Java is a high-level programming language that embraces object-oriented principles. It is inspired by the syntax and structure of C/C++, making it somewhat familiar to those who have worked with these languages.
A key aspect of Java is its focus on reducing accidental errors. Unlike C/C++, Java omits certain features that are prone to mistakes, such as pointers and destructors. It introduces automatic memory management through Garbage Collection, helping to avoid memory leaks and other memory-related issues. Java also avoids multiple inheritance to prevent the "diamond problem," a type of ambiguity in inheritance scenarios.
Java is unique in its execution process. It combines both compilation and interpretation. While it is often said to be interpreted at runtime, Java code is actually compiled into an intermediate form called bytecode. This bytecode is then interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which is specific to each platform.
This leads to one of Java's most celebrated features: platform independence. The bytecode allows Java programs to run on any device that has a JVM, making the code "write once, run anywhere." This architecture-neutral approach distinguishes Java from languages that compile directly to machine code, which is platform-specific.
Beyond these core aspects, Java supports a range of functionalities including multithreading (allowing concurrent execution of multiple parts of a program), networking capabilities, robust security features, and tools for Graphical User Interface (GUI) development. These features make Java versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications, from small-scale utilities to large, complex systems.
Don't worry if you don't understand all the terms mentioned here. As you continue reading further posts from this book, most of these concepts will become clearer.
Read more on object oriented programming @ javajee.com/object-oriented-programming-oop-concepts-with-examples.
Read more on compiled and interpreted languages @ javajee.com/java-is-a-compiled-and-interpreted-language.