Java vs Javascript: Key Differences Explained 2023

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Java vs Javascript are both programming languages, in the present era but they exhibit notable distinctions. This article aims to provide a comparison, between Java vs Javascript shedding light on their variations.

What is Java?

Java, which was created by Sun Microsystems ( Oracle) in the 1990s is an object oriented programming language that serves as a tool, for various purposes. It operates on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Is known for its typing and compilation features.

Java is renowned for its ability to write code that can be executed on platforms. Whether its Windows, Mac, Linux or other operating systems long as theres a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) Java code can run effortlessly. This versatility, across platforms has contributed to the adoption of Java in a wide range of applications such as client server web apps, desktop software, mobile applications and even embedded systems. The extensive standard library that comes with Java solidifies its position as a preferred choice, among developers.

What is Javascript?

JavaScript, a scripting language devised by Brendan Eich during the 1990s was initially designed to introduce interactivity and dynamic functionality to web pages, on Netscape Navigator.

JavaScript code executes within a host environment, such, as a web browser. It is a language that is interpreted and dynamically typed featuring first class functions. JavaScript, alongside HTML and CSS serves as one of the technologies employed in the field of web development.

JavaScript facilitates client side scripting, on web pages empowering developers to craft engaging websites and web applications. It enjoys support from web browsers. Additionally JavaScript finds utility, in game development, mobile app creation, server side programming utilizing Node.js among applications.

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History of Java

Java was born in 1991 with the purpose of being a programming language suited for TV and set top boxes. The creators of the language led by James Gosling, at Sun Microsystems aimed to develop a language that could be used on hardware systems without any platform dependencies.

The first public release of Java came out in 1995. The key features included simplicity, object-orientation, robustness, security, platform independence, and familiar C/C++-style syntax. Java 1.0 only had a basic core library with networking and GUI capabilities.

Over time Java witnessed advancements with the introduction of library classes such, as the Swing GUI toolkit, JDBC API, Collections framework and many others. The widespread adoption of Java coincided with the growth of the internet in the 90s since it offered a platform, for developing server side applications.

Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 and continues to maintain and update Java regularly. The latest versions add features for functional programming, new APIs, performance improvements, and more.

History of Javascript

Javascript was created in 1995 by Brendan Eich at Netscape. It was initially called LiveScript but was renamed to Javascript likely for marketing reasons. The Java language was gaining massive popularity at the time.

The goal was to create a scripting language that could add dynamic behaviors to HTML web pages. Javascript gained popularity quickly as it was supported by Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer – the major web browsers at the time.

Microsoft created its own dialect called JScript. So standardization efforts began in the late 90s, leading to the first ECMAScript standard in 1997. ECMAScript provides the specification that Javascript engines should follow.

Javascript usage expanded beyond browsers with the advent of Node.js in 2009 – a runtime to execute JS code on the server side. Today, Javascript can be used across the entire stack including front-end, back-end, mobile, IoT, VR, and more.

Java vs Javascript

Key Differences

While Java and Javascript share similarities in their C-style syntax, they have many differences under the hood. Let’s compare them across some key aspects:

Typing

  • Java is a statically typed language – variables must be declared with an explicit type like int, boolean, String, etc. The compiler checks for type compatibility.
  • Javascript is dynamically typed – variables can hold values of any type without type declarations. Types are associated with values rather than variables.

Compilation vs Interpretation

  • Java code needs to be compiled to bytecode which is then executed by the JVM. The compilation step allows for static checking and optimization.
  • Javascript code is interpreted and executed at runtime without a separate compilation step. The JS engine parses and directly executes each statement.

Use Cases

  • Java is ideal for large-scale, server-side applications that require stability, security, scalability. It’s commonly used for enterprise backends.
  • Javascript is commonly used for client-side scripting and frontend web development. Also useful for serverside programming using Node.js.

Paradigms

  • Java is an object oriented programming (OOP) language. Class-based inheritance is fundamental.
  • Javascript supports OOP but prototypes are used instead of classes. Also supports functional and procedural paradigms.

