What Is The Difference Between Java And JavaScript?

Java and JavaScript are two of the most commonly used programming languages in the world. However, some people assume that since both have the word “Java” in their names, they must be the same thing. This is not the case – Java and JavaScript are two very different languages with different purposes.

While many coders despise this connection, and many even feel it’s a marketing gimmick, the history of these two well-known programming languages did come into contact for a brief period in Netscape’s early days, and that has something to do with the similar naming.

Let’s have a look at their interesting history and see the difference between Java and JavaScript in this article.

difference between java and javascript

What Is Java?

Java is a statically typed, object-oriented programming language released in 1995. It was created by Sun Microsystems and has been maintained by Oracle Corporation since they acquired Sun in 2010. Java is used in many different domains, such as web applications, mobile apps, desktop applications, and even games.

One of the most notable features of the Java language is that it enables developers to create robust software with cross-platform compatibility. Java code can be run on any device or operating system that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed. This is why you often see Java applets running in web browsers – the code can be executed on the user’s computer without having to install anything extra.

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language that was created by Brendan Eich in 1995. It is a lightweight, dynamic, untyped, and interpreted language which means that it doesn’t have the same compile step that Java does. JavaScript code is run in a web browser where the interpreter is built in.

One of the main advantages of JavaScript is its flexibility – since it’s a loosely typed language, developers can change variable types on the fly without having to worry about type casting. This makes coding more forgiving and less error-prone.

Additionally, JavaScript has become the language of choice for front-end web development due to its ability to manipulate HTML and CSS elements on the page.

Difference Between Java And JavaScript

History

The one that intertwines the two languages the most is their history.

In 1996, Java Sun Microsystems debuted the first public implementation of Java. Originally, Java was created with the intention of being used in interactive television, which is fantastic. However, it was far too sophisticated for the digital cable television industry when it was initially designed.

However, it ultimately established itself as the preeminent realm of server-side programming. In a nutshell, server-side programming is the portion of an application that humans don’t directly interact with, such as the part of Venmo that maintains track of your current balance and calculates your new one.

JavaScript was created by Netscape, the firm that created the first popular web browser in 1995. It was originally called mocha before being renamed Live Script before finally taking the name JavaScript and being designed as a simple language that would be directly integrated into an HTML website’s code like CSS does today.

JavaScript added much-needed dynamic interaction to the web – HTML CSS and JavaScript completed the trifecta of web development. For the first few years of its existence, they powered website’s HTML as the structure, CSS as the design, and JavaScript as the interaction.

Netscape is the undisputed king of web browsers, but when Microsoft’s revolutionary software company introduced its version of the internet browser, Netscape got a little concerned since Internet Explorer was extremely popular.

This was the beginning of what’s known in internet history as the first browser War. To put it mildly, the Netscape folks were panicking, so they met with Sun Microsystems’ team and discussed a merger. Netscape did this in order to fight back against Microsoft’s dominance.

Thus, the name JavaScript was born.

Nowadays, Java is still primarily used for server-side programming, while JavaScript has taken over as the dominant client-side scripting language.

Object Oriented Programming

Java is an object oriented programming language whereas JavaScript is an object oriented scripting language.

When you create a Java program, you must first define a class and then create objects from that class. An object is an instance of a class, and each object has its own unique set of variables and methods.

In JavaScript, you don’t have to define a class first. You can simply create an object without a class and add properties and methods to it as you go.

This is why JavaScript is often considered a more versatile language than Java. It’s less strict and gives you more room for creativity.

Both Java and JavaScript offer polymorphism and inheritance, but JavaScript’s inheritance is prototypal while Java’s is classical.

JavaScript has a more complex way to define these constructs because of its dynamically typed nature.

Compiled Vs Interpreted

Java is a compiled language and JavaScript is an interpreted language.

When you write a Java program, the compiler will translate it into bytecode, which is a set of instructions that can be run on any Java virtual machine.

Bytecode is not human-readable, so you can’t just open up a Java file in your text editor and start poking around.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is an interpreted language. This means that the code is read and executed as it’s being run. There’s no need for a compiler, and you can easily open up a JavaScript file in your text editor and start tinkering with it.

One downside to using an interpreted language is that the code will run more slowly than code that has been compiled. This is because the interpreter has to read and execute every line of code, while the compiler only needs to translate the code into bytecode once.

However, these days the interpreters are pretty fast, and there is almost no lag in between the time you type a line of code and the time it’s executed.

Compiled languages also prevent runtime errors, whereas interpreted languages tend to produce more errors. However, JavaScript has a number of features that help you find and fix errors in your code, such as the debugger and console.

Because JavaScript is an interpreted language, it’s also a security risk.

Anybody who has access to your code can execute it, which means they can potentially steal your data or damage your website.

Java, on the other hand, is a compiled language and is much more secure. The code is translated into bytecode before it’s run, so there’s no chance of someone tampering with it and causing havoc.

