What is Java


Java is a computer programming language that was originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems; Java 1.0 (the first public version) was released in 1995. As of 2014, Java is developed by the Oracle Corporation. Java is an object orientated programming language, and is a popular programming language for developing Web based applications.

Java is a 'class-based' style of object orientated programming: objects are defined into 'classes', rather than defining the objects individually. Java applications are portable and computer architecture neutral: due to the 'bytecode' being typically compiled into a 'class file' (applet for example) which can be run upon any JVM (Java virtual machine).

A JVM (Java virtual machine) is an execution engine which interupts bytecode (compiled Java binary code) for a computer's processor; so that is can perform and run the Java program on a variety of computer architectures. Sun Microsystems estimated that there are billions are devices which are enabled with a JVM (Java virtual machine).

Some of the key features of Java are that it is:

  • Computer architecture neutral
  • Object oriented
  • Portable
  • Distributed
  • High performance
  • Multithreaded
  • Dynamic
  • Secure

Java is a cross-platform object-orientated programming language, and is compatible with:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • MacOS

Java was developed with the philosophy of being computer architecture neutral,and being compliant with the Sun Microsystem slogan for Java: "Write Once, Run Anywhere". Ideally Java bytecode should be compiled so that it can be run on any device which supports a JVM (Java virtual machine). It is common practice (as of 2014) for most software packages and hardware devices to install a JVM.

One issue which has arised is that there are numerous JVM installations; each which varies slightly in relation to the platform they are installed upon. When a Java program is run upon each, it may perform slightly differently, and can result in Java programs needing to be debugged. For this reason, cross-platform programming languages (like Java) are criticised: due to the subtle errors and bugs which can be produced.

The syntax of the Java programming language is similar to C and C++ - Java syntax is generally considered to have evolved/derived from C++ syntax - but differs in the fact that Java is an object orientated programming language and all program code is an object and is written within 'classes'.

Java FAQ

 

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