Java vs JavaScript: Difference and Comparison

Java is a statically typed, object-oriented programming language used for backend development, while JavaScript is a dynamically typed, prototype-based language primarily used for web development to make web pages interactive.

Key Takeaways

  1. Java is a versatile, object-oriented programming language used for various applications, such as web, mobile, and desktop development, and relies on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for platform-independent execution.
  2. JavaScript is a lightweight, primarily client-side scripting language used for web development, enabling dynamic content and interactivity in web browsers, and has become increasingly popular for server-side development with the introduction of Node.js.
  3. While their names may be similar, Java and JavaScript are distinct programming languages, with Java focusing on versatility and platform independence and JavaScript mainly targeting web development and browser interactivity.

Java vs JavaScript

Java is an object-oriented programming language. It has a virtual machine platform allowing the creation of compiled programs that are eligible to be run majorly on every possible platform.

On the other hand, JavaScript is a lightweight programming language that is primarily used to make webpages more interactive. It is commonly also known as the browser’s language.

Java vs JavaScript

Both of them, even after being programming languages, do not have many similarities. It is a C-like syntax which is put to use in both languages.

Apart from that, both are widely used in Web Applications on the client side.

However, only these are the kind of similarities they possess; thus, it can be inferred that they only have a few similarities and more differences.


Comparison Table

TypeStrongly typedWeakly typed
ExecutionCompiled to bytecode (JVM)Interpreted in the browser or server-side with Node.js
Object-OrientedYesYes (prototypal-based)
MultithreadingSupportedNot directly supported (event-driven model)
Garbage CollectionAutomaticAutomatic
Error HandlingChecked exceptionsUnchecked exceptions
Popular UsesServer-side applications, mobile apps, embedded systemsWeb development, front-end scripting, server-side development (Node.js)
Learning CurveSteeper due to stricter syntax and typingEasier due to looser syntax and dynamic typing
Community and ResourcesLarge and active community, ample resourcesLarge and active community, growing server-side resources
Suitable for:Complex, large-scale applications, performance-critical tasksDynamic, interactive web applications, rapid prototyping


What is Java?

Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) in the mid-1990s. It was designed with the principle of “write once, run anywhere” (WORA), meaning that Java code can be compiled into bytecode, which can then be executed on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed, without the need for recompilation.

Key features of Java include:

  1. Platform Independence: Java programs can run on any device or operating system that has a JVM. This is achieved through the compilation of Java source code into bytecode, which is then interpreted by the JVM. This portability makes Java suitable for developing cross-platform applications.
  2. Object-Oriented: Java is inherently object-oriented, meaning it supports the principles of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. Everything in Java is an object, which allows for modular and reusable code, as well as easier maintenance and debugging.
  3. Strongly Typed: Java is a statically typed language, which means that all variables must be declared before they can be used, and their types cannot change during execution. This helps catch errors at compile-time rather than runtime, improving code reliability.
  4. Robustness: Java emphasizes reliability and robustness through features like automatic memory management (garbage collection), exception handling, and type checking. These features help developers write more stable and error-free code.
  5. Security: Java includes built-in security features such as bytecode verification and a security manager to protect systems from potentially harmful code. This makes Java a popular choice for developing applications that require a high level of security, such as enterprise software and web applications.
  6. Rich Standard Library: Java comes with a comprehensive standard library (Java API) that provides pre-built classes and packages for common tasks such as I/O operations, networking, data manipulation, and GUI development. This extensive library simplifies development and reduces the need for developers to write code from scratch.
  7. Community Support: Java has a large and active community of developers, which means there is a wealth of resources, libraries, frameworks, and tools available to aid in Java development. This community support fosters collaboration and innovation within the Java ecosystem.
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What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted programming language primarily used for building dynamic and interactive websites. Originally developed by Brendan Eich at Netscape in 1995, JavaScript has evolved into one of the most widely used programming languages in the world.