Runtime Environments

  • Java needs a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to run bytecode generated from compiled Java code.
  • Javascript runs in a JavaScript engine like V8 (Chrome), SpiderMonkey (Firefox), or JavaScriptCore (Safari). No separate runtime is needed.

Syntax

  • Java uses curly braces {} to delimit blocks and semicolons ; to terminate statements.
  • Javascript uses curly braces {} but semicolons ; are optional when separating statements.

Standard Libraries

  • Java has huge standard libraries with classes for data structures, IO, networking, database access, utilities and more.
  • Javascript has a smaller standard library focused on fundamental data structures, functions, and browser API access. Larger features require external libraries.

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When to Use Java vs Javascript

Based on their strengths and differences, here are some guidelines on when to use Java vs Javascript:

Use Java For:

  • Enterprise server-side applications
  • Desktop applications and games
  • Mobile apps (Android)
  • System programming
  • Big data and machine learning
  • High performance and scalable systems

Java is a robust object-oriented language ideal for large applications that demand stability, security and efficiency. The compilation, static typing, mature libraries make Java suitable for enterprise use.

Use Javascript For:

  • Frontend web development
  • Web animations and interactivity
  • Mobile apps (via React Native)
  • Server-side web apps using Node.js
  • Games using frameworks like Phaser
  • IoT programming

Javascript is the native language of the web. Its dynamic capabilities and cross-platform support make it perfect for frontend coding and scripting. The rise of Node.js expanded JS to the server side as well.

Similarities Between Java vs Javascript

Despite their differences, Java vs Javascript do share some common ground that makes learning one easier if you know the other:

C-Style Syntax

Both inherit much of their syntax from C and C++ – including { curly braces }, if/else conditionals, for/while loops, etc. Familiarity with C-style syntax gives a head start in learning either language.

Object Oriented Programming

Java is class-based while Javascript uses prototype-based inheritance but both support OOP including encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. Core concepts like objects, methods carry over between them.

Dynamic Capabilities

Although Java is statically typed, it does have dynamic language capabilities like reflection. Javascript is fully dynamic but can also opt-in to static type checking via TypeScript.

Learning Both Java vs Javascript

Should programmers learn both Java vs Javascript? Here are some tips if you decide to become fluent in both languages:

Start With One Language

Get comfortable with one language first before tackling the second. Learn the basics thoroughly including syntax, main concepts, and building some sample projects.

Understand Fundamentals

Learn general programming fundamentals like variables, data structures, functions, classes, algorithms that apply to both languages. This builds a solid base for switching languages.

Build Projects

Work on building projects that play to the strengths of each language. For Java, try an enterprise backend system. For Javascript, build an interactive web or mobile app.

Conclusion

Java and Javascript have evolved into widely-used programming languages powering software development today. Java’s rock solid stability makes it the choice for large enterprise systems. Javascript provides the magic for interactive frontend experiences.

Understanding their key similarities and differences helps developers choose the right language for the task at hand. Their shared syntax and concepts also make it convenient for programmers to learn both Java and Javascript.

FAQs

Q: Is Java and Javascript the same thing?

A: No, Java and Javascript are completely different programming languages despite their similar names. Java is class-based, statically-typed, and compiled while Javascript is prototype-based, dynamic, and interpreted.

Q: Should I learn Java vsJavascript first?

A: It depends on your interests. Java is good to start with if you prefer structured programming. Javascript is great for front end web or mobile development. Learn fundamentals that apply to both languages.

Q: Can Java and Javascript work together?

A: Yes, Java and Javascript can interact together in full stack applications. For example, using Javascript in the frontend and Java in the backend via REST APIs. Libraries like JQuery also allow calling Java from JS.

Q: Is Javascript owned by Java?

A: No, Javascript is not owned by Java or Oracle. Javascript was created by Brendan Eich at Netscape. The name may cause confusion but Javascript is completely distinct from Java.

Q: What are the best uses for Java vs Javascript?

A: Java is best for large, complex server side applications like enterprise systems. Javascript is commonly used for front end web development and scripting. It can also be used for serverside programming using Node.js.

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