Although Java is a relatively new programming language, it is not exactly new. The year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of this versatile programming language! Over the years, Java has maintained its position among the top three most popular programming languages in the world, and rightly so.
Today, Java boasts of an active community and is extensively used as the server-side language for numerous back-end development projects, including Big Data and Machine Learning projects and obviously, Web and Android development.
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Why is Java popular?
The aspect which makes Java one of the most appealing languages is that it, at its core, Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language. OOP offers a neat modular structure, thereby making it easier to solve complex problems. Its modular nature helps programmers to write reusable code and also enhances the development process.
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In Java programming, classes that define the data attributes and behaviors (defined by methods coded in the class) are used to create objects. Furthermore, Java includes features like abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and inheritance, along with best practices and built-in packages, simplifying the writing of Java code. Since Java Java objects don’t need any external references, Java code is exceptionally robust.
Java is easy to program and easy to run. These are the prominent reasons why many developers use it. You only need to write Java once and can run it anywhere, anytime. It is used to develop applications operating on a single computer or spanned over servers and clients within a network. Hence, you can use it to run desktop applications or build mobile applications that use various servers and operating systems.
It is easy to set up PATH and understand how CLASSPATH functions after you learn to code in Java and know JDK installation. This is one of the reasons why Java is one of the top programming languages.
You can easily find libraries in Java that can do various tasks. It offers better GUI systems than the Swing libraries and defaults AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit). Moreover, you can connect to databases through JDBC (Java Database Connectivity).
Java is widely used in our daily lives. It is commonly used on leading websites like Google, Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Furthermore, Java boasts a powerful development roadmap with constant evolution in performance and security. Java may not suit all requirements, but it is still one of the top programming languages because it benefits lots of businesses and individuals.
Now, let’s look at some of the best features of Java that make it so popular!
1. Java is user-friendly
Java has an English-like syntax, which makes it the perfect language for beginners who can learn Java in two phases – begin with Core Java and then progress to Advanced Java. So, Java has a simple learning curve. And if you possess the foundational knowledge of C and C++, it won’t take long for you to master Java.
Learning Java for beginners involves two stages i.e. learning Core Java and mastering Advanced Java. Java boasts an easy learning path. James Gosling stated that Java is C++ without knives, clubs, and guns. It suggests that if the learner has the foundational knowledge of C and C++, it becomes faster to master Java. Its syntax uses the English language, making it simpler for the learners to understand and remember. So, it is one of the most used programming languages for both beginners and advanced users.
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2. Java for everything!
For long, Java has been the staple programming language for developing Web apps, Android apps, and software tools like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans IDE, etc. Today, Java’s use cases have expanded to Data Science applications, Machine Learning applications, and even IoT. Developers and programmers prefer Java for designing all such applications because Java has a suite of high-level concurrency tools and packages that make it possible to create highly scalable solutions. Also, Java is multi-platform compatible.
It is a ‘write once, run anywhere’ (WORA) programming language. So, it can run on various types of computers and mobile devices without any change in the output. Moreover, it can run on various operating systems like Windows, Linux/Unix, and macOS. Its platform independence makes it a prominent choice for business software development. This is another reason why it is one of the most used programming languages.
Java RunTime Environment (JRE) is compatible with all existing devices. The reason is Java is platform-independent. It only needs JRE to be installed on the device on which you want to run the application. Many industry giants in retail, banking, and other sectors use Java. This is made possible through its WORA feature.
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3. Java boasts of rich API
Although Java contains around fifty keywords, its Application Programming Interface (API) is both extensive and rich – it is replete with numerous methods that you can directly use in any code. Java API comprises methods that can cater to every purpose, including networking, connecting to databases, parsing XML, handling input-output, and so on. Furthermore, Java has plenty of open-source libraries such as Google Guava, Apache Xerxes, Apache POI, Apache Commons, OpenCV, Gson, ETC.
Java’s API is rich and extensive. It comprises 50 keywords, but the Java API is huge, with myriad methods that you can use directly in any program. Java developers need not attain a practical experience in all of them; only fundamental knowledge will be enough. The support for rich API makes it one of the most popular programming languages 2021.
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4. A robust community backs Java
One of the biggest reasons for Java’s popularity is its strong and active community support. It boasts of being the second-largest among the Stack Overflow community. So, rest assured, you can rely on the Java community to help you out if you ever get stuck in a programming rut.
Java provides real-time solutions. It also guides businesses to solve their technical concerns through communities like Oracle or Java community. One of the famous Java communities is Stack overflow. Plenty of websites assist developers and beginners by solving the issues and doubts they come across while programming. The vast and helpful community suggests that Java is one of the most used programming languages.
