- August 3, 2012
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is the underlying technology that powers state-of-the-art programs including utilities, games, and business applications. Java runs on more than 850 million personal computers worldwide, and on billions of devices worldwide, including mobile and TV devices.
Java has become essential to devices everywhere. There are lots of applications and websites that won’t work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
Java was designed with a concept of ‘write once and run everywhere’. Java Virtual Machine plays the central role in this concept. The JVM is the environment in which Java programs execute. It is a software that is implemented on top of real hardware and operating system. It allows for a multitude of different programs to be run properly on a multitude of different operating systems and hardware configurations.
In the words of the creators of Java:
Java: A simple, object-oriented, network-savvy, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, high-performance, multithreaded, dynamic language.
Wait.. what? Yeah, that’s what I said when I first started becoming familiar with Java. Buzzwords are often utilized to describe the characteristics of a system. For a full explaination of these buzzwords, what they mean and how the language applies them, click here to read it straight from the creators at Sun Microsystems.
The must important buzzword to the general web-surfer is “architecture nuetral”. This characteristic is what has lead to java being utilized across the entire world wide web and beyond. A particluar program would normally need to be built differently in order to work on different platforms and devices. Java allows a program to be written once, and it can be run on any device that has the Java Virtual Machine installed.
The Java programming language lets you write powerful, enterprise-worthy programs that run in the browser, from the desktop, on a server, or on a consumer device. Java programs are run on — interpreted by — another program called the Java Virtual Machine (Java VM). Rather than running directly on the native operating system, the program is interpreted by the Java VM for the native operating system. This means that any computer system with the Java VM installed can run a Java program regardless of the computer system on which the application was originally developed.
So, that pop-up to update Java that keeps coming up but you continue to ignore? You should start listening to the update. Sometimes the updates come a little often, but generally if you keep on top of it, it only happens every once in a while. Keeping Java up-to-date will ensure that your computer has the latest Java Virtual Machine installed which will optimize web browsing and other program interactions.
Now that you know what Java does and why it is important, next time we will take a look into the actual code and Object Oriented Programming architecture of the language.