Java got a 3-rd lead position in TIOBE ranking and was held the first one for the last few years till April 2020. How can this programming language remain popular when new technologies are raised almost every year or two? Somebody said that the whole thing is in a relatively simple syntax others emphasize the value of frameworks. Anyway, 11.6% of all worldwide market developments are made on Java or its components base. It's time to understand what kind of programming language is Java, which features it has and how to explain the phenomenon of its superiority.
Definition of Java Programming Language
Java is an object-oriented programming language, created in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. It was designed as an alternative to the extremely difficult C ++ distinguished by the absence of both systematicity and logical restrictions in software development. The new approach also had to solve other urgent issues, like security, cross-platform, versatility, etc.
Java is C++ without the guns, clubs, and knives.
James Gosling, Java Founder
Digital products written in Java are translated into byte code, processed by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and passes the appropriate set of instructions to the hardware.
The language began to enjoy popularity after some time. Partly because in the late 90s, few people imagined how to develop digital products using the interpreter. But as of today, following Oracle that acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, millions of developers running over 51 billion JVM worldwide.
What Are The Core Features of Java?
The Java characteristics can also be called pros since the language was created to improve the programming process and eliminate unnecessary procedures/elements. Thus, among the features of this language, the following should be highlighted:
Versatility. Java applies for both frontend and backend components development. Moreover, IT-specialists use it to design narrow-profile software for cars and smart houses, as well as solutions for banks and payment systems.
Simplicity and Convenience. The logic of the language is pretty clear. Harsh code structure allows seamlessly maintaining solutions. The developer can easily navigate the code of any complexity and improve the required component quickly. Besides, special auto-complete and auto-correction functions simplify the specialist's work.
Specifically, my favorite tool in Java is hot code swapping in debug mode, meaning I can edit the code while the game is running and immediately see the results in the running game. This is super great for rapid tweaking.
Markus Persson, Minecraft Creator
Cross-platform. Write once run anywhere - Java slogan for this feature. The advantage of this executing program method is the complete byte-code independence from the operating system and hardware. So, Java code can run on any device for which the JVM was implemented. This way, an application will work equally well on Windows, Linux, and other operating systems.
Stable Stack. Working with Java, most companies use Spring, Hibernate frameworks. Thus, it is easy to replace the development team if it is needed. Many professionals in the market are experienced in these technologies.
Reliability. The inheritance hierarchy improves the code readability and reduces the number of forced errors. The strong typing guarantees unambiguous data interpretation.
Safety. The Java platform defines several APIs covering public infrastructure, authentication, secure transmission, and access control.
Well-built ecosystem. During 25 years, engineers have created hundreds of frameworks, thousands of libraries, and plugins. Besides, the Java community is massive. Following the SlashData report, in 2019, there were 26.4 mln Java developers. Their number will increase up to 45 mln in 2030. So any question regarding this language is already answered.
However, each of these traits has a downside. Developers didn't like the complexity and constant changes in the security area and the speed programming level. Oracle is still working on the first issue. The SpringBoot framework has already solved the second one. It accelerates the creation of a Spring-based web application by eliminating the routine operations and minimal coding effort.
In 2018, Oracle announced that it would charge fees for Java usage. The question "Is Java free?" became one of the most pressing questions regarding this language. Following the Oracle website, Java SE 8 remains free of charge only for general purpose desktop and server use.
What Is Java Programming Language Used For?
So, what can you do with the Java programming language? - As seen, everything, due to its versatility. Nevertheless, it's believed that the language is especially suitable for working under global projects because of structuredness, high security level, and relative simplicity. Such qualities enable the creation of highly scalable solutions. Anyway, Java is widely used in the:
Financial & Trading Areas. The most famous payment systems, like Visa and Mastercard, are written based on this language. Java is also applicable for POS systems and trading apps development.
Android Development. Java is still the core language for such purposes, despite Kotlin growing popularity.
Web-development, including Big Data solutions (Hadoop, Gmail).
Gaming industry. Minecraft, Mortal Kombat, and Warcraft were developed on Java. While there are many other tools and languages for game design nowadays, Java is still one of the most popular ones.
Government Area. Java-based applications help to manage strategic assets and data on Earth and in space. Several well-known NASA solutions were written in Java (Maestro Mars Rover controller, NASA WorldWind).
The Bottom Line
Thus, Java is one of the most convenient object-oriented programming languages with strong typing. It has a simple syntax, a high level of safety, and a cross-platform feature. The language's qualities make it applicable to any solution design. Anyway, it's perfect for large, highly scalable solutions. Java is actively used in various areas: financial, government, space, gaming, etc.