The Java programming language can be used to develop platform-independent applications. All you need is a text editor, the Java SE Development Kit, and a Java runtime environment.
Of all programming languages, Java is probably one of the best known: The object-oriented programming language enables platform-independent applications to be developed. No special operating system is required to run the programs, just a software environment: The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Sun Microsystems.
Since the Java environment is pre-installed on most computers or users can download it free of charge from the Java website with just a few clicks, the potential target group is extensive. Accordingly, Java is the first choice as a programming language for platform-independent applications.
Java applications run under Windows and macOS, the various Linux and Unix derivatives, and even in the web browser - even on different processor substructures, whether x86, ARM, or PowerPC. Java is strongly based on C ++ and is therefore easy to learn for developers who have already dealt with this language.
The independence is realized by the Java Virtual Machine, which is part of the JRE: This virtual machine works in a similar way to a "real" operating system with its own libraries and routines. Due to the Java runtime environment, which is in turn, adapted to the respective host operating system, it is always the same.
Therefore, programming with Java means developing on a kind of "Java PC" with a "Java operating system" - regardless of whether it is actually a PC, Mac, server, or a mobile system. The source code - and also the compiled version in the form of a Java program in byte code - is identical on all platforms and is transferred from the Java VM to the respective hardware or software substructure on which the Java runtime environment is based transfer.
If you want to create a Java application, you need a text editor as well as the Java SE Development Kit (JDK) for compiling. The latter already includes the Java runtime environment JRE.
Java was created because C and C ++, which were the languages used in the mid-80s, were not totally convincing to address security issues. But they were the most used languages at that time. They are still the most common languages used today, which is why everyone who knew how to program knew C or C ++. Most programming languages are based on the syntax of these languages. This makes it easy for anyone who wanted to learn Java.
Java eliminates the least used functionalities by these languages and also the most confusing ones. This ensures that programming is simpler in Java by detaching the programmer from certain tedious tasks. Handling of pointers is one of the most outstanding characteristics that has been eliminated. This handling was done by the programmer in C, but Java itself manages this error.
Java uses the object-oriented paradigm. The object-oriented programming is the predominant paradigm nowadays. It allows building large systems of a modularized form so that they are easy to manage. Thereby, improving the quality of the systems and reducing the number of failed projects. This paradigm allows the reuse of code between different projects, which makes the implementation of certain previously programmed modules in a new system much simpler. This feature is one of the reasons why millions of programmers prefer Java to other programming languages.
As an object-oriented programming language (OOP), Java, like C ++, uses two components in programming: on the one hand, there is the actual programming code with the integrated functions. On the other hand, there are data elements (objects).
This separation into objects and object classes and the actual operations make programming significantly easier: objects and classes that have been created once can be reused at any time. By default, Java provides several familiar objects and classes, so-called standard objects, in the virtual machine, including libraries for graphics or sound output, passed on from the runtime environment to the respective base system.
The next advantage of Java is obvious: The virtual Java machine's basis ensures that the program code created once runs in every version of the same or newer Java VM. As a result, developers only have to make one program version without paying attention to the underlying operating system. A Java program that has been created once runs platform-independently on every system on which the Java runtime environment is installed. And since web browsers also use Java, nothing stands in the way of using it as a web application.
As an independent program within the Java runtime environment, the automatic memory management (garbage collection) regularly checks whether occupied memory areas are still needed and clears them if necessary. The developer does not have to worry about implementing the corresponding routines. Which then brings to light a disadvantage of Java programming.
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