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Mr. Chagoyan

Room 208 -Computer Lab

Java

Background

Java is a full-fledged programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. It is designed to function well over a network environment, such as the Internet. Its strength lies in its platform independence, which means that Java is designed to run on ALL platforms (operating systems - Mac, Unix, Linux, Windows). In addition, Java runs on cell phones, appliances, cars, even robots, like the remote controlled Mars rover.

Java made its debut on the Web in 1995, when it was incorporated into the Netscape Navigator Web browser. Small Java applications, called Java applets, provided the first interactivity available on the Web, such as animations, calculators, scrolling text, and mouseovers.

The Java language is powerful, but there was a decline of Java applet use on the Web. This was due to applications such as Flash, that provide the same interactivity as Java applets, but without the need to learn complex programming. Later, Java suffered securities issues which led to some browsers no longer supporting java.

A Java applet, unlike JavaScript code, is not text written into your HTML page. Java applets are "real" compiled programs that you download and embed into your Web page or run independently on many devices. There are many java programs that still work on the web. You can also play Java games developed with the Greenfoot IDE at Greenfoot.org.

Although Java suffered a decline due to Flash and security issues, Java is a very popular programming language with uses that extend beyond the Internet.

Top Programming Languages - TIOBE Programming Index

Java is Everywhere

Java + You

How Java Works (from java.sun.com)

The Java programming language is simpler than C++, has built-in safeguards to keep Java programs from doing something dumb like formatting your hard drive, and has a tremendous library of pre-written code modules just waiting to be used. Java is really much more than just a programming language-it is a platform for making a computer into something useful.

In the Java programming language, all source code is first written in plain text files ending with the .java extension. Those source files are then compiled into .class files by the Java compiler. A .class file does not contain code that is specific to any one particular type of computer or CPU; it instead contains bytecodes the machine language of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). When a Java program is started, the java launcher tool runs the application "plugged in" to the Java Virtual Machine.

Because the JVM is available on many different operating systems, the same .class files are capable of running on Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX.

Through the JVM, the same application is capable of running on multiple platforms.

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