What is the Difference between Java and JavaScript?

Java is a set of computer software that was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems. It was then acquired by Oracle Corporation. Java was earlier named as OAK.

JavaScript abbreviated as JS was developed by Netscape and it was originally named LiveScript. Later, its name was changed to JavaScript by Netscape. Many non-technical people have the misconception that JavaScript is a part of Java platform but actually JavaScript is not a part of Java platform.

Java and JavaScript are both programming languages that are written, assembled, and executed differently. Java is mainly used for server-side development whereas JavaScript was used only for writing client-side scripts until Google Chrome released its JavaScript engine known as “node.js”.

There are some key differences between Java and JavaScript.

  1. Java is an Object Oriented Programming language whereas JavaScript is an Object Oriented scripting language.
  2. Java has to be compiled whereas JavaScript is written in plain text only. Java code is converted into byte code and it executes on a virtual machine called Java Virtual Machine (JVM) whereas JavaScript is an interpreted language. JavaScript code is read by browser line-by-line and is then executed by a browser.
  3. Java supports multi-threading whereas JavaScript doesn’t support multithreading.
  4. Java applications and programs run on Java Virtual Machine. You are required to install JDK (Java Development Kit) and JRE (Java Runtime Environment) on a system. JavaScript applications run on a web browser and there is no need of any setup. JavaScript has made its way to server with the advent of “node.js”.
  5. Java is an independent programming language which doesn’t depend on any specific operating system whereas JavaScript is mostly used in web browsers that rely on HTML and CSS and its implementation is browser based. JavaScript code can vary from browser to browser. Some part of code may work in one browser and may not work in another browser. For example, certain code that works fine in Internet Explorer may not work in Mozilla Firefox.
  6. Java is a strongly-typed language whereas JavaScript is a loosely-typed language. In Java, we need to declare variables using set object before using them whereas JavaScript allows the use of variable freely.
  7. One can learn Java to build applications whereas one can learn JavaScript to make websites or interactive web applications.
  8. Objects of Java are class-based whereas objects of JavaScript are prototype-based.
  9. Java has block based scope whereas JavaScript has function based scope.
  10. The file extension for Java programs is “.java” which becomes “.class” after java code compilation whereas the file extension for JavaScript is “.js”.
  11. In Java, we have to explicitly mention data type like int, float, string, etc while declaring the variable whereas in JavaScript, we declare the variables using var keyword and according to the value it takes data type of that variable automatically.
  12. Java gives full functionality to the programmers whereas JavaScript has limited commands and features.
  13. Java is static whereas JavaScript is dynamic typed language.
  14. Java is mainly used for backend whereas JavaScript was mainly used for front end until the advent of “node.js”.

Both are different languages. One is a general purpose programming language, while the other is a scripting language. For developers or programmers, it’s good to learn both Java and JavaScript to have a strong resume and wide opportunities in the changing landscape of the IT industry.

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