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Dart vs Swift: What are the differences?

Dart: A new web programming language with libraries, a virtual machine, and tools. Dart is a cohesive, scalable platform for building apps that run on the web (where you can use Polymer) or on servers (such as with Google Cloud Platform). Use the Dart language, libraries, and tools to write anything from simple scripts to full-featured apps; Swift: An innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

Dart and Swift can be categorized as "Languages" tools.

"Backed by Google" is the top reason why over 19 developers like Dart, while over 241 developers mention "Ios" as the leading cause for choosing Swift.

Swift is an open source tool with 48.4K GitHub stars and 7.76K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Swift's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, 9GAG, and Asana are some of the popular companies that use Swift, whereas Dart is used by Google, Blossom, and WorkTrail. Swift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 993 company stacks & 541 developers stacks; compared to Dart, which is listed in 19 company stacks and 78 developer stacks.

Advice on Dart and Swift
Hüseyin Acebet
Needs advice
on
SwiftSwiftPythonPython
and
FlutterFlutter

Hello, I am still a student and would like to ask a question. Currently, I am developing in mobile development with Flutter in the frontend and Python in the backend part. Right now I have to make a choice about developing a mobile app or developing a backend to progress more professionally. My questions are as follows:

1) If I prefer the mobile application area, will I only work with the Ui/Ux developer with the front-end and code the designs in Swift Kotlin languages, am I responsible for the back-end software?

2) I have a product that generates new ideas so I like to control the development and work there because the backend is the brain, but are they independent from each other in the backend mobile application? Is the mobile app developer responsible for the backend software?

3) I don't like graphic design because I don't like it if it's not perfect and I get stressed. Am I responsible for the graphic design in the mobile app?

4) Is a mobile app developer also a backend developer?

I know these are very simple questions, but they are very important to me. Thanks for your answers.

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Replies (2)
Benjamín Cáceres
Software Developer at Empirica Consultores · | 3 upvotes · 1.3K views
Recommends

Hi Hüseyin! 1-2) In my experience If you are a Mobile Applications Developer you will have the following responsabilities: - Develop (not designing) both functionality and screens of the app you are working - Consume (not develop) third party or self company owned APIs or Backend services - Distribution tasks. - Mantainance tasks. Now, there will always be companies wishing you know the whole thing (ui/ux, backend, frontend, mobile, cd/ci, data science, etc.). And of course it will be helpful for you to know a little bit of the stuff around mobile development, but it's not very common since it's not part of the responsabilities of a mobile app dev.

3) No, you are not responsable for the designs of your application, that's why companies have Product designers, ux designers, ui designers for preparing the screens, logos, color palettes, etc for products. As a developer your job is to see and examine the designs and take them from Figma, InVision, Zeplin, etc to the Code editor.

4) This is the thing, if you are working as a Mobile Developer you might know about Mobile development, not backend, not frontend, not ui ux. BUT if you know a little about backend that might be helpful although backend should not be your responsability.

I hope this makes sense to you. Cheers!

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Preeti Yuankrathok
Software Consultant at CODIUM · | 1 upvotes · 918 views
Recommends

Hi! I think most of your questions led to these answers:

  • Mobile software developers don't responsible for the back-end part, or even graphic design. Of course, the back-end part should be done by a back-end developer. The graphic design, I'd say that if you work on a start-up, you might be the one who does since there isn't much manpower there, but in the larger company, they would have a designer especially in UI/UX. You'll have a mockup for the application that you need to follow. As a developer, you're expected to code, not design.

  • I've said that the responsibility isn't yours, but of course, you'll have an advantage over others if you know UI/UX, or back-end as well. That would help you a lot to be a good mobile developer.

Good luck!

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Adit Patel
Needs advice
on
SwiftSwift
and
RustRust

Hey there, we are looking to develop our own layer 1 blockchain. We're splitting the responsibilities for origination, clearing, and settlement across three independent but cooperating node networks. We've gotten our Proof of Concept up using Ruby on Rails for the nodes, you can see it as the attached link. So far, so good. Now we are looking to convert it into a distributable and are trying to figure out which language is the best for this.

