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Java vs. JavaScript: Similarities and Differences

Although their names are explicitly similar, there are many differences between Java and JavaScript. For example, when running Java applets in the browser, applets are often news of the past. In contrast, Javascript is used to deliver dynamic content on web pages around the world. This creates the notion that JavaScript is the “language of the web,” Java is a “backend” language, and a real (incomplete) spot to raise a comparison.

To help us make a better comparison, we can look at each language.

Java

  • Java uses an OOP concept to data and methods – Yes, Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language. Programming language – indicates that the code was compiled first before executing the code.
  • Static Typed Language – With static typing, variables are known when compiling code. This means that bugs can be detected early in development.
  • Compiled language – Usually, JavaScript code is compiled into bytecode right before the execution. Humans cannot read the compiled code.
  • Runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) – JVM is the place where the Java code is executed. Java code is often very small, as JVM helps to extract the underlying operating system.

Javascript

  • Object-oriented scripting language – Even JavaScript uses an OOP concept, though it is a scripting language. This indicates that no specific compilation is required before executing the JavaScript code.
  • Dynamically Typed Language – Variables are checked during execution. This enables quick coding, but bugs are often found in the development process.
  • An interpreted language – JavaScript code is saved in plain text and can be interpreted without any compilation.
  • Runs in a web browser – Originally, JavaScript was implemented entirely in web browsers. But nowadays, JavaScript runtime environments, in which Node.js is so hot, provide another way to run JavaScript code outside the browser.

Node.js.

The concept of “JavaScript client-side and Java server-side” has put things easy in the past. Node.js changes it. Node.js is a runtime environment that lets Javascript run outside of the regular web browser environment. And hence, it is becoming more prevalent in a broad array of server-side applications.

Java vs. JavaScript:

The two different languages with a similar name. Do you want to know why they have similar names?

Here’s the answer.

Java is the programming language and platform of things that was created in 1995 by The Green Team at Sun Microsystems. Led by renowned computer scientist James Gosling, the team developed a platform-independent, object-oriented, compact, and sound programming language. Originally, the language was going to be named “OAK.” However, OAK was branded by another company, so the team had to think of an alternative. After considering DNA and Silk names, the group settled in Java inspired by coffee.

At the same time, Netscape, the company behind the once-popular Netscape Communicator web browser, was working on the way to make web pages more dynamic. Part of this could be achieved using Java and Java apples, but more basic tasks required a simpler solution. When Java implemented enterprise-grade applications, the project had a different target audience: Web designers and non-developers. To achieve this, Netscape created a scripting language using Java-like syntax. Initially, the scripting language was named Mocha, later LiveScript. A few months later its release, in December 1995, the name was again renamed to JavaScript. 

Why is it renamed? 

According to Javascript creator Brendan Ich, this is the result of a licensing agreement between Sun Microsystems and Netscape.

Java vs. JavaScript: What do you need to learn?

If you are choosing between Java or JavaScript, here are some things to help you decide:

If you choose Java:

  • You want to create desktop applications
  • You want to create mobile Android apps
  • You want to be familiar with a general-purpose programming language
  • You want to work in large enterprise software applications

If you choose JavaScript

  • You want to design the front end of web applications
  • You want to create mobile apps that use PhoneGap / Cordova, jQuery Mobile, Sencha.
  • You want to learn a language with a simple learning curve
  • You want to learn a useful language on the front end and back end of web applications

Are you ready to learn one of these programming languages? 

If you are curious in Java, check out the Java Master Program Course. If you want to learn JavaScript, the JavaScript – Introduction for Beginners Course is for you.