What is Java?

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

Java is an object-oriented programming language that provides cross-platform development. The programming language was first released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. In the current decade, Java is being used in various applications such as online games, social media platforms, audio, and video applications. Before starting this blog, we want to give our readers some context as to why Java is the quintessential programming language and how it was able to dominate the tech world during the last two decades. Also, we are going to discuss various applications of Java and how it can be of great help to you in developing an application. In addition, we will be showing how Java offers exciting opportunities to computer science students.

History of Java

Before we proceed, we need to give our readers a little brief about how Java was developed as a programming language and gained its popularity over time. The initial development of Java took place in 1990 by James Gosling. The main objective for the development of Java at that time was to make a computer language that can work with digital services such as set-up boxes, televisions, DVD players, etc. At first, C++ was considered to be the programming language used for the project, but it eventually got turned down because of the more memory consumption behavior of the C++ language.

Gosling started the work and named the project “Greentalk”. The file extension used by the project was .gt, but later it became “Oak”. Again, the name was changed to Java because Oak was already a trademark registered under Oak Technologies, USA. The term Java came from the espresso beans, Java.

Once the name was confirmed for the project, the team members and gosling started working on making Java robust, portable, platform-independent, and a language that can perform multi-threading tasks with ease. Once Java was released in 1995, it was awarded as the top ten best products of 1995 by the famous Time magazine.

Since its release, there have been a lot of changes in the Java language as there is a new augmentation of classes, packages, and frameworks in the standard library. In the first version of Java, JDK 1.0, there were only a few hundred Java class libraries, but now, with each new release, thousands of more libraries are being added to Java.

Benefits of Java Programming

There is no doubt that Java is holding up the top spot in the programming language for a long time now. Though many new programming languages have been invented in the last decade, the efficiency of Java is hard to beat. Given below, we have compiled some of the significant benefits of using Java as the primary programming language in your development.

1. Simple to Use

Any language which is easy to learn can be considered simple to use. The syntax you will be using in Java is simple, and when you are writing the code using that syntax, you understand why you are using the specific keyword and attributes. In addition, if you compare the complexity of Java with C++ and Python, you will find out that it isn’t that complex because of the features which make the other programming language complex have been removed from Java.

2. Supports OOP

With the support of OOP (object-oriented programming), Java’s code can be reused and allows flexibility. With the use of OOP concepts, a developer can easily insert the object from any other project and use it.

Furthermore, OOP’s implementation also binds up the data and functions into a single unit. As a result, only the person with the proper authority will be able to access them. Lastly, with the use of OOPs, one can easily organize more significant modules into smaller ones, so they are not so hard to understand.

3. Java is Secure

The restriction of explicit pointers in Java minimizes the severity of any compromise in projects. A piece of information performs the function of storing the memory address of another value, which can lead to risky access to the memory. Likewise, Java comes with an in-built security manager for each application, giving the user permission to define the access rules for the classes.

4. Platform-independent

Everyone wants a programming language where you have to write the code once and run it anywhere. This concept is present in Java, and it’s called WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere). The feature is enabled as the byte code of Java is platform-independent, and it can run on any system irrespective of the operating system. To make the code run on any machine, you need an OS to support Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

5. High-Level Programming Language

Even though Java is easily understandable and human-readable, it still falls under the category of high-level programming language. The syntax is a lot like the C++ language, but it is more organized and uses less code to do more. Being a high-level programming language, Java also supports portability. Thus, you can take the code in your USB drive and run it on any computer. You might wonder, but some of the most threatening hacks have been developed using Java as they can be easily deployed and executed in multiple operating systems and computers.

6. Multi-threaded

There is a misconception about multi-threaded programming; a lot of people think of multi-threading to have multiple flows of controls. But that’s not true, a program can only be said as multi-threaded if there exist many subprograms that have a separate flow of control. Also, all these flows need to be executed concurrently. In Java, this type of flow control can be seen. As a result, it is considered a multi-threaded modeling language (MTML).

You need to keep in mind that when you are writing a program in Java, by default, there are two threads. The first one is the foreground thread, and the second is the background or parent thread.

7. Java is Network Enabled

There are two types of networks — untrusted and trusted networks. An untrusted network is made from ‘n’ number of interconnected non-autonomous device architecture. In addition, a LAN can also be considered to be an untrusted network because it uses the network architecture for centralized applications. A centralized application works to run on a single server, and access is given to a limited number of graces.

