An Introduction To Java: Your Top 5 Questions Answered

anintroductiontojavaJava is a big player in the programming world. So, if you are an aspiring programmer or web developer, you should have a solid handle on Java basics. Here is a quick introduction to the most important Java information.

What is Java?

In essence, Java is two things. First, Java is a programming and computing platform. Sun Microsystems first released it in 1995. Today, it is widely used in a variety of different websites. In fact, numerous applications and websites simply will not run unless you have Java installed.

Java is simpler to use than other programming languages, like C++, in part because it uses an object-oriented programming model. In object-oriented programming, concepts are represented as “objects” that have data fields and associated methods. In object-oriented programming, models called “objects” represent either a programming entity or an abstract project. Although, they are assembled independently of one another, all of these objects together form a whole piece of software. In Java, these “objects” are part of “classes” and they inherit the code common to the class. Object-oriented programming presents a number of different advantages. In particular, it reduces the likelihood of serious errors in codes. It also makes it easier to modify and maintain existing code. Overall, this code use and code recycling makes coding much more efficient.

In addition to a programming and computer platform, Java is also a program, or a “run-time environment” that you can install on any computer, smartphone, or mobile device in order to run Java-based applications.

To understand Java, it helps to first have a basic knowledge of programming in general. To develop your knowledge base, you might want to consider taking this great course on programming for non-programmers.

How is Java Used?

In today’s world, Java has a vast variety of different uses. For example, Java is used for web-applications like Google docs, as well as for things like mobile games. Perhaps most notably, Java is widely used to build small application modules or applets for use as part of a web page. Basically, developers use it to create applications on your computer.

If you are interested in using Java for app development, you might want to check out this great introductory course to fast and easy app development.

What is the Difference between Java and JavaScript?

In spite of the similar name, Java and JavaScript are not the same thing, though many of their programming structures are similar. As previously explained, Java is an Object Oriented Programming Language (OOP). In comparison, Javascript is an interpreted computer programming language, originally developed by Netscape. Though it is also an OOP, it is a lightweight programming language, so it contains a much smaller and simpler repertoire of commands than Java.

The main difference between the two is essentially that JavaScript is generally used within HTML documents, like web pages, while Java is generally used for the stand-alone apps that are located within these webpages. JavaScript needs to be linked to HTML text in order to function, while Java can stand-alone. Java applets do not actually need HTML to function; HTML is only responsible for placing these applets on the webpage in the desired location.

What are the Benefits of Java?

Java does present significant advantages. Perhaps most notably, it is much more user friendly than other programming languages, making it overall easier to write, debug, and use. It is platform independent, which further facilitates its ease of use. The same piece of Java code will run the same on any computer, regardless of operating system. The Java mantra is actually “write once, run anywhere.”

Java is also incredibly robust for a programming language. This essentially means that Java objects can contain no references to data external to themselves or other known objects. It cuts down on bugs and system crashes.

Another advantage of Java are inarguably its security features. Both the language and the program were designed with security in mind. The Java platform allows users to download untrusted code over a network and run it in a secure environment. This minimizes the possibility of harm as it ensures that Java cannot infect the host system with a virus nor read or write files from the hard drive.

Lastly, Java’s universality and internationality are also noteworthy. Java uses 16-bit Unicode characters that represent the phonetic alphabets and ideographic character sets of languages all over the globe. This is in contrast with many other programming languages that use 8-bit characters that represent only the alphabets of English and Western European languages

What are Some Tips for Learning Java?

To start programming in Java, you will need to install and download the Java development kit. Once you have the program installed, you can begin writing your first Java program.

Java is easier to master than other programming languages, but it still is complex. You will need to learn how to understand data types, how to utilize the Java API, and how to work with objects, among many other things.

If you are interested in learning Java, it is most definitely advisable to take a course. If you are a beginner, you might want to check out this great Java tutorial for absolute beginners or this Java fundamentals course. Of course, if you already understand the basics and you are looking to hone your skills, a course can also be beneficial. You might want to look into this advanced Java programming class.  Overall, a Java course is a great option, helping you to grasp the concepts integral to Java programming.