Essentially our needs from the language are: solid networking tools and speed, very fast execution of basic actions, some parallel execution, and able to compile the end product into an easy to distribute and use package for end users.

I was learning Rust, but I have a healthy amount of experience with Swift and right now, it's only me coding. I've only done iOS coding, but have built a fintech app from scratch that's now in the app store so I'm pretty familiar with the language and its benefits. Haven't experimented with Vapor or any of the application development tools, and I wanted to know if it is a crazy idea to develop a blockchain node in Swift instead.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
RustRust

Pick Rust. Rust can provide all what you need and has been a major language in blockchain/cryptocurrency industry. Swift is slower than Rust and does not have such support in the networking and domain field. Swift tooling is great only on macOS, therefore you are likely to have troubles on other platforms.

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Peter Suwara
Director at Realityworks · | 5 upvotes · 32.2K views
Recommends
SwiftSwiftGoGoC++C++

You can use swift of course. It’s more of a question of being performant.

You really want to try some basic operations and find what’s most performant for you.

Rust is wonderful for cloud applications requiring heavy concurrency, it has compile time checking for such things.

Go and C++ could be more performant in your case. Swift is really quite an obtuse language, with a lot of features, some which may complicate your implementation.

Also, you want to consider the market of developers who could help build it. If you use Go or C++ there is a larger collection of people who know the languages than there is with swift.

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Needs advice
on
SwiftSwiftReactReact
and
JavaScriptJavaScript

Hey guys, I learned the basics (OOP, data structures & some algorithms) with Python, but now I want to learn iOS development. I am considering to learn Swift, but I am afraid how the native mobile development will die out because of the cross-platform frameworks and reviews. My idea is to learn web development first and then learn React Native, and after all of that, finally Swift. What do you think about this roadmap? Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?

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Replies (7)
Recommends
SwiftSwift

Native apps are not going to die. Especially not Swift because now Swift can be used to develop cross platform macOS and iOS apps due to the new macs having M1 chips.

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Recommends
SwiftSwift

If asking about employment opportunities, native will never die out. There will always be opportunity for work in native mobile applications. There are also many advantages of using native over cross platform such as always having access to the latest APIs and developer libraries that may not be available to cross-platform without some native development involved or can wait until someone develops a bridge for you.

If you are asking about what you should develop with first? It really depends. React-Native is great for building proto-types or basic MVP application that doesn't require any of the latest and greatest features Apple has to offer at the moment. But if you're asking what to learn? I would say native will always give you a larger advantage as it will give you a good foundation in mobile development and provide you access to the latest native libraries. It is also a useful skill that can give you an edge in cross-platform mobile like react-native because you will most definitely encounter a situation where you will have to go down to the to native side to extend functionality or utilize APIs that are not yet out of the box.

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The decision comes down to your goals and needs.

If you want to be able to create any kind of iOS app, simple or complex, learn Swift. It's indispensable if you're building specialised apps like video editing, augmented reality, machine learning or anything that uses iOS-specific APIs such as App Clips.

But if you just want to create apps that make HTTP requests and display static content such as text or basic video and music, React Native would do just fine, and you can publish the same code to Android. This is a no-brainer choice if you're on a low budget.

And if you know both, you can use both in the same app. You can add React Native screens or components inside a Swift app.

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Recommends
SwiftSwift

I would suggest to bet more on Swift! I have developed act in React and Javascript in the past and played around with Swift a little... the performances of native code vs Javascript are way too slow compared to swift native app!

Now even more than ever M1 chip will give a boost, but if it gives a boost to JS it will give a boost also to native apps. I would seriously consider Swift more than Javascript, React or even Electron!

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 4 upvotes · 24.9K views

"Should I just learn Swift first due to the pros of the native apps?". React Native builds Native Apps. Technologies like ionic does NOT build native apps, but React Native does it.

Learning Swift seems to be a really bad idea from my point of view. Learning JavaScript is all what you need. Why? Because then Frontend, Backend, and Mobile Dev, is simple, because it's all JavaScript.

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Carlos Iglesias
Recommends

Mobile Native Development Apps will never die. Cross Plataform like React Native only exists to save time and costs for startups mainly, which is extraordinary, and indispensable often of course. But when the App get popular enough, it will probably will move to Native Development. Several improvements.