On the other hand, WAN can be considered a trusted network. With WAN, an individual can create a distributed application that can run on multiple servers and be accessed by an unlimited number of graces. The disturbed applications can be developed using J2EE technology, a part of Java, and J2SE can be used to develop centralized applications. This makes Java an excellent choice for a network-enabled programming language.

8. Robustness

Java is said to be a robust programming language because it has its own compiler and interpreter. When you are writing the code, Java puts a lot of emphasis on early checking for all the possible errors and exceptions, which can cause the code to stop working correctly when it is compiled. Besides, when the runtime situation comes, the compiler checks all the exception handling, which provides satisfaction and removes the reliability issues during the writing of the code.

9. Efficiency

When working with Java, your efficiency will increase without a doubt. Java is a high-level programming language that comes with a well-designed set of APIs. The APIs help a developer to create a program and write code with fewer bugs than other programming languages.

10. Dynamic & Extensible Programs

The code written in Java is organized in modular object-oriented units, which are called classes. The classes, when created, are stored in different files, and they are loaded in the Java interpreter when they are called. As a result, when writing a code, you can choose the classes that you want to call and leave the unwanted. This makes a code to be dynamically extensible.

How is Java Different from Other Programming Languages?

One of the main differences between Java and other programming languages is how a code gets executed by the Java compiler. If we compare it with programming languages like C++, C, etc., we will notice that Java uses a different method which is a bytecode that can run on any device with the use of Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Another thing that differentiates Java from others is its gigantic Java Class Library (JCL). The JCL makes Java a faster programming language as there are tons of frameworks that are already developed and are ready to be used in any project.

Influence of Java on other Programming Languages

Before Java was invented, the idea of compiling and running a single program on multiple devices without any changes was entirely fictional. But Java completely changed the perspective of how programmers write code. This made Java set apart from its competition. After the release of Java, other platform-independent languages were also created, but all of them were inspired by Java.

Java vs. JavaScript

New programmers and computer science students mistakenly consider Java and JavaScript programming languages as the same. Their names might sound similar, but their working and use cases are entirely different. Let us explain it briefly.


Java was developed by Sun Microsystem, and it is class-based programming. Also, it is a standalone programming language and requires only JVM to be executed, making it possible for a programmer to run the code written in Java on any device and platform.

Purpose of Using Java

Java is a server-side development programming language. The application, which is developed by using Java, can run on web browsers and even on virtual machines. There are Android applications, desktop software programs, and banking and financial apps that use Java to keep their data secure and available to customers.

Java Compilation

Java is a pure object-oriented programming language, and the code written is compiled in bytecode and runs on JVM. Thus, Java can run anywhere, and it makes it an excellent general-purpose programming language that is both object and class-based. In addition to this, Java also comes with the support of multi-threading, which enables it to deliver superior services for software development.


On the other hand, JavaScript is said to be a highly interpreted high-level programming language that is used to make web-based applications more interactive and user-friendly. Java might seem a little complicated to learn at first, but that’s not the case with JavaScript. As a result, JavaScript is widely used in web development projects. Moreover, a developer has the freedom to use JavaScript with many other languages within the web application.

Purpose of JavaScript

JavaScript can only be used in making web applications, and they can only run on web browsers. The main reason for using JavaScript over Java or any other programming language is to make the web page or web application more responsive to the viewer’s interaction. Likewise, with the use of JavaScript, one can even create animations in HTML.

JavaScript Compilation

If we look at the working of JavaScript, we will notice that it’s an interpreted scripting language, and its compilation runs quite differently than Java. When you are using JavaScript, its code will be interpreted directly on the browser.

Disadvantages of Using Java

As each coin has two sides, you will find that Java also comes with some disadvantages. Given below are some of the major issues which a developer needs to overcome when using Java.

First, you can’t make an excellent user interface or front-end using Java. As a result, you will need GUI builders like JavaFX, Swing, JSF, and SWT. There are several IDEs that come with integrated GUIs, but still, when you are using these templates, the inconsistency in the UI is evident. The latest update of JavaFX does add a touch of new interface technology, but it is still far from being used in development projects.

Moreover, as a high-level programming language, Java is a bit more complex to read and scan. A developer needs to define precisely what they want, and the Java compiler will not automatically take in the variables. This adds up to the complexity of the code and makes a user write much longer coding, even for simple execution. A lot of Java developers have become used to this problem, but to date, this is one of the major pain points of Java.


So this is what Java is all about. Though new technologies are coming in each day, Java remains the top choice for most programmers. Java as a programming language is so popular that 90% of the Fortune 500 companies are currently using it in one way or the other. So there is no doubt about Java still being relevant for the coming decade.

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