Runtime and Development Environment

Java requires a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in order to run, while JavaScript doesn’t require any special software.

This is because Java is a compiled language, while JavaScript is an interpreted language.

When you compile a Java program, the compiler turns your code into bytecode that can be run on any Java Virtual Machine. This makes Java more portable than JavaScript.

JavaScript code must be first processed by a JavaScript engine before it can be executed. The most popular JavaScript engines are Google Chrome’s V8 engine, Mozilla Firefox’s SpiderMonkey engine, and Apple Safari’s Nitro engine.

The JavaScript engines are specific to each browser.

JavaScript has also been standardized by ECMAScript, while Java is standardized by the Java Community Process (JCP).

Syntax

Java is statically typed. The Java compiler is very picky about the format of your code, and there are many specific rules that you must follow. If you make even the slightest mistake, the compiler will give you an error message.

JavaScript is dynamically typed, and has a much more forgiving syntax. You can write your code in any way you want, as long as it produces the desired result. This makes JavaScript easier to learn for beginners.

Let me show you what I mean, notice how I’m declaring these variables in Java.

String name = “Kelly”;

int id = 5;

int[] arr = new int[] {1,2,3,4};

Notice how I have to declare upfront that the name variable is a String, id is an integer and arr is an integer array?

You have to declare the type of values you are storing in the given variable. Not just that, once you declare the type of a variable, say String, it remains a String forever. You cannot for example, set the value of the variable name to integer 3.

name = 3; //error

Compare that to JavaScript. All you have to do to store a String in a variable called name is –

let name = "Kelly";

You do not have to specify the type of the variable here. Not only that, in JavaScript, the variables can be reassigned to values with a different data type. So, name can be assigned a value of 4.

name = 4;

Now, I don’t know why you would want to do that, but it’s possible.

Prototype Based Vs Class Based

JavaScript is considered a prototype-based object oriented language, meaning that you are not bound to a code pattern like that in Java. So, you have to pass through a lot less hoops in JavaScript to create an object.

Java is class based object oriented programming language. You literally have to wrap everything around in a class.

For example, let’s try to print a simple message on screen: My name is Kelly.

In Java, we have to do a lot of things. First, we are forced to use classes to do anything as simple as displaying a message.

Here’s a simple class declaration in Java –

public class MyClass {

public static void main(String[] args) {

System.out.println(“My name is Kelly”);

}

}

We also have to create a main method that gets called automatically when the program starts.

In JavaScript, we can simply write the message on screen like this –

console.log("My name is Kelly");

No classes, no main methods. We just write what we want to happen and JavaScript takes care of the rest. We can use classes in JavaScript too, but in no way are you bound to use them in JavaScript.

This also makes JavaScript more versatile than Java, because you can create objects in any way you want without being restricted by a class-based system.

Functional Programming

JavaScript is a functional programming language. This means that functions are first-class citizens in JavaScript, meaning that you can do things with them like you would with other data types like strings and integers.

For example, in Java, you can create a function like this –

public int square(int num) {

return num * num;

}

But you can’t use it as you would other data types. For example, you can’t assign it to a variable or pass it as an argument to another function.

In JavaScript, you can do things like this –

let square = function(num) {

return num * num;

};

console.log(square(3)); // 9

Here, we are creating a function called square and assigning it to the variable square. We are then able to call the function and pass in an argument of 3, which will return 9. Functions can also return other functions, which we can then call and pass in arguments to.

This makes JavaScript a very powerful language, because you can create complex programs by creating small functions and then combining them together.

Libraries And Frameworks

Libraries and frameworks are a huge part of JavaScript development. Libraries are collections of pre-written code that you can use in your own programs, while frameworks are complete programs that you can use as a starting point for your own projects.

There are libraries and frameworks for everything in JavaScript – from web development to data science to machine learning. And because JavaScript is so versatile, most of these libraries and frameworks work just fine with it.

For example, the popular React library for creating user interfaces works perfectly with JavaScript, as does the popular TensorFlow library for machine learning. This means that if you know JavaScript, you can use these libraries to create powerful applications.

Java has an equal number of libraries and frameworks, mostly in the device market.

The creator of the most widely used language for mobile development, Java has recently seen a major hit in browser support as Google discontinued Java compatibility from Chrome. That said, Java is still popular on the device side – Android and otherwise. Java has a strong presence in server-side web development, especially with Spring framework and its MVC offering.

Both languages have a strong support for a large number of data stores, making them popular for data-driven applications.

Learning Curve

Java is a more difficult language to learn than JavaScript. This is mostly because Java is a more complex language with more features.

For example, in Java, you need to learn about classes, interfaces, abstract classes, and annotations. You also need to learn about the various Java APIs that are available, such as the Collections API and the Streams API.

In JavaScript, you don’t need to learn about any of this. You can simply write code and let JavaScript take care of the rest. This makes JavaScript a great first language to learn.

That said, once you learn Java, you will have a better understanding of how programming works and you will be able to more easily learn other languages like JavaScript.