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Recommends
ReactReactJavaScriptJavaScript

Less than 20% of the market is IOS, the rest is Android. Any developer must produce for Android and maybe support IOS. If you prototype on IOS you have to restart again for Android. React and JavaScript will run on IOS.

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Needs advice
on
KotlinKotlin
and
DartDart

Can anyone help me decide what's best for app development or even android Oreo development? I'm in a state dilemma at the moment. I want to do Android programming, not necessarily web development. I have heard a lot of people recommend one of these, and it seems that both the tools can do the job. Which language would you choose?

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Replies (4)
Ondrej Malek
Recommends
DartDart

I assume that you mean Flutter by Dart. I have over 6 years experience programming in Android SDK, but about 1,5 month in Flutter. So far I think that Flutter is the future for mobile development. Flutter SDK is much better designed. Ecosystem of libraries seems having much higher quality. I would even say that android opensource libs are having really poor quality. Many times I am wondering how can garbage like that have so many stars at GitHub. Android SDK is hard to compose so you reinvent even basic things on and on, which is totally different story at Flutter. Lolcycle? Both are having good documentation. I quess apps in Flutter can be done in 1/3 of time compared to develop AndroidSDK and iOS, its design is that much better and contemporary. As of language comparison - Kotlin is better, but the difference is not that important. Go from one language to other is no problem. Dart is being updated with new features.

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Recommends
DartDart

I've selected Flutter and Dart for my side projects and never regretted. Dart learning curve is easy after any OOP language . Flutter as a framework is also has a low entry threshold. I've already started development after a week of learning. Pros for me: code can be build for Android and IOS devices (for ios you need mac or VM), apps written in Dart have great performance on each of these platforms, flexibility. Cons: if you want to build a product as a business and want to hire a new Flutter Developer in the future it can be a problem as the framework and language is not popular for the moment.

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Tran Phuc
CTO at Nextfunc Co., Ltd · | 3 upvotes · 131.7K views
Recommends
DartDart

I have worked in mobile development since 2010. I have experienced myself on various techs including Native SDK (Android), React Native (from 2016) and Flutter (2018). Almost the apps nowadays can be built using cross-platforms frameworks like React Native or Flutter. I suggest you start with Flutter. Flutter SDK is designed well to speed up your development and it still keeps the quality for your apps. If you're familiar with OOP languages (Java, C#...), switching to Dart is really quick and easy. Of course, sometimes you will need to dive deep into native parts but almost the cases you don't need. Good luck!

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Ranjeet Sinha
Senior Software Engineer · | 3 upvotes · 131.7K views
Recommends
KotlinKotlin

It depends on what is the purpose of your app development. Do you want to make one app that shares the codebase for both iOS and Android? If yes, then Dart is the way to go. Does your app include interacting with hardware features like camera, Bluetooth, if yes, then go for native Android for better performance? Dart is good for simpler UI apps where you just do basic crud operations over the network and show data but if you need richer UI experience go with native.

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Needs advice
on
JavaScriptJavaScriptDjangoDjango
and
DartDart

I am currently learning web development with Python and JavaScript course by CS50 Harvard university. It covers python, Flask, Django, SQL, Travis CI, javascript,HTML ,CSS and more. I am very interested in Flutter app development. Can I know what is the difference between learning these above-mentioned frameworks vs learning flutter directly? I am planning to learn flutter so that I can do both web development and app development. Are there any perks of learning these frameworks before flutter?

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Replies (5)
Recommends
Node.jsNode.js

Hey Muhamed, For web development, you'll have to learn how to write backend APIs and how to build UI for browsers, apps, etc. If you're just starting off with programming, I'd suggest you stick to one language and trying developing everything using it to cut the unnecessary learning overhead. Although Python and JavaScript are very similar for beginners, JavaScript is the only available option for both frontend and backend development for a web application. You can start working with Node.js for your API development and Vanilla JS along with HTML/CSS for UI. You'll only need to learn one language to do all of this. Hope this helps.

