The Java technology is both a platform and a programming language. Java is considered a high level programming language. A high level programming language is a language with strong abstraction from the details of the computer that it’s running on.
Over 3 Billion devices are running Java. So why has Java become the most popular programming language in the world? Great question so let’s discuss some key traits of Java that make it the most popular programming language among programmers.
- Simple Objects – The fundamentals of the Java technology are easily understood by programmers, which promotes quick productivity. The Java programming language is designed to be object oriented from the ground up. In order to function within complex, network based environments, programming systems must adopt object oriented concepts. Java provides a clean and efficient object based development platform.
- Robust – The features of Java guide programmers towards reliable programming habits. The memory management model is extremely simple: objects are created with a new operator. There are no programmer defined pointer data types, no pointer arithmetic, and the garbage collecting is done in an automated fashion.
- Secure – With security features designed into the Java language and runtime system, Java technology lets you construct applications that can’t be invaded from outside.
- Portable – In order to accommodate the diversity of current operating environments, the Java Compiler generates bytecodes, which is an architecture neutral intermediate format designed to transport code efficiently to multiple platforms (hardware & software). The same Java programming language bytecodes will run on any platform. Java rightfully coined the phrase, “Write Once, Run Anywhere.”
- High Performance – The Java platform achieves outstanding performance by adopting a scheme by which the interpreter can run wide open without needing to check the runtime environment. The automatic garbage collector (GC) runs as a low priority background thread, better ensuring that memory is available when needed, which leads to better performance.
- Multi-Threaded – The Java technology boasts a multi-threaded capability, which provides the means to build applications with many concurrent threads running. Multi-threading results in a high degree of interactivity for the end user.
In Java programming, all of your source code is first written in plain text files ending with the .java extension. These source files are then compiled into .class files by the javac compiler.
The Java class file does not contain code that is native to your processor (platform), rather it instead contains bytecodes, which are the machine language of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The Java launcher runs your application with an instance of the Java Virtual Machine.
The following diagram is a visual representation of Java development process.
If you have the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) available on many different operating systems and platforms, you can have the same .class files capable of running on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and MAC. The image below using the starting Hello World program exemplifies the write once, run anywhere Java theme.
Have you caught the Java bug? Are you ready to start writing Java programs? Start by getting yourself a good Java programming book and then head over to the Java lessons that start from the beginning.