Introduction to Computer Science using Java
Java is a simple and yet powerful object oriented programming language and it is in many respects similar to C++. Java originated at Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 1991. It was conceived by James Gosling, Patrick Naughton, Chris Warth, Ed Frank, and Mike Sheridan at Sun Microsystems, Inc. It was developed to provide a platform-independent programming language.
Unlike many other programming languages including C and C++ when Java is compiled, it is not compiled into platform specific machine, rather into platform independent byte code. This byte code is distributed over the web and interpreted by virtual Machine (JVM) on whichever platform it is being run.
Java Virtual Machine
What is the Java Virtual Machine? What is its role?
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 software that is implemented on top of real hardware and operating system. When the source code (.java files) is compiled, it is translated into byte codes and then placed into (.class) files. The JVM executes these byte codes.
ection of objects, each of which represents an instance of a class, and whose classes are all members of a hierarchy of classes united via inheritance relationships.
Java is Distributed
With extensive set of routines to handle TCP/IP protocols like HTTP and FTP java can open and access the objects across net via URLs.
Java is Multithreaded
One of the powerful aspects of the Java language is that it allows multiple threads of execution to run concurrently within the same program A single Java program can have many different threads executing independently and continuously. Multiple Java applets can run on the browser at the same time sharing the CPU time.
Java is Secure
Java was designed to allow secure execution of code across network. To make Java secure many of the features of C and C++ were eliminated. Java does not use Pointers. Java programs cannot access arbitrary addresses in memory.
Automatic garbage collection is another great feature of Java with which it prevents inadvertent corruption of memory. Similar to C++, Java has a new operator to allocate memory on the heap for a new object. But it does not use delete operator to free the memory as it is done in C++ to free the memory if the object is no longer needed. It is done automatically with garbage collector.
Java has evolved from a simple language providing interactive dynamic content for web pages to a predominant enterprise-enabled programming language suitable for developing significant and critical applications. Today, It is used for many types of applications including Web based applications, Financial applications, Gaming applications, embedded systems, Distributed enterprise applications, mobile applications, Image processors, desktop applications and many more.
The Java environment is composed of a number of system components. You use these components at compile time to create the Java program and at run time to execute the program. Java achieves its independence by creating programs designed to run on the Java Virtual Machine rather than any specific computer system.
• Byte code files, which are very compact, are easily transported through a distributed system like the Internet.
• The compiled Java code (resulting byte code) will be executed at run time.
Java programs can be written and executed in two ways:
• Stand-alone application (A Java Swing Application)
• Applet which runs on a web browser (Example: Internet Explorer)
Java source code
A Java program is a collection of one or more java classes. A Java source file can contain more than one class definition and has a .java extension. Each class definition in a source file is compiled into a separate class file. The name of this compiled file is comprised of the name of the class with .class as an extension.
Below is a java sample code for the traditional Hello World program. Basically, the idea behind this Hello World program is to learn how to create a program, compile and run it. To create your java source code you can use any editor( Text pad/Edit plus are my favorites) or you can use an IDE like Eclipse.