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Dennis Barzanoff
Recommends
DartDart

Flutter is good for everything and it is getting better as I am speaking. Flutter Web is almost ready for production and I have made 2 complex working websites already.

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Yohnathan Carletti
Senior Technical Product Manager · | 3 upvotes · 119.6K views
Recommends
DartDart

From a management and hiring perspective, I recommend Flutter (Dart). It provides native solutions to both mobile platform ( (Android and IOS) while having the same knowledge. Hiring managers look at this as an advantage since a developer can provide solutions for both platforms whit the same knowledge. The Flutter framework is growing and there is a lot of resources to ground your knowledge and start experimenting. Dart is also a great language that covers most E2E necessities, so again, no further need of learning one language for FE and another for BE and services. It is my belief that Dart will surpass Kotlin soon, and will leverage to Python and Java in the upcoming year.

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Recommends
DartDart

Well. Flutter is just a Framework (just like Django btw.) and it uses Dart as a programming language. Django is kind of solving a different problem than Dart. Dart is intened for use in Front End Applications and Django is a Framework for Back-End Web Development.

So if you want to program Flutter Apps (although i wouldn't recommend it for any serious web development yet since Flutter web isn't very mature yet) i would recommend you just lern Dart.

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Recommends
DartDart

If you are interested in Flutter, learn it on your own time, parallel to the course. No matter what order you do them, eventually you will end up learning them all anyway ;-)

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Decisions about Dart and Swift
James Bender
Lead Application Architect at TekPartners · | 5 upvotes · 6.5K views

I've yet to see a non-native application that I felt performed as well and/or provided the same user experience with Cordova/PhoneGap/Xamarin. Frankly, at best they all seemed like underpowered web applications deployed to a sandbox that ran on a phone. They didn't feel "slick" or "mobile-first" and in some cases the performance was unacceptable. At previous companies, we built a few of these apps at the client's insistence, and in every case, they re-engaged us about 18 months later to re-write the app(s) natively.

We are doing some research on React Native and Flutter, but I am not yet convinced that they can provide the same level of experience and performance as native, though I am trying to keep an open mind.

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Ismael Ghanim
Senior Mobile Engineer at Homecoming · | 5 upvotes · 46.8K views

We chose React Native over native Android and iOS development because of React Native's cross-platform capabilities. React Native has really matured over the years, developing a native feel, with simple and intuitive APIs. The community is also huge, filling in any gaps in the default APIs. These are also the reasons why we didn't choose other hybrid mobile tools. Largely, other hybrid mobile tools don't have the same mobile feel and close connection to the underlying mobile APIs.

At a larger scale, the control that native development offers beats React Native's simplicity. However, at this early stage, it's worth the trade-off. Maintaining two mobile teams and two mobile apps, as we iterate the product rapidly would not be practical. Plus, there is always the escape hatch of native modules if more control is needed.

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Gabor Galazzo

As a startup, we need the maximum flexibility and the ability to reach our customers in a more suitable way. So a hybrid application approach is the best because it allows you to develop a cross-platform application in a unique codebase. The choice behind Ionic is Angular, I think that angular is the best framework to develop a complex application that needs a lot of service interaction, its modularity forces you (the developer) to write the code in the correct way, so it can be maintainable and reusable.

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Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 7 upvotes · 50.3K views

Expo was a tool Macombey really wanted to utilize from the beginning. I have been working with React Native since 2016 and originally I had to use simulators in Xcode, install pods on top of node packages, configure certificates, and more abundant objectives that take time away from actual development. As a development studio, we have to move quick and get projects to our clients and partners in a matter of months.

Expo made this easy for us. We now have a mobile app for clients to download and test their project on, there is no need to install pods or configure Xcode, and development is super fast and reliable now.

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Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 8 upvotes · 139.8K views

JavaScript is at the forefront of our entire development approach. Not only do we use different JavaScript frameworks and management tools, but we also use pure vanilla JavaScript to solve simple problems throughout all of our client's builds. JavaScript is a general purpose programming language that can be blazing fast and fun to work with. There's not one project we are working on that doesn't involve it.

