This article is the sixth in an ongoing series by Gwen Barret and Destiny Johnson.
The Java programming language has been around for about 25 years. Over time it has been used for web applications, video games, etc.
In this article, we will be giving you an introduction of how Java programming is executed and the process behind the screen. This will be helpful to learn some of the elements of code in our next article, you will not only understand how the code works, but also how to write it.
JDK, IDE and Their Alternatives
The JDK (Also known as the Java Development Kit) is a software that can be paired with an IDE (Integrated development environment) to compile or run a program.
An IDE is responsible for letting you write, debug, edit, and run your java code. Some examples of IDEs are Eclipse, Netbeans and Visual Code Studio. The JDK is quite simple to install and doesn’t have to be opened in order for the IDE to pair and work with it. For the best results, download the one that works with your Operating System.
To see the requirements and download the JDK, visit Oracle’s website and download the correct JDK for your operating system.
To download one of the IDEs that we mentioned, you can use the links below:
You don’t always have to use an IDE to create Java programs. As an alternative you can use a basic text editor like Notepad to type your code and use a terminal to see the output (we will talk more about this later).
JVM or Java Virtual Machine, translates your code into a language that the computer can understand and produce an output from. This native computer language is made of zeros and ones and is known as the binary system. This system consists of patterns of 0s and 1s that form numbers, letters, symbols, etc.
Java has many traits that put it above other high level programming languages.
- Object Oriented: Meaning it can contain data and code
- Interpreted: Meaning it uses the JVM or java virtual machine so that it doesn’t have to be transferred to a separate interpreter to be compiled.
- Architecture-Neutral: Meaning your application can run any device as long as it has a JVM or the Java Virtual Machine.
- Robust: Meaning that it detects errors before executing the programs
- Multithreading: Means it can allow the single program to do multiple things at once.
The terminal can be used to run the program you create. The terminal can also run commands on your computer and execute commands within a directory (folder or area that a file is stored in).
Terminal windows are very similar to what computers looked like back in the day when commands had to be used to operate the computer. These computers weren’t very user-friendly which is why most people prefer to use an IDE, but we will still show you the basic commands in our next article so you can decide for yourself.
In this article, we discussed the softwares and tools needed to begin your journey to programming in Java. In the next article, we will be discussing the basic elements of programming Java programs along with some commands that can be used in the Terminal.