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2. Introduction to Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language that resembles C++. It goes beyond C++ to bring algorithms into a modern network computing environment by extending long integers to 64 bits, and making Unicode 16-bit characters the default.

The syntax of Java is close to C++.

Java is aware of network connections and provides access to these at the programming interface. Java is designed to run on many machines by having an underlying compact machine-independent representation of its programs; this compact code is called byte-code. The byte-code can be transmitted efficiently because it is compact, and it can be interpreted by a relatively small program on any machine.

Java has eliminated some beloved (and heavily used) low-level features of C, including: computable pointers, unsigned values, address arithmetic, the untype-checked printf-scanf functions, enumerated types, the preprocessor, structures and unions. It has replaced them with high-level, abstract type concepts of classes and a series of application interface methods (the API).

Java has tried to rationalize storage allocation and full garbage collection is supported as befitting a language supporting abstract types. Java includes a C++ like exception handling mechanism.

Java has retained the wordy complex syntax of C++ and continues the tradition of having programs which are all structure and no content. 2 It has left out some elements of C++ as well, like operator definitions, and multiple inheritance. By adopting a C++ like syntax, Java is easily learned by the many programmers familiar with C++.  This will advance Java by attracting programmers from the current crop of C++ enthusiasts.





Footnotes:

2    One of the most distressing C features was its obscure declaration syntax (any language that requires a program to translate a declaration to English to make sense of it has failed to meet the primary communication objective of any programming language), C++ made no change to it, and Java inherited this nonsense from C++.






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Copyright 1996 Robert Uzgalis, All Rights Reserved.
Contact: Robert Uzgalis <buz@zis.com>
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