Table of Content
What is Java?
Java is a programming language released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. Yet, it's also a computing platform that helps develop and run programs. Java versions 17 and 19 are free for personal, and development uses. There are also paid subscriptions available if you want to receive extra support. You can find some kits and tools on this page. Now, let's take a closer look at the two sides of Java.
The Java Programming Language
As a programming language, Java works on the Work Once, Run Everywhere (WORA) theory. Moreover, it applies to both the front and back end. Also, it’s a compiled, general-purpose, class-based, and object-oriented language. Java is easy to use, robust, secure, platform-independent, multithreaded, and portable. That was a lot of adjectives, so let’s go over what some of these things mean:
Being compiled means that Java's conversion is directly into machine code. As a result, the relevant processor can execute this compilement.
This feature allows the concurrent execution of two or more program parts. In consequence, multithreaded programming maximizes CPU use.
Class-Based and Object-Oriented
In class-based programming languages, there are object classes to define inheritance. Meanwhile, object-oriented means that the program's organization is via collections of objects.
The Java Programming Platform
Regarding the computing platform, Java offers two main software products. These are the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK). First, the JRE includes an execution engine (Java Virtual Machine or JVM) and a set of libraries. Also, it has other components needed to run applets and applications written in Java. On its JDK, Java includes javac and other compilers and debuggers. Further, it encompasses a variety of tools to help develop those applets and applications.
What is Java used for?
Java is widely used to create these types of software:
What are Java's Features?
Java has many features and benefits. Some companies using Java include Spotify, Netflix, Google, Uber, and Slack. This section will go over those that make Java particularly popular. Further, this list will include it as a programming language and a computing platform.
The programming language is simple and easy to learn and use. This ease is due to Java's syntax being similar to that of the English language. As a result, Java is great for beginners and even easier for those with knowledge of C or C++.
As we’ve seen above, Java has a wide range of applications, from web apps to big data. Yet, Java is also interoperable with most other programming languages. Thanks to its suite of high-level concurrency tools and packages, devs can create scalable solutions.
The Java source code can run on any operating system. As long as the JRE is installed, you can run a Java program on any device.
The Java programming language has a robust community behind it. The community is quite active, ranking as the second-largest in StackOverflow. If you need help, you are bound to find a solution as someone will be more than happy to help you resolve any issues.
The Java platform already comes with excellent tools for compiling and debugging. Yet, it also has a whole array of IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) available. Some of the most popular Java IDEs include IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and Apache NetBeans. Other tools include JUnit and Jenkins for testing, Maven for PM, and Gradle for automation.
Lightweight programming languages can have one or many characteristics. These features include low memory usage, ease to use, and/or straightforwardness. Due to its low CPU usage and minimalistic syntax, JS is quite a lightweight language. Besides, it's also very easy to implement.
This is a type of high-level programming language where both types and values are dynamic. As a result, both concepts are available for change.
Interpreted programming languages will read the code during execution. Further, they will interpret it as they go. They do not need to compile the code into machine code.
● Mobile apps
● Server apps
● Virtual reality
● Data visualization
● Smartwatch apps
● Game development
● Booking systems
The language is both easy to understand and learn. Moreover, it doesn’t need an environment setup; a browser is all it takes to have it running.
As JS is an interpreted language, it does not need compilation. The fact that it's executable as soon as it’s written makes prototyping quite faster.
Below, we’ll go over four main elements that set these languages apart. We’ll also summarize these and some more differences at the end of this section.
Strongly-Typed vs. Dynamically-Typed
Class-Based vs. Prototype-Based
Java requires you to use classes. These classes are basically reusable templates to produce objects. Classes are needed to create an instance of a particular object, which means you have to wrap your code in a class. Inside the class declaration, you will have yet another function. When the class gets defined, these functions will be called. Only then do we specify what we want to happen. This means we end up with several lines of code.
It’s worth noting that JS has recently added similar class constructions. But, these are not as complex as the ones in Java. Even though Java takes longer to code in the beginning, it is less prone to bugs. In contrast, JS is more straightforward in the initial stages of coding. On the cons side, it can be more time-consuming when it comes to upkeep.
Compiled vs. Interpreted
Java is compiled, checking the code of an entire project and turning it into machine code all at the same time. This helps catch potential syntactical errors when compiling. Although the same can’t be said about logic errors, this is still a major plus.
Virtual Machine vs. Browser
Bonus: Programming vs. Scripting Languages
Java is very popular for Android applications. This language is also better suited for large-scale projects that rely on stability. Also, Java is big for general-purpose programming of hardware. For instance, for outcomes such as the Internet of Things. The main features to consider when choosing Java are that it can handle more data and computing. Further, it's also more stable and is widely used in IoT.