You always wondered: Duke, the Java Mascot #Java #Duke @Oracle
Have you ever wondered what Duke the Java Mascot is? Is it a red-nosed Starfleet communicator badge or a canine tooth? And why don’t we see much of him anymore?
Here’s some of our efforts to find out.
According to JaxEnter and Oracle, Duke was initially designed to represent a “software agent” that performed tasks for the user. “Duke was the interactive host that enabled a new type of user interface that went beyond the buttons, mice, and pop-up menus of the desktop computing world”.
Sun Microsystems’ Green Project team created its first working demo that featured Duke, the star of their touch-screen user interface. The interactive handheld home entertainment controller was called the Star7.
Joe Palrang is the man you can thank for spawning the blob-like Duke, who went on to work for DreamWorks on animated films like Shrek, Antz and Flushed Away. During his time at Sun, Palrang was the Art Director for demo animation/applications, as well as for initial Java technology.
Per Java.net records, “Duke was instantly embraced”, and the mascot peaked in terms of what he could become. There was a comic made about him! ‘The Amazing Adventures of Duke‘ was released in 1996, where he became “the Net’s Smoothest Code Man”. Per all of this, Duke is male.
In 2006, the graphic specifications for Duke were open-sourced under a BSD license. This means anyone is able to play around with his likeness per duke.kenai.com (now closed). The creations that followed were weird and wonderful:
A T-shirt design featuring Duke riding the Great Wave off Kanagawa
Duke mourning the death of Sun Microsystems with his mate Tux, the Linux Mascot
Duke taking on Godzilla, because Godzilla hates Java
Duke snorkelling, even though he doesn’t even have eyes or a mouth
Duke and Tux together again, this time sword fighting some paperclip warriors who are faithful to the almighty Clippy
What are your Duke remembrances and thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
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