1.1 Introduction to Java

What is Java?

Java is a case-sensitive programming language for general purpose use and specializes in developing Web applications. Java is also use for developing standalone applications across platforms on servers, desktop computers, and mobile devices.

Java is was initially given a lot of interest because Java programs can run from a Web browser. Note that Java programs are called applets. Applets can use the modern graphical interface with buttons, text fields, text areas, radio buttons, etc. to interact with users on the Web and process their requests. Also note that Applets are embedded in an HTML file.

Java can be used to develop Rich Internet Applications (RIA), which is a web application that delivers the same features and functions of desktop applications.

Java API, JDK and IDE

When coding Java applications, it is essential to follow a strict “rules of usage” so that the computer is able to understand your code. Java language specification and Java API define the Java Standards, or “rules of usage”.

Java Language Specification are the technical definitions for the Java Language’s Syntax and Semantics.

Application Program Interface (API), also known as library, contains the predefined classes and interfaces used for developing Java programs.

Java Editions

The Java Standard Edition (Java SE) is used to develop client-side applications. The applications can run standalone or as applets from running from a Web browser.

The Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) is used to develop server-side applications, such as Java servlets, JavaServer Pages (JSP) and JavaServer Faces (JSF).

The Java Micro Edition (Java ME) is used to develop applications for mobile devices.

Java IDE

The main Java edition is Java SE, which acts as the foundation that all other Java applications are based off of. There are many versions of Java SE, with the latest version being Java SE 8. Also note that with each release of Java SE, Oracle releases a Java Development Toolkit (JDK) to go with.

The Java Development Toolkit (JDK) is a set of programs that is invoked from the command line for developing & testing Java programs. An alternative to JDK are integrated development environments (IDE), which are java development tools that help you develop Java programs quickly. IDEs are convenient because they have the editing, compiling, building and debugging to be packaged into one GUI.

Example of IDEs include:

Also Read: Computer Hardware | Programming Concepts | Java Definitions & Terms

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