In this tutorial, let’s try to understand why Java is popular among programmers and everyone else who loves programming.
It has been 25 years (1995-2020) since the release of Java. Java had ups and downs in the past 25 years. Still, Java kept its pride until now. Java is so popular and widely used worldwide. There are many languages released after Java. Java has its crown still on its head. Java is one of the top 3 programming languages in 2020.
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Top 5 Reasons Why Java is Popular
1. Free to use
Well, the first and one of the best reasons why java is popular is that Java is free for application development and learning.
Java is an open-source programming language. Java Development Kit (JDK) is still free. But there are some points you need to be aware of.
There are 2 versions of JDK is provided by Oracle.
- Oracle JDK
- OpenJDK(Since March 2007)
OpenJDK is the open-source version of JDK.
The difference between these 2 releases is that they are under 2 different license agreements.
Oracle JDK comes under the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for Java SE.
OpenJDK comes under the GNU General Public License, version 2 with the Class path Exception(CPE).
OpenJDK is free to use for development and in Production. We will get security patches and bug fixes for six months until the next version release.
If you are a commercial user and you want to get continuous security patches and updates for JDK or to get Long Term Support(LTS) from Oracle, you have to purchase the commercial contract support from Oracle.
There are other sources like AdoptOpenJDK, Zulu OpenJDK that provide OpenJDK other than Oracle.
There is always an open-source version of Java for application development and learning.
So, we can consider this as a reason why Java is popular till now.
For more information, you can visit Oracle JDK License Frequently Asked Questions.
2. Great Features
Another most important reason why java is popular is nothing but its core features.
Well, for any programming language, it is its unique and useful features are the main thing that makes it popular. Right?
The ease of use, cross-platform usability, the object-oriented concepts that java follows, etc.
These are some essential Java features that made Java a very common language among programmers.
Java is one of the best languages you can learn. Period.!
No arguments there.!
If you have good knowledge of the Java programming language, it is an advantage as a programmer.
It will be helpful if you are going to learn another language as well.
For a Java developer, it is easier to master other programming languages. Yes, it’s a fact. That’s the quality of Java.
3. Java Community Support
Another major reason why Java is popular to date is its community support.
If we search for anything in Java, we will most likely get an answer. If you are a beginner, you can learn Java online easily.
If you are an experienced Java professional and you need to clarify some doubts or find a solution for a particular problem, there are plenty of websites that provide solutions for tons of Java coding issues.
Stack Overflow is one of the largest, trusted, and popular online community for programmers to learn and share their programming knowledge.
The Java communities and the technical support we get from them are amazing.
It is one of the main reasons why Java remains one of the most used and popular programming languages still.
4. Well Documented
The Java documentation provided by Oracle is a well-documented and up-to-date one. It is so helpful for learning the language in depth.
The online support that we get for learning Java is infinite, and it is still growing. That makes Java even more popular day by day.
If you are a beginner, you will find the Java documentation so useful to understand the language better.
5. Wide Range of Applications
Java is an everywhere language. The type of applications we can build using Java is huge.
Using Java we can develop :
Command-line applications are the applications that we run using the command prompt/ terminal.
We can create small logical programs in Java. We compile and run these programs on a command window.
Command-line applications are so useful to build coding skills when we learn Java.
Desktop applications are any software that can be installed and run on a single computer to perform certain tasks.
Swing is an outstanding GUI toolkit provided in Java to create desktop applications.
Some of the most famous desktop applications built using Java are:
All 3 of them are Integrated development environments (IDEs) written in Java. Most of the Java developers use one of these IDEs.
Web applications are the software that runs on a web server. As we all know, we access web applications using the internet.
Popular web applications built using Java are Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, YouTube, eBay.
These websites are not built entirely in Java. Java is also used on the server-side, along with many other languages.
The most popular Mobile Operating system Android is primarily built using Java, even though many other languages are used.
Java is the official language for building android apps using the Android Studio (which is also written using Java).
Enterprise applications are the software used by organizations such as businesses, Governments, Schools to fulfill their business needs and improve productivity. For example, billing software or project management tools.
Java is widely used to develop embedded applications.
Embedded applications are the software written that is placed permanently inside devices like mobile phones, washing machines, smartwatches, etc.
There are many gaming applications are developed in Java, even though Java isn’t designed for game development.
Lightweight Java Game Library(LJGL) as the name suggests is a lightweight open-source software library for game development in Java.
What is a web server?
Web servers are used to handle HTTP contents.
A web server provides an environment to send and receive HTTP requests and responses on a web application.
The response can be HTML content, images, etc.
What is an application server?
The application server also can handle HTTP contents like a web server. But the key difference is that an application server can do much more.
A web server is only a part of an application server. Application servers contain more.
Web servers are used in web applications. Application servers can be used in web applications and enterprise applications.
Application servers provide the environment to process the actual business logic of an application.
Let’s take the case of both the web server and the application server.
Imagine we have a web application running and we have to perform some business logic to get the output.
When a user fires a request from the client-side, the web-server takes the request and passes it to the application server for processing the business logic.
The application server processes business logic by performing some service calls and produces the result. The services could be some transactions, messaging services, etc…
After processing the business logic, the application server transfers the result to our web server.
The web server then sends back the output in the form of an HTML page to the user.
Hopefully, you have got an idea about the web/application servers now. Let’s get back to our topic ‘why Java is popular’.
Most of the popular web/application servers are developed in Java.
Popular web servers like Apache Tomcat web server, Jetty, and application servers like GlassFish, IBM WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic, etc are written in Java.
If you would like to learn more about the difference between web servers and application servers, click on this Stack overflow link, which will help you understand it better.
These are only some applications that we can develop in Java.
If you like, you can read about the 25 greatest applications ever written in Java here.
Well, these are the top 5 reasons why Java is popular until today.
Hope You found this helpful. If yes, share this guide with your friends and also check out the next topic: How to Install and Setup Java on Windows, Linux.
Why Java remains popular today?
Java remains popular because of various reasons.
Java is Free to use.
Java has great unique features
Java has Large community support Worldwide.
Java is well documented
A wide range of applications is there in Java.