The global community of developers is expected to increase by 28.7 million in 2024. And 63.1% of programmers mentioned that they would continue to code in Java along with Python, HTML/CSS, and SQL. Also, such corporate giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are still using Java in their software development processes.
So, will this technology disappear soon? To find the answer, read our article about the future of Java and what technologies may replace it.
What Is Java?
Java is a robust and object-oriented programming language. Since its inception in 1991, this technology has got 17 versions like JDK Beta, Java SE 7, and others. The latest one – Java SE 15 – was released on 15 September 2020.
Java has long-term support (LTS). It means that a software edition can be maintained for several months or years.
Such renowned companies like Spotify and Twitter still rely on this programming language although they have plenty of alternatives at their fingertips.
Who Invented Java?
Mike Sheridan together with James Gosling and Patrick Naughton created Java in June 1991. Their key goal was to invent a simple, secure, and general-purpose programming language that could be run on various platforms like mobile and desktop.
Java was originally developed for interactive television. But its digital cables didn’t support this state-of-the-art technology. In 1996, Sun Microsystems (in 2009, it was acquired by Oracle) officially released Java 1.0. Its core principle was Write Once, Code Everywhere (WORA).
Since then, Sun Microsystems launched new versions of Java (Java EE, Java SE, Java ME, and others) with several configurations created for various platform types.
The Main Features of Java
Whether you wonder why Java was popular for a long time, read a handy list of these features:
Java has simple syntax, which is based on C++. Also, this programming language is easy to code and understand.
This feature means that while a developer codes with Java he or she can organize software as a combination of several objects like classes.
Java compiler generates a unique bytecode that is delivered to the Java virtual machine, which resides in the random-access memory. This way, a code written in Java can run on any operating system (Linux, Microsoft Windows, etc.).
It’s one of the strongest features of Java. It means developers can create multi-threaded programs (2 or more) that can work concurrently. There 2 main mechanisms of implementing a thread in Java – extending a thread class and introducing the running interface.
Java has neutral architecture because a compiler creates a bytecode that doesn’t interact with a particular computer architecture.
Java has a strong type checking mechanism that underlines time error and runtime checking processes. During a coding process, grammatical mistakes are highlighted, which reduces the number of errors in the final code.
Java is a distributed programming language meaning that it can be run on several computer networks.
What Are Java Editions?
Java editions are