Its community continues to expand. Just like other open-source technologies, Java believes in providing reliable support to the public. Online forums like StackOverflow involve Java developer experts who assist beginners in solving their issues.
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5. Java has excellent documentation
Java is an open-source programming language, which means it is absolutely free. Another excellent quality of the language is that Java is well-documented. It has a detailed guide that will clarify the problems that you may face while coding in Java. Javadoc is an outstanding help guide you can go through if you want any clarification during coding.
Detailed documentation is required for future references in Java programs. This is because the online support community is growing significantly to help individual developers and businesses to develop applications. It can be basic, enterprise, or scientific application. Java is renowned as one of the most popular programming languages 2021 due to excellent documentation.
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6. Java has a suite of powerful development tools
One of Java’s most interesting aspects is its Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Java’s IDE is an extensive suite of various automation tools, editors, and debuggers. NetBeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA are the three most popular Java IDEs. As for tools, Java has Maven and ANT for developing Java applications, Jenkins for Continuous Integration and delivery, and JConsole and Visual VM for monitoring Heap usage.
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7. Easy learning curve
Java can run on all types of devices. It is extensively available. It is widely used and got excellent popularity because of being open-source. Its easy syntax in English and use of minimum special characters make it user-friendly. You can learn it easily if you have a fundamental knowledge of C, C++, or other related programming languages. Plenty of online resources are available that help beginners and professionals learn it easily.
8. It is omnipresent
Billions of devices are running on Java. Web applications, Android apps, software tools (like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and NetBeans IDE), and scientific applications (like NLP) are developed in Java.
It simplifies the designing of scalable solutions and offers high-level concurrency tools than other programming languages. So, it is one of the popular programming languages among programmers. Moreover, learning Java unlocks various career opportunities.
Java is one of the greatest compatible programming languages, so developers can write and use its code anywhere. The desktop apps and web apps are fully integrated with Java’s API. Plenty of coding methods can be used in Java because different coding concepts are made adaptable for programmers.
You can easily develop multi-functional and compatible apps with Java. The networks’ distribution can be easily handled across different platforms through CLASSPATH and PATH in Java. Machine learning, NLP, IoT, and other advanced technologies work flawlessly using the development tools of advanced Java.
Its scalability, stability, and versatility make it one of the highly popular programming languages. It can be used on devices ranging from mobile phones and desktop computers to large-scale industry servers and applications. It is gradually gaining credibility in areas like Cloud development and IoT. Therefore, it is one of the top programming languages for businesses.
10. Open Source
Java provides a range of features for application development. The key reason for this is that it is an open-source programming language that allows free usage. Both intermediate and expert programmers/developers can use the latest versions of OpenJDK and Oracle JDK free of cost through the Java Development Kit. This aspect makes these versions open source. Moreover, this feature helps develop all types of Java applications. This is another reason that explains why it is one of the most popular programming languages.
Other specialties of Java that makes it popular:
Java is included in the list of the most popular programming languages 2021 because it also provides the following features.
- Incorporates bytecode that can be employed on any platform
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Virus-free security
- Use of open-source libraries
These are some of the most crucial reasons why Java is popular among developers, data science professionals, and industry giants. The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is compatible with almost all devices and platforms, from Macintosh, Linux/Unix, Windows, to other mainframe systems and even mobile devices. No wonder why Java is an omnipresent force in the industry right now!
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Explain the features of the Java language?
Java is a simple language and can be learned quickly, making writing programs more accessible and faster. It follows the object-oriented programming (OOP) approach, which helps to maintain our code as the objects incorporate data and its behavior. The Java program is compiled to byte code that can run on any system, making it portable. Java is a platform-independent language, unlike C++ and C. It is not dependent on any operating system. Java doesn’t use pointers which makes it more secure as now the programmer cannot directly access the address spaces in memory. Java supports multithreading and is both an interpreted and compiled language.
How is JDK different from JRE and JVM?
Java Development Kit is a software dev environment used to create Java applications and applets. It exists physically and comprises JRE and development tools. JDK is an implementation of Java platforms that Oracle develops. JRE stands for Java Runtime environment, which implements Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It consists of software tools and other files used by JVM at runtime. JVM is an abstract machine used to provide a runtime environment where the byte code is executed. It is platform-dependent, and it is an instance created at runtime when a Java class is run. Specification, Instance, and Implementation are the three notions of JVM.
Explain the types of memory areas are there in the system?
There are many ways to allocate memory to the machine. When we declare an object of any class, the memory gets allocated. Class area stores per-class structures such as fields, runtime pool, methods, etc. Heap is the area where the memory is assigned to the objects of a class. Stack area store frames hold the partial results and local variables of a given scope in a program. Stack has a role in method invocation and the method's return value. Program Counter Register stores the address value of the JVM currently in execution. Native methods of an application also have their separate memory area.