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What Are the Differences Between Java and JavaScript?

Which Programming Language Should I Learn?

Java and JavaScript are considered coding languages. The apps we use every day are often developed using multiple languages. When trying to decide on which coding language to learn, the best way to derive a solution is to work backward from the position you want.

Two of the top languages established employers utilize are Java and JavaScript. Even though they both contain the word Java, they are pretty distant cousins. You may wonder, “how distant?” Well, here’s a quote we like and a quick list…

java is to javascript what car is to carpet quote

#1.  Java uses a middle-man

If I wanted to center a picture on a web page and make it look pretty, I’d type lines that a person could read. If I wanted to create a program that printed “Hello World!” I would have to type lines that are compiled into bytecode and run on a virtual machine.

#2. JavaScript code can run on a browser

This sounds simple enough, right? As a scripting language, JavaScript uses dynamic typing. If a line of JavaScript doesn’t work it will be wrong in real time. Java requires a check after you’ve entered the code into the compiler – until then you’re crossing your fingers. You can use a Java applet to work on front-end development, but that leads us to #3.

#3. Java was “imitated,” but not duplicated

Besides both being object-oriented languages, the name JavaScript is in fact, the product of a marketing deal between Netscape and Sun. Developed by Brendan Eich at Mozilla, JavaScript was originally called Mocha, and then LiveScript. The name was changed yet again during the beta releases and took on the world as JavaScript in December of 1995.

#4. One is better at wearing a bunch of hats

The concept of concurrency is about being able to handle the execution of several instruction sequences at the same time. Without getting too technical, Java uses multiple threads to process requests simultaneously, JavaScript uses an “event loop.” In many instances, Java gets the job done a bit faster.

#5. It’s not necessarily either/or

While JavaScript is considered a client-side scripting language that can be used with Java in an application, they accomplish very different tasks. When Java was released in 1991 it was initially being used to program consumer electronics like VCRs. JavaScript is behind the dynamic webpage of your favorite app.

The philosophy behind Java is “write once, run anywhere.” If JavaScript had a philosophy it would be “make it pretty.”

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