Comparisons

Java VS JavaScript: A Thorough Comparison

Java VS JavaScript: A Thorough Comparison

java-vs-javascriptIn these, modern times, programming is becoming more and more popular every single day. It’s one of the most requested professions in the job market – everyone from small companies all the way up to huge corporations employ programmers to develop their platforms. However, since there are so many programming languages out there, it can be difficult to choose a specific one to study and learn. That is why today, in this Java VS JavaScript tutorial, we’ll talk about two of the more popular programming languages out there.

At the very beginning, I’ll tell you about each of the programming languages separately. We’ll talk about their history, origins, notable features, etc. After that, we’ll lay out the main criteria for figuring out what is the difference between Java and JavaScript. Finally, at the very end, we’ll cover the main differences of Java VS JavaScript, according to the criteria set earlier in the tutorial.

Introduction

Programming languages can be a really difficult topic to wrap your head around – that goes without saying! However, they do offer benefits to people who are determined on learning them. The world of coding is based on its own, separate philosophy – it has its own ethics, values, rules and so on. Learning and truly understanding a programing language can help you broaden your point of view and see the world from a new perspective.

Talking about some more of the practical uses of programming, this skill often acts as a “security card” for your career. Programming is such a popular profession that it’s almost impossible to find yourself in a situation where you’d struggle to find a coding job. Sure, some programming languages are more popular than others – this can easily be seen by taking a look at the average programmer salary, and how it differs for each programming language out there (even though programmers do make a great salary, in general). This is why it’s a good idea to take a look at some programming language reviews (or comparisons, such as this Java VS JavaScript tutorial) before deciding which language would suit you the best.

With that said, let’s move on to actually talking about what is the difference between Java and JavaScript. And since we need to have a pretty good idea about both of the programming languages to be able to compare them, we’ll begin this JavaScript vs Java article by talking about Java.

Java

java-vs-javascriptJava is famous for its slogan WORA, or “write once, run everywhere”. This slogan is meant to represent the universality and adaptability of this programming language.

Java was created by James Gosling and his two colleagues back in June 1991. It was meant to be a project-oriented programming language that would be based on the C/C++ syntax – this would allow it to be easily understandable, since programmers back then mostly knew C and C++.

Now, a little history is always nice, but it doesn’t answer the question of why is Java so special? Well, it mostly has to do with the above-mentioned slogan.

The fact that Java is so universally useful has built up a solid amount of hype around the programming language. And this isn’t just pure speculation, either – evidence suggest that most big data and Android app development-concerned companies around the world use Java by default. This segways into another point about Java – to this very day, the popularity of this programming language is attracting new Java developers to the current job market. The thing is that Java development doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon – the demand for Java developers is actually still on the rise!

Some of the biggest critiques for Java come up when discussion about the programming language’s age begins. People say that Java is outdated, and that there are programming languages that have aged much better than it has. However, Java 9 aims to prove people wrong – it has multiple different updates that aim to prove that Java is still a very real competitor in the world of modern programming languages.

Now, this was just a short introduction to Java. We’ll go over its main features a little later on, when we actually start comparing JavaScript VS Java. Before that happens, however, we still need to talk about JavaScript and lay down some essential rules for our comparison. So, let’s continue this Java VS JavaScript tutorial and talk about JavaScript.

JavaScript

java-vs-javascriptSame as Java, JavaScript (often just called JS) is an interpreted, high-level programming language. It was created and developed in 1995 by Brendan Eich, from Netscape Communications. The whole idea behind JavaScript was that it was meant to accompany Java in having a similar syntax.

JavaScript has a few distinct advantages over other popular programming languages out there. First of all, even though many people tend to criticize this programming language (this is the same story that happens with Java; I’ve mentioned this a bit earlier in the Java VS JavaScript article) for being limited to executions in a browser, it has proved itself to be useful for many more reasons beyond that.

Additionally, JavaScript is very simple (in comparison to some other, more popular programming languages out there) to use and is amazingly adaptable to other programming languages. This is often where languages like PHP or Ruby lack, and JavaScript shines – JavaScript, unlike the majority of its contenders, can be added to most web pages, regardless of the file extension that these pages use.

Naturally, even though this might look somewhat trivial at first glance, it’s worth mentioning the popularity of JavaScript. One would think that Java has this point over JavaScript when it comes to Java VS JavaScript comparisons, but things aren’t at all that easy. JavaScript is actually super popular – the fact that this programming language is so widely available to learn makes it very accessible and super popular.

So, with all of that said, you should now have a general idea about both of the programming languages in question. Let’s move on to the next part of our Java VS JavaScript tutorial and talk about some of the criteria for our comparison.