Popularity

Java is a very popular programming language used by some of the technical giants like – Google, Facebook, Twitter and more. While JavaScript is also popular, it’s nowhere near as popular as Java.

This is mostly because Java is a more traditional programming language with a longer history.

Java also has a more rigorous set of guidelines and standards that you have to follow when writing code. This can make Java harder to learn than JavaScript, but it also makes your code more reliable and predictable.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is a bit more relaxed in terms of its guidelines. This makes it easier to learn for beginners, but can also lead to inconsistency and ambiguity in code.

Concurrency

Java has long been known for its powerful concurrency features. This means that you can write code that can run in parallel, doing multiple things at the same time.

This is a huge advantage when it comes to developing complex applications, because it allows you to break your code down into smaller parts that can run concurrently.

JavaScript has recently added support for concurrency with the addition of the Async/Await feature. This lets you write code that runs in parallel without having to use explicit threading libraries.

This makes JavaScript a great choice for developing concurrent applications, especially on platforms like Node.js where multiple cores are common.

Ease of Use

Java is a more traditional programming language with a longer history. This makes it harder to learn for beginners, but also means that your code is more reliable and predictable.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is more forgiving with regard to its standards. This makes it simpler for novices to learn, but it may also cause code to be out-of-sync and vague.

Which language you choose will largely depend on your level of experience and what you want to use the language for. Java is a better choice if you want to develop robust, reliable applications, while JavaScript is a better choice if you want to learn how to program quickly.

Multithreading Support

Java supports multithreading out of the box, while JavaScript requires the use of external libraries to do the same.

This is a major advantage for Java when it comes to developing complex applications. With multithreading, you can break your code down into smaller parts that can run concurrently, which speeds up the execution process.

JavaScript has recently added support for concurrency with the addition of the Async/Await feature. This lets you write code that runs in parallel without having to use explicit threading libraries.

This makes JavaScript a great choice for developing concurrent applications, especially on platforms like Node.js where multiple cores are common.

Security

Java is a more secure programming language than JavaScript.

This is because Java has a stricter set of guidelines and standards that you have to follow when writing code. This makes it harder for hackers to exploit your code and steal your data.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is more forgiving with regard to its standards. This makes it easier for hackers to find security holes in your code and exploit them.

File Extension

Java files have the extension .java, while JavaScript files have the extension .js.

File Size

Java applications tend to be larger in size than their JavaScript counterparts.

This is because Java has more features and is more verbose than JavaScript. It also requires a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run, which adds additional overhead.

This isn’t to say that Java applications are always large, but they tend to be larger than their JavaScript counterparts.

Applications

Java is commonly used to develop enterprise applications, while JavaScript is more commonly used for web development.

This isn’t to say that Java can’t be used for web development or that JavaScript can’t be used for enterprise applications, but these are the most common use cases.

Java is a better choice if you want to develop robust, reliable applications, while JavaScript is a better choice if you want to learn how to program quickly.

Some applications where java is used are –

  • Big data applications
  • Scientific applications
  • Mesh networking applications

Some applications where JavaScript is used are –

  • Web applications
  • Desktop applications
  • Mobile applications
  • Games

Testing

Java has many more tools for testing your code than JavaScript does.

This is because Java has been around for a longer time and has more of a established community.

Java also has more comprehensive libraries for testing, which makes it easier to test your code.

Mockito and Hamcrest are two popular Java testing libraries, while Jasmine and Mocha are two popular JavaScript testing libraries.

Community

Java has a larger community than JavaScript does.

This is because Java has been around for a longer time and has more of a established community.

Java also has more comprehensive libraries, which makes it easier to find help and develop code.

The Java community is also more active on Stack Overflow and other forums, making it easier to get help with your coding problems.

JavaScript is also a popular language, and its community is growing every day. It has many of the same advantages as Java when it comes to finding help and developing code.

The JavaScript community is also active on Stack Overflow and other forums, making it easier to get help with your coding problems.

Hiring And Salary

JavaScript developers are surprisingly paid more in the US than Java developers, probably because of the current demand for JavaScript.

The average salary for a Java developer in the US is $107,118, while the average salary for a JavaScript developer is $111,526.

Source: indeed.com
Source: indeed.com

It might vary from location to location, as a Java developer in Silicon Valley might make more than a Java developer in Texas.

This isn’t to say that you can’t find a job as a Java developer or that you can’t make a lot of money as a Java developer, there is definitely enough demand for both programming languages.

It’s safe to say that you can make a good living as a developer no matter which language you choose.

Java Vs JavaScript – Which Language Is Better?

This is a question that has been debated for many years, and there is no clear answer.

Both Java and JavaScript have their pros and cons, and it really depends on what you are using them for.

If you want to develop robust, reliable server-side applications, then Java is a better choice. If you want to develop web applications or learn how to program quickly, then JavaScript is a better choice.

Both languages are popular and have a large community behind them, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

Both languages are popular with employers, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a job as a developer.

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