they note that too). Because it's on a phone, and many have phones, it is considered large-scale processing no matter what.
I like this heuristic, and have a few which are similar in intent to it:


Hiring efficiency:

How long does it take, measured from initial expression of interest through offer of employment signed, for a typical candidate cold inbounding to the company?

What is the *theoretical minimum* for *any* candidate?

How long does it take, as a developer newly hired at the company:

* To get a fully credentialed machine issued to you
* To get a fully functional development environment on that machine which could push code to production immediately
* To solo ship one material quanta of work

How long does it take, from first idea floated to "It's on the Internet", to create a piece of marketing collateral.

(For bonus points: break down by ambitiousness / form factor.)

How many people have to say yes to do something which is clearly worth doing which costs $5,000 / $15,000 / $250,000 and has never been done before.