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Introduction to Java

Go to all tips in Murachs Java SE6 book

Introduction to Java

In 1996, Sun Microsystems released a new programming language called Java. Today, Java has established itself as one of the most widely used object- oriented programming languages.

Toolkits and platforms

Figure 1-1 describes all major releases of Java to date starting with version 1.0 and ending with version 1.6. Throughout Java's history, Sun has used the terms Java Development Kit (JDK) and Software Development Kit (SDK) to describe the Java toolkit. In this book, we'll use the term JDK since it's the most current and commonly used term. In addition, for marketing reasons, Sun uses the terms Java 5.0 and Java 6 to refer to versions 1.5 and 1.6 of Java. In this book, we'll use the 1.x style of numbering since it's consistent across all versions of Java and since this numbering is used by the documentation for Java.


With versions 1.2 through 1.5 of the JDK, the Standard Edition (SE) of Java was known as Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE), and the EnterpriseEdition (EE) was known as the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE). With version 1.6 of the JDK, Sun has simplified this naming convention. Now,
the Standard Edition of Java is known as Java SE, and the Enterprise Edition is known as Java EE. This book will show you how to use the Java SE 6.

Java compared to C++

When Sun's developers created Java, they tried to keep the syntax for Java similar to the syntax for C++ so it would be easy for C++ programmers to learn Java. In addition, they designed Java so its applications can be run on any computer platform. In contrast, C++ needs to have a specific compiler for each platform. Java was also designed to automatically handle many operations involving the creation and destruction of memory. This led to improved productivity for Java programmers, and it's a key reason why it's easier to develop programs and write bug-free code with Java than with C++.

To provide these features, the developers of Java had to sacrifice some speed (or performance) when compared to C++. For many types of applications, however, Java's relative slowness is not an issue.

Java compared to C#

Microsoft's Visual C# language is similar to Java in many ways. Like Java, C# uses a syntax that's similar to C++ and that automatically handles memory operations. Also like Java, C# applications can run on any system that has the appropriate interpreter. Currently, however, only Windows provides the interpreter needed to run C# applications. In addition, C# applications are optimized for Windows. Because of that, C# is a good choice for developing applications for a Windows-only environment. However, many of the server computers that store critical enterprise data use Solaris or Linux. As a result, Java remains popular for developing programs that run on these servers.

Java timeline

Year
Month
Event
1996 January Sun releases Java Development Kit 1.0 (JDK 1.0).
1997 February Sun releases Java Development Kit 1.1 (JDK 1.1).
1998 December Sun releases the Java 2 Platform with version 1.2 of the Software Development Kit (SDK 1.2).
1999

August
December
Sun releases Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE).
Sun releases Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE).
2000 May Sun releases J2SE with version 1.3 of the SDK
2002 February Sun releases J2SE with version 1.4 of the SDK
2004 September Sun releases J2SE 5.0 with version 1.5 of the JDK
2006 December Sun releases Java SE 6 with version 1.6 of the JDK

Operating systems supported by Sun

Windows (2000, XP, Vista)          Solaris
Linux                                            Macintosh (OS X)

Java compared to C++

Feature
Description
Syntax Java syntax is similar to C++ syntax.
Platforms Compiled Java code can be run on any platform that has a Java interpreter. C++ code must be compiled once for each type of system that it is going to be run on.
Speed C++ runs faster than Java, but Java is getting faster with each new version.
Memory Java handles most memory operations automatically, while C++ programmers must write code that manages memory.

Java compared to C#

Feature
Description
Syntax Java syntax is similar to C# syntax.
Platforms Like compiled Java code, compiled C# code (MSIL) can be run on any system that has the appropriate interpreter. Currently, only Windows has an interpreter for MSIL.
Speed C# runs faster than Java.
Memory Both C# and Java handle most memory operations automatically.

Description

  • Versions 1.0, 1.1, 5, and 6 of Java are called the Java Development Kit (JDK).
  • Versions 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 of Java are called the Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • The Standard Edition (SE) of Java contains the core class libraries that are necessary to develop Java applications.
  • The Enterprise Edition (EE) of Java contains the additional class libraries that are typically used to create server-side Java applications such as web applications.

Figure 1-1 Introduction to Java

Introduction to Java ...................................................................... 4
Toolkits and platforms ....................................................................... 4
Java compared to C++ ...................................................................... 4
Java compared to C# ........................................................................ 4
Applications, applets, and servlets ....................................................... 6
How Java compiles and interprets code ................................................ 8
How to prepare your system for using Java .................................. 10
How to install the JDK ..........................................................................10
A summary of the directories and files of the JDK ...................................12
How to set the command path ...............................................................14
How to set the class path ..................................................................... 16
How to use TextPad to work with Java ........................................... 18
How to install TextPad ......................................................................... 18
How to use TextPad to save and edit source code ................................... 20
How to use TextPad to compile source code ........................................... 22
How to use TextPad to run an application ............................................... 22
Common error messages and solutions ................................................. 24
How to use the command prompt to work with Java ...................... 26
How to compile source code ................................................................. 26
How to run an application ..................................................................... 26
How to compile source code with a switch .............................................. 28
Essential DOS skills for working with Java ............................................. 30
How to use the documentation for the Java SE API ....................... 32
How to install the API documentation ..................................................... 32
How to navigate the API documentation ................................................. 34
Introduction to Java IDEs ................................................................ 36
The Eclipse IDE for Java ....................................................................... 36
The NetBeans IDE ................................................................................ 38
The BlueJ IDE ...................................................................................... 38
Perspective ....................................................................................... 40

The chapter 1 of Murach's Java SE 6 excellent book (it is a MUST for all newbees!) is published on our site with written permission of the copyright owner. It was slightly adapted to our site layout. If you want to take a look at PDF version please follow the link here.

