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The lingua franca of the world, and an ancestor of Java (in spirit if not flesh), is BASIC. Functionally, it is identical.

Wrong on both counts.

A Java VM is a virtual machine, and it's ancestor in spirit is the Pascal p-machine and p-code. Programmers write apps in Java (or Pascal), compile that code to Java bytecode (or P-code), and execute that code on a Java VM (or P-machine).

In essence, the language designers invented a CPU which only existed in the virtual machine, but not in the real world.

Both Java and Pascal are compiled languages, and functionally are very different from the interpreted BASIC of years ago. The big problem with BASIC was that virtually every implementation varied slightly. Even Microsoft BASIC wasn't a standard — apps written in Microsoft BASIC on PC-DOS wouldn't run in Microsoft BASIC on the Altair, nor on an Apple II.

I programmed in BASIC on a DEC PDP 11-/70, the IBM PC, the Apple II, Commodore 64 and the Atari 800. I can't think of a single BASIC app from one of those machines that could run unmodified on on of the others.
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