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Noel Broda
Founder, CEO, CTO at NoFilter · | 5 upvotes · 118.7K views

1 code deploys for both: Android and iOS. There is a huge community behind React Native. And one of the best things is Expo. Expo uses React Native to make everything even more and more simple. Awesome technologies. Some other important thing is that while using React Native, you are reusing all JavaScript knowledge you have in your team. You can move easily a frontend dev to develop mobile applications.

A huge PRO of Expo, is that it includes a full building process. You run 1 line in the terminal, and 10 minutes after you have 2 builds done. Double check EAS Expo.

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Pros of Dart
Pros of Swift
  • 52
    Backed by Google
  • 46
    Flutter
  • 37
    Twice the speed of Javascript
  • 32
    Great tools
  • 28
    Scalable
  • 24
    Open source
  • 22
    Made for the future
  • 22
    Can be used on Frontend
  • 21
    Angular Dart
  • 21
    Polymer Dart
  • 16
    Cross platform
  • 14
    Like Java
  • 12
    Dartanalyzer
  • 11
    Easy to learn
  • 11
    Runs on Google Cloud Platform
  • 8
    Amazing concurrency primitives
  • 7
    Easy to Understand
  • 7
    Is to JS what C is to ASM
  • 4
    Flutter works with darts
  • 2
    R
  • 2
    Can run Dart in AWS Lambda
  • 251
    Ios
  • 176
    Elegant
  • 124
    Not Objective-C
  • 105
    Backed by apple
  • 91
    Type inference
  • 60
    Generics
  • 54
    Playgrounds
  • 49
    Semicolon free
  • 39
    OSX
  • 35
    Tuples offer compound variables
  • 24
    Easy to learn
  • 23
    Clean Syntax
  • 21
    Open Source
  • 20
    Functional
  • 19
    Beautiful Code
  • 11
    Linux
  • 11
    Dynamic
  • 10
    Promotes safe, readable code
  • 9
    Protocol-oriented programming
  • 8
    Explicit optionals
  • 8
    No S-l-o-w JVM
  • 6
    Storyboard designer
  • 5
    Best UI concept
  • 5
    Optionals
  • 5
    Type safety
  • 5
    Super addicting language, great people, open, elegant
  • 4
    Its friendly
  • 4
    Powerful
  • 4
    Fail-safe
  • 4
    Highly Readable codes
  • 4
    Faster and looks better
  • 4
    Swift is faster than Objective-C
  • 4
    Feels like a better C++
  • 3
    Its fun and damn fast
  • 3
    Easy to learn and work
  • 3
    Much more fun
  • 3
    Protocol extensions
  • 3
    Native
  • 3
    Strong Type safety
  • 3
    Easy to Maintain
  • 2
    Protocol oriented programming
  • 2
    Esay
  • 2
    MacOS
  • 2
    Type Safe
  • 2
    All Cons C# and Java Swift Already has
  • 2
    Protocol as type
  • 1
    Actually don't have to own a mac
  • 1
    Can interface with C easily
  • 1
    Numbers with underbar
  • 1
    Optional chain
  • 1
    Runs Python 8 times faster
  • 1
    Free from Memory Leak
  • 1
    Swift is easier to understand for non-iOS developers.
  • 1
    Great for Multi-Threaded Programming
  • 1
    Objec

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Cons of Dart
Cons of Swift
  • 3
    Lack of ORM
  • 3
    Locked in - JS or TS interop is very hard to accomplish
  • 0
    A
  • 5
    Must own a mac
  • 2
    Memory leaks are not uncommon
  • 1
    Its classes compile to roughly 300 lines of assembly
  • 1
    Complicated process for exporting modules
  • 1
    Very irritatingly picky about things that’s
  • 1
    Is a lot more effort than lua to make simple functions
  • 0
    Overly complex options makes it easy to create bad code

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What is Dart?

Dart is a cohesive, scalable platform for building apps that run on the web (where you can use Polymer) or on servers (such as with Google Cloud Platform). Use the Dart language, libraries, and tools to write anything from simple scripts to full-featured apps.

What is Swift?

Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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What are some alternatives to Dart and Swift?
TypeScript
TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
JavaScript
JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
Kotlin
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
Java
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
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