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Posted by jalex on Friday, August 17, 2007 (21:58:00) (5976 reads)

Applications, applets, and servlets

Go to all tips in Murachs Java SE6 book

Applications, applets, and servlets

Figure 1-2 describes the three types of programs that you can create with Java. First, you can use Java to create applications. This figure shows an application that uses a graphical user interface (GUI) to get user input and perform a calculation. In this book, you'll be introduced to a variety of applications with the emphasis on GUI applications that get data from files and databases.

One of the unique characteristics of Java is that you can use it to create a special type of web-based application known as an applet. For instance, this figure shows an applet that works the same way as the application above it. The main difference between an application and an applet is that an applet can be downloaded from a web server and can run inside a Java-enabled browser. As a result, you can distribute applets via the Internet or an intranet.


Although applets can be useful for creating a complex user interface within a browser, they have their limitations. First, you need to make sure a plug-in is installed on each client machine to be able to use the newer Java GUI components (such as Swing components). Second, since an applet runs within a browser on the client, it's not ideal for working with resources that run on the server, such as enterprise databases.

To provide access to enterprise databases, many developers use the Enterprise Edition of Java (Java EE) to create applications that are based on servlets. A servlet is a special type of Java application that runs on the server and can be called by a client, which is usually a web browser. This is also illustrated in this figure. Here, you can see that the servlet works much the same way as the applet. The main difference is that the code for the application runs on the server.

When a web browser calls a servlet, the servlet performs its task and returns the result to the browser, typically in the form of an HTML page. For example, suppose a browser requests a servlet that displays all unprocessed invoices that are stored in a database. Then, when the servlet is executed, it reads data from the database, formats that data within an HTML page, and returns the HTML page to the browser.

When you create a servlet-based application like the one shown here, all the processing takes place on the server and only HTML is returned to the browser. That means that anyone with an Internet or intranet connection, a web browser, and adequate security clearance can access and run a servlet-based application. Because of that, you don't need to install any special software on the client.

To make it easy to store the results of a servlet within an HTML page, the Java EE specification provides for JavaServer Pages (JSPs). Most developers use JSPs together with servlets when developing server-side Java applications. Although servlets and JSPs aren't presented in this book, we cover this topic in a companion book, Murach's Java Servlets and JSP. For more information about this book, please visit our web site at www.murach.com .

An application

A Java application

An applet

A Java applet

A servlet

Description

  • You can run the applet and servlet versions of the Future Value Calculator application shown above by going to www.murach.com/fv.
    Figure 1-2 Applications, applets, and servlets

Introduction to Java ...................................................................... 4
Toolkits and platforms ....................................................................... 4
Java compared to C++ ...................................................................... 4
Java compared to C# ........................................................................ 4
Applications, applets, and servlets ....................................................... 6
How Java compiles and interprets code ................................................ 8
How to prepare your system for using Java .................................. 10
How to install the JDK ..........................................................................10
A summary of the directories and files of the JDK ...................................12
How to set the command path ...............................................................14
How to set the class path ..................................................................... 16
How to use TextPad to work with Java ........................................... 18
How to install TextPad ......................................................................... 18
How to use TextPad to save and edit source code ................................... 20
How to use TextPad to compile source code ........................................... 22
How to use TextPad to run an application ............................................... 22
Common error messages and solutions ................................................. 24
How to use the command prompt to work with Java ...................... 26
How to compile source code ................................................................. 26
How to run an application ..................................................................... 26
How to compile source code with a switch .............................................. 28
Essential DOS skills for working with Java ............................................. 30
How to use the documentation for the Java SE API ....................... 32
How to install the API documentation ..................................................... 32
How to navigate the API documentation ................................................. 34
Introduction to Java IDEs ................................................................ 36
The Eclipse IDE for Java ....................................................................... 36
The NetBeans IDE ................................................................................ 38
The BlueJ IDE ...................................................................................... 38
Perspective ....................................................................................... 40

The chapter 1 of Murach's Java SE 6 excellent book (it is a MUST for all newbees!) is published on our site with written permission of the copyright owner. It was slightly adapted to our site layout. If you want to take a look at PDF version please follow the link here.

9723 bytes more | comments? | Printer Friendly Page  Send to a Friend | Score: 0
Posted by jalex on Friday, August 17, 2007 (21:56:09) (5592 reads)

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