Java is everywhere — in your smartphone, on your desktop, and on your DVD players and MP3 players. Just because it’s everywhere doesn’t mean that its functionality is widely understood. At its heart, Java is a general use programming language, designed to solve specific problems. It was originally released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems and has gained widespread popularity due to a number of features.

C-Like Syntax

Java coded in a programming syntax that is very similar to C and C++. Like the latter language, Java is a fully object-oriented language. Traits and attributes defined by a data structure or element of the program are automatically inherited by other structures that call upon that structure. This results in better performing code, though if it’s not handled well, that code can be very difficult to maintain. The question that always lingers in the mind of most beginner programmer is “how do I Do My Java Homework”. The reason for Java’s adherence to C and C++ syntax structures was to make it easier to learn by computer programmers who had used either of those languages.

Virtual Machine Environment

Java programs are compiled into a binary executable, which is run in an environment called the Java Virtual Machine, or JVM. This virtual machine makes it possible for a Java application that’s written once, and compiled once, to run on any operating system and hardware platform that has a JVM. Virtualization of this type does incur a performance hit; a Java program will be slower than a C or C++ program doing the same thing, because C and C++ can directly access hardware.

Pointers and Garbage Collection

One of the most aggravating aspects of programming in C is manual memory addressing, which is referred to as “pointer calls.” The advantage of manual pointer allocation is that it can give very fast, highly optimized code. The disadvantage of pointer allocation is that it’s easy to make mistakes in it. Java does not allow direct pointer allocation; instead, the run time environment interfaces between the Java code and the computer’s memory. Garbage collection is the other side of this process; the Java virtual machine routinely looks for memory that has been assigned to Java programs that’s no longer in use, and puts it back into the common pool.

Libraries and Add-Ons

Programming languages are used to solve problems. When a solution to a particularly common problem comes, the code for it is often compiled into an add-on or module called a library. Java has, since its introduction, developed a number of add-ons and libraries that allow programmers to leverage the experience of other programmers, freeing them up to solve more interesting problems rather than re-implementing the wheel.

Confusion With JavaScript

One possible source of confusion on the functionality of Java is that there is another widely used language called JavaScript, which was released at nearly the same time, and became the de-facto scripting language for adding programmatic functionality to Web pages. JavaScript has almost no relation to Java, other than that they’re both programming languages; JavaScript is used on Web pages, Java is used for nearly everything under the sun.

Categories: Coding

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