Long time ago, in 1995 Sun was claiming that targeting JavaVM would make programs independent of the operating system and that in turn would lead to liberation from Microsoft. At the same time Netscape was making similar claims, only talking about targeting the browser instead of JavaVM.
Sun and Netscape concluded that working together against Microsoft could increase the chance for success, so they formed an alliance. Sun at the time had their own browser HotJava, which was not very complete, but supported Java applets. In order to popularise the language, they wanted to add Java support to Netscape Navigator, which was dominating the browsers market at the time. Netscape agreed to adding Java to its browser and Sun agreed to drop HotJava. All well and good.
Meanwhile Brendan Eich from Netscape designed and implemented LiveScript. (This guy is my hero, he did it in mere 10 days.) Sun did not like it that much and wanted Nestcape to kill LiveScript, saying it would be embarrassing to have it around while they were claiming Java was the future. Netscape didn't want to do it for two reasons. First of all they wanted a language for beginners with a low barrier of entry. Secondly, they wanted to launch new version of their browser quickly, and Java at that point could communicate with the browser only through LiveConnect, which required LiveScript. Killing LiveScript would generate quite a bit of extra work and that in turn would mean delayed release, which Netscape could not afford.
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