Java is a general purpose, high-level programming language first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible, is free to use, and can run on all platforms. It is concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented. Simply put, Java is a computing platform where users can develop applications.
Java is similar to C++ but is simplified to eliminate language features that cause common programming errors. The source code files, meaning files with a .java extension, are compiled into a format known as bytecode, which are files with a .class extension. This can then be executed by a Java interpreter. Bytecode can be directly converted into machine language instructions by a just-in-time compiler.
Components of Java
There are three main components of the Java programming language:
Java Virtual Machine (JVM): JVM is an engine that provides a runtime environment to drive the Java code or applications. It is the center of the programming language and performs the operation of converting Java bytecode into machine language. It provides numerous libraries, frameworks, and tools.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE): JRE is a runtime environment that is required to execute Java programs and applications. If a user wants to run a Java program in their machine, they must have JRE installed on the machine. It’s platform dependent, meaning the JRE installed must be compatible with the user’s operating system and architecture.
Java Development Kit (JDK): JDK is the core component of the Java environment. It contains JRE along with Java compiler, Java debugger, and other classes. It’s used for Java development to provide the entire executables and binaries as well as the tools to compile and debug a Java program.
Benefits of Java
Java is easy to learn. The language does not require any prior knowledge of basic programming language. Unlike other programming languages including C++, when Java is compiled, it is not compiled into a platform-specific machine. This means a program compiled on one machine can be easily executed on any other machine without making any changes.
Java is multithreaded, meaning multiple tasks can be handled simultaneously and users can construct interactive applications that run smoothly. With its secure features, virus-free, tamper-free systems can be developed. Authentication techniques are based on public-key encryption.
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