Comparison Criteria

In this Java VS JavaScript article, we shall use three big features that every programming language has to possess in order to be able to stand the test of time and outlive its contenders. By no means are these the ONLY features of a good programming language – they are simply some of the more essential ones without which a programming language couldn’t survive.

These three features are, as follows – simplicity, abstraction, and popularity. Let’s go over all three of them, so that you could fully understand what we’re dealing with.

Simplicity

A programming language should be simple to use. That sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? Well, unfortunately, it isn’t. Many programming languages, to this day, are very complex and difficult to use. They often disguise this issue with scapegoats such as “a more complex structure” or “fast run times”. However, none of these things mean anything if the language is too complex and difficult to even bother with. The majority of the most popular programming languages (we’ll talk about the two specific cases of Java VS JavaScript a bit later on) and their communities know this – it would be difficult (no pun intended) to find a super-popular programming language that is simultaneously hard to use.

Abstraction

Abstraction might sound, well… abstract to people who have never dealt with a programming language before. However, if you’re a programming enthusiast yourself, you’ll probably agree that abstraction is an important feature when it comes to a programming language’s longevity – and that’s why it’s on this Java VS JavaScript tutorial.

Abstraction is a feature that allows a programming language to define certain complicated structures and then use them while ignoring some of the less-important details. This comes back as a variety of benefits – increased speed, popularity, efficiency, etc. Abstraction can be found in object-oriented programming languages – as the name implies, they ignore details and focus on the object at hand.

Popularity

Now, this is a tough one. You might think – how is popularity relevant to good programming languages? And how is it even a feature? Well, let me explain.

First of all, let’s be real – the more recognition a programming language has, the better it probably is. And this is not even referencing “mainstream hype” or any of that – it’s just a matter of logic. If there’s a programing language that allows programmers to work miracles, people are going to use it. The more people use it, the more recognition it gets – the more popular it becomes! That’s just how things are.

Now, with that said, how is it still a feature, though? Well, a point that is very relevant to our Java VS JavaScript article is community support. If the programming language has a great following and a dedicated fanbase, it is surely going to be widely used, get frequent updates and have a lot of community support, in general. And this isn’t only true when it comes to the technical side of things. Imagine that you were to learn a programming language – you would probably like it if there was a lot of information available about it online, now wouldn’t you? Well, I personally know a lot of people who had to learn some of the lesser-known programming languages – they hated every single second of it, since there was little to no information available online.

Java VS JavaScript – The Comparison

Now that we have the key points figured out, let’s jump straight into the actual Java VS JavaScript comparison. We’ll take it point-by-point, so as to avoid possible confusion and to be as clear as possible.

Which One is Simpler?

When it comes to simplicity, both of the programming languages have pretty high rankings. Java is, by default, considered to be one of the most simple programming languages to learn today. JavaScript kind of falls into this category as well, since it’s based on the Java syntax. So, if you’re looking for a simple programming language, I’d have to say that it’s difficult to distinguish between Java VS JavaScript – both are good contenders!

Which One is More Abstract?

Although less referenced, abstraction is still an important feature of a programming language. Here, both programming languages are, again, similar. The big distinction can be seen when we talk about the type of languages that they are, however – Java is an OOP (Object Oriented Programming) programming language, while JavaScript is an OOP scripting language. Both of them, however, are more or less based on OOP, which makes them both abstract.

Which One is More Popular?

This one is rather easy – in the debate of Java VS JavaScript, both of these programming languages have great followings and a lot of support. And this isn’t a cheesy one-liner, either – it simply means that whichever language you might choose to learn, you will find a ton of information online and will receive a lot of community support along the way.

A Few More Differences

So – we’ve covered some of the main differences between Java VS JavaScript, at least when it comes to the functionality of the programming languages. However, what if you’re still wondering what is the difference between Java and JavaScript? Well, let me give you a TL;DR answer.

Java can be used to create apps that run in either a virtual machine or a browser, while JavaScript can only be used with a browser. Furthermore, JavaScript’s code has to be written in text, while Java’s code has to be compiled.

Conclusions

Well, we have reached the end of this JavaScript VS Java tutorial. I hope that the information presented within the tutorial was useful to you, and that now you know more about both of the programming languages in question!

Do remember, however, that both of these languages are rather different and would be used in different scenarios. The decisions of which one is better is purely dependant on your own personal preferences and needs.

Want my advice? Just learn them both! This will make things a lot easier, and you’ll have broadened your skill set! It’s a win-win situation!

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!

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