Java is one of the programming languages that have defined software development over the last two decades. Read on to find out more!
In the last two decades, Java has consistently been one of the most popular programming languages. It's a universal, object-oriented programming language and platform (a set of software and hardware components that are required to run Java applications). It's widely used and highly versatile, as you can use it to develop web applications, mobile applications, video games like Minecraft, or anything else.
According to the TIOBE index, which is calculated based on the number of search engine results for queries containing the name of the programming language, its popularity has been declining. Don't be alarmed, though: the lowest point in Java's popularity since 2001 came in 2023, when it slipped to fourth place among all existing programming languages. That doesn't sound that bad, does it?
So does it still merit your attention? Absolutely! For years, the demand for Java programmers has been increasing and will most likely continue to do so in the near future.
Main Components Of Java
Java Development Kit (JDK)
The Java Development Kit provides developers with the tools necessary to develop applications. When you download the JDK, you get the Java compiler, Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Java Class Library, development tools, documentation, sample programs, and so on.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
Contains the environment components required to run Java. These are the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Java classes.
Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
In short, the JVM is what allows Java programs to run on any platform.
The Java compiler is a program that turns your Java code into a platform-independent file.
advantages of Java
This means that your application can be developed on any operating system and run on any other operating system that supports the Java runtime environment.
The Java compiler converts your finished code into an intermediate format that the JVM can understand. Because the JVM runs on all platforms, you can run the code anywhere.
Why is this important? Because your code will only need to be developed once for any number of runtime environments (operating systems).
Object-oriented refers to the design principle of describing everything as classes. The classes define the object's attributes and methods. OK, but why is this interesting? Because objects are simple to use, maintain, and develop further, and because objects can only access their own data via their own methods. This ensures data security.
There are numerous other advantages to being object-oriented (such as inheritance, code reusability, and so on), but describing all of them would exceed the scope of this article.
Robust and Secure
Its robustness is primarily due to rigorous type-checking and dynamic memory management. Because JRE includes security mechanisms to prevent malicious code from running, it is considered secure (at least in principle). Also, let's not forget that Java executes controlled code and has exception-handling mechanisms.
These characteristics are essential for any application. Java has been one of the most widely used programming languages in recent decades, whether for enterprise applications, mobile applications, games, or even complex transaction management systems.
When a programming language is used by a large number of developers, a community forms around it. Questions are raised, answers are provided, and many open-source projects and solutions are born. Java is no exception, which has a long-standing and strong programming community. On the web, there is a wealth of articles, educational material, documentation, and question-and-answer resources for almost any Java-related topic or issue.
Main areas of application for Java
Java EE can be very useful for developing web applications (Enterprise Edition).
This programming language can be the perfect choice for building applications (using Android Studio, for example) running on the Android operating system.
Big Data and AI
Java can also be an excellent choice for analyzing large data sets and developing AI applications.
It is also suitable for IoT (Internet of Things) tasks, given its strengths listed above (platform independence, security, scalability, etc.)
As a secure programming language, Java can be a good option when developing secure and reliable software and systems.
Java can also be used to develop video games. For example, Minecraft was created using this programming language (among other, more complex games, of course).
What exactly are frameworks?
Frameworks include pre-built functionalities that are tested, dependable, and easy to use. As a result, you don't have to develop the same basic functionality over and over: you can simply use existing solutions.
Why do we use frameworks?
What are the most popular Java frameworks?
The most popular are Spring, Hibernate, Struts, Wicket, GWT, Vaadin, Play, JSF.
Well, quite a lot. To start with, we're talking about two completely different programming languages.
One is a platform-independent general-purpose programming language that can be used to develop business (web) apps, mobile apps, Big Data and AI solutions, games, and so on. This is Java.