Introduction to Java


Introduction to Java

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We see programming languages all around our digital lives and there have been a few languages that have stood the trials and tribulations of time. Each language is created with a different purpose and sometimes, the whole motive behind it erodes with new technologies.

But ‘Java’ is one language that has stood against the ‘time current’ and stayed strong since 1995. It is an object oriented programming language created by James Gosling and launched by Sun Microsystems(later acquired by Oracle Corporation)  Prior to being called ‘Java’ it was called ‘Oak’. It is one of the most popular programming languages and is based on its predecessors the ‘C’ programming language and ‘C++’ programming language.

Note: This post assumes basic programming knowledge.

We will see the advantages of Java over programming languages, the various IDEs in Java and a short clip of the most popular introductory program “Hello world”! 🙂

Some of the broad advantages of Java can be listed as follows:

  1. The most important advantage of Java at the time of its release(and even today) is its “Write once, run anywhere” slogan. This basically states that Java is a platform independent language(it runs on Linux, Windows, Mac systems without the need to recompile each time). Each time a Java program(.java file) is compiled, an appropriate .class file is generated.

This file is the bytecode which is platform independent. The JVM(Java virtual machine)converts the byte codes to machine readable instructions and executes it.

The bytecodes can easily be moved from one OS to another without the need to recompile. This in short is an explanation of the platform independence of Java.

2. Java is an easy language to learn compared to other programming languages(for example, easier than pointers in the ‘C’ programming language)

3. The Java programming language emphasizes on the object oriented approach to programming. The object oriented approach to programming involves the concepts of inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation. These concepts ensure that the programming code is written and maintained in an easier way. It also ensures that the data is hidden when needed.

Java IDEs:

Programming these days is a much more seamless experience thanks be to the various IDEs. Some of the popular Java IDEs in the market are:

  1.  Netbeans
  2. Eclipse
  3. IntelliJ IDEA
  4. BlueJ(mostly for students) and
  5. JDeveloper by Oracle

Sample code:

The satisfaction of programming is coding effectively, trouble shooting well and getting the desired results. This is the traditional “Hello world” program in a Netbeans IDE.

We have seen the history of Java, its advantages and a sample “Hello world” program. Join me as I start my programming journey on my blog!

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