Introduction to Java

JAVA was developed by Sun Microsystems Inc in the year 1991, later acquired by Oracle Corporation. It was developed by James Gosling and Patrick Naughton. It is a simple programming language. Java makes writing, compiling, and debugging programming easy. It helps to create reusable code and modular programs.

Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language and is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. A general-purpose programming language made for developers to write once run anywhere that is compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java. Java applications are compiled to byte code that can run on any Java Virtual Machine. The syntax of Java is similar to c/c++.

History

Java’s history is very interesting. It is a programming language created in 1991. James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton, a team of Sun engineers known as the Green team initiated the Java language in 1991. Sun Microsystems released its first public implementation in 1996 as Java 1.0. It provides no-cost -run-times on popular platforms. Java1.0 compiler was re-written in Java by Arthur Van Hoff to strictly comply with its specifications. With the arrival of Java 2, new versions had multiple configurations built for different types of platforms.

In 1997, Sun Microsystems approached the ISO standards body and later formalized Java, but it soon withdrew from the process. At one time, Sun made most of its Java implementations available without charge, despite their proprietary software status. Sun generated revenue from Java through the selling of licenses for specialized products such as the Java Enterprise System.

On November 13, 2006, Sun released much of its Java virtual machine as free, open-source software. On May 8, 2007, Sun finished the process, making all of its JVM’s core code available under open-source distribution terms.



The principles for creating java were simple, robust, secured, high performance, portable, multi-threaded, interpreted, dynamic, etc. James Gosling in 1995 developed Java, who is known as the Father of Java. Currently, Java is used in mobile devices, internet programming, games, e-business, etc.

Java programming language is named JAVA. Why?

After the name OAK, the team decided to give a new name to it and the suggested words were Silk, Jolt, revolutionary, DNA, dynamic, etc. These all names were easy to spell and fun to say, but they all wanted the name to reflect the essence of technology. In accordance with James Gosling, Java the among the top names along with Silk, and since java was a unique name so most of them preferred it.

Java is the name of an island in Indonesia where the first coffee(named java coffee) was produced. And this name was chosen by James Gosling while having coffee near his office. Note that Java is just a name, not an acronym.

Java Terminology

Before learning Java, one must be familiar with these common terms of Java.

1.  Java Virtual Machine(JVM):  This is generally referred to as JVM. There are three execution phases of a program. They are written, compile and run the program.

  • Writing a program is done by java programmer like you and me.
  • The compilation is done by JAVAC compiler which is a primary Java compiler included in the Java development kit (JDK). It takes Java program as input and generates bytecode as output.
  • In Running phase of a program, JVM executes the bytecode generated by the compiler.

Now, we understood that the function of Java Virtual Machine is to execute the bytecode produced by the compiler. Every Operating System has different JVM but the output they produce after the execution of bytecode is the same across all the operating systems. This is why Java is known as a platform-independent language.

2. Bytecode in the Development process:  As discussed, Javac compiler of JDK compiles the java source code into bytecode so that it can be executed by JVM. It is saved as .class file by the compiler. To view the bytecode, a disassembler like javap can be used.

3. Java Development Kit(JDK): While we were using the term JDK, when we learn about bytecode and JVM . So, as the name suggests, it is a complete java development kit that includes everything including compiler, Java Runtime Environment (JRE), java debuggers, java docs etc. For the program to execute in java, we need to install JDK in our computer in order to create, compile and run the java program.



4. Java Runtime Environment (JRE): JDK includes JRE. JRE installation on our computers allow the java program to run, however, we cannot compile it. JRE includes a browser, JVM, applet supports and plugins. For running the java program, a computer needs JRE.

5. Garbage Collector: In Java, programmers can’t delete the objects. To delete or recollect that memory JVM has a program called Garbage Collector. Garbage Collector can recollect the of objects that are not referenced. So Java makes the life of a programmer easy by handling memory management. However, programmers should be careful about their code whether they are using objects that have been used for a long time. Because Garbage cannot recover the memory of objects being referenced.

6. ClassPath: The classpath is the file path where the java runtime and Java compiler looks for .class files to load. By default, JDK provides many libraries. If you want to include external libraries they should be added to the classpath.

Primary/Main Features of Java

1. Platform Independent:  Compiler converts source code to bytecode and then the JVM executes the bytecode generated by the compiler. This bytecode can run on any platform be it Windows, Linux, macOS which means if we compile a program on Windows, then we can run it on Linux and vice versa. Each operating system has different JVM, but the output produced by all the OS is same after the execution of bytecode. That is why we call java as platform-independent language.

2. Object-Oriented Programming Language:  Organizing the program in the terms of collection of objects is a way of object-oriented programming, each of which represents an instance of class.

Four main concepts of Object-Oriented programming are:

  • Abstraction
  • Encapsulation
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism

3. Simple:  Java is one of the simple languages as it does not have complex features like pointers, operator overloading, Multiple inheritance, Explicit memory allocation. 

4. Robust:  Java language is robust that means reliable. It is developed in such a way that it puts a lot of effort in checking of errors as early as possible, that is why java compiler is able to detect even those errors that are not easy to detect by another programming language. The main features of java that make it robust are garbage collection, Exception Handling and memory allocation.

5. Secure:  In java, we don’t have pointers, and so we cannot access out of bound arrays i.e it shows ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException if we try to do so. That’s why several security flaws like stack corruption or buffer overflow is impossible to exploit in Java.      

6. Distributed:  We can create distributed applications using the java programming language. Remote Method Invocation and Enterprise Java Beans are used for creating distributed applications in java. The java programs can be easily distributed on one or more systems that are connected to each other through an internet connection.



7. Multithreading:  Java supports multithreading. It is a Java feature that allows concurrent execution of two or more parts of a program for maximum utilization of CPU.

8. Portable:  As we know, java code written on one machine can be run on another machine. The platform-independent feature of java in which its platform-independent bytecode can be taken to any platform for execution makes java portable.

Writing a “HELLO WORLD” Program in Java
 

Java

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// Basic java program
// to print "Hello World"
  
import java.io.*;
  
class GFG {
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        // prints Hello World
        System.out.println("Hello World");
    }
}

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Output

Hello World

 

Explanation:

1.  Comments: Comments are used for explaining code and are used in a similar manner in Java or C or C++. Compilers ignore the comment entries and do not execute them. Comments can be of a single line or multiple lines.

Single line Comments:
Syntax:

// Single line comment

Multi-line comments:
Syntax:

/* Multi line comments*/

2.  import java.io.*: Means all the classes of io package can be imported. Java io package provides a set of input and output streams for reading and writing data to files or other input or output sources.



3.  class: The class contains the data and methods to be used in the program. Methods define the behaviour of the class. Class GFG has only one method Main in JAVA.

4.  static void Main(): static keyword tells us that this method is accessible without instantiating the class. 

5.  void: keywords tells that this method will not return anything. The main() method is the entry point of our application.

6.  System.in: This is the standard input stream that is used to read characters from the keyboard or any other standard input device.

7.  System.out: This is the standard output stream that is used to produce the result of a program on an output device like the computer screen.

8.  println(): This method in Java is also used to display a text on the console. It prints the text on the console and the cursor moves to the start of the next line at the console. The next printing takes place from the next line.

Everything in java , is represented in Class as an object including the main function.

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