Also Read:  .NET vs C#: Difference and Comparison

Here’s a detailed breakdown of JavaScript:

  1. Purpose: JavaScript was initially created to add interactivity to web pages by allowing developers to manipulate the content of a webpage dynamically, respond to user actions, and enhance the user experience. However, its versatility has led to its adoption beyond web development, with applications ranging from server-side programming to desktop and mobile app development.
  2. Syntax: JavaScript syntax is similar to that of other programming languages like C and Java, making it relatively easy to learn for developers familiar with these languages. It supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms and follows the ECMAScript standard, with regular updates introducing new features and improvements.
  3. Dynamic Typing: JavaScript is dynamically typed, meaning variable types are determined at runtime rather than during compilation. This provides flexibility but also requires careful handling to avoid unexpected behavior.
  4. Execution Environment: JavaScript code is executed by a JavaScript engine embedded within web browsers, making it an integral part of client-side web development. Commonly used engines include V8 (used in Google Chrome), SpiderMonkey (used in Mozilla Firefox), and JavaScriptCore (used in Safari).
  5. DOM Manipulation: One of JavaScript’s key features is its ability to manipulate the Document Object Model (DOM) of a web page, enabling developers to dynamically change HTML elements, attributes, and styles in response to user actions or other events.
  6. Event Handling: JavaScript allows developers to define event handlers to respond to user interactions such as clicks, keystrokes, and mouse movements. This enables the creation of interactive and responsive web applications.
  7. Asynchronous Programming: JavaScript supports asynchronous programming through features like callbacks, promises, and async/await syntax. This allows developers to execute non-blocking code, handle I/O operations efficiently, and build responsive applications.
  8. Libraries and Frameworks: JavaScript has a rich ecosystem of libraries and frameworks, such as React, Angular, and Vue.js, that provide abstractions, utilities, and pre-built components to streamline web development and enhance productivity.
  9. Server-side Development: With the advent of Node.js, JavaScript can now be used for server-side programming as well. Node.js allows developers to build scalable and high-performance web servers using JavaScript, enabling full-stack development with a single programming language.
  10. Cross-platform Development: JavaScript is inherently cross-platform, running on any device with a compatible browser or runtime environment. This makes it ideal for developing web applications that can be accessed from various devices and platforms without modification.

Main Differences Between Java and JavaScript

  • Type System:
    • Java is statically typed, meaning variable types are declared at compile time and cannot be changed.
    • JavaScript is dynamically typed, allowing variable types to be determined at runtime and can change throughout the program execution.
  • Platform:
    • Java is used for backend development, running on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and capable of building standalone applications, web servers, and enterprise systems.
    • JavaScript is primarily used for frontend web development, executing within web browsers to create dynamic and interactive user interfaces.
  • Syntax and Structure:
    • Java syntax is similar to languages like C++ and C#, with a strong emphasis on object-oriented programming principles such as classes, interfaces, and inheritance.
    • JavaScript syntax is influenced by C and Java but adopts a more flexible approach, supporting both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms with features like prototypes and closures.
  • Compilation vs Interpretation:
    • Java code is compiled into bytecode, which is then executed by the JVM, providing platform independence through the “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) principle.
    • JavaScript code is interpreted by the browser’s JavaScript engine, with modern engines employing just-in-time (JIT) compilation techniques to optimize performance.
  • Concurrency Model:
    • Java supports multi-threading and concurrency through features like threads, synchronized blocks, and the java.util.concurrent package.
    • JavaScript follows a single-threaded, event-driven model with asynchronous programming patterns like callbacks, promises, and async/await for handling concurrent operations efficiently without blocking the main thread.
  • Usage:
    • Java is commonly used for building enterprise applications, Android mobile apps, server-side web applications (e.g., with frameworks like Spring), and large-scale systems.
    • JavaScript is primarily used for frontend web development, creating interactive user interfaces, as well as server-side development (with Node.js), and cross-platform mobile app development (using frameworks like React Native).
  • Tooling and Ecosystem:
    • Java has a mature ecosystem with extensive libraries, frameworks (e.g., Spring, Hibernate), build tools (e.g., Maven, Gradle), and integrated development environments (IDEs) like IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse.
    • JavaScript has a vast and rapidly evolving ecosystem with numerous libraries (e.g., React, Vue.js), frameworks (e.g., Angular, Express.js), package managers (e.g., npm, Yarn), and development tools (e.g., Visual Studio Code, Webpack) to support web development needs.
Difference Between Java and JavaScript
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Last Updated : 10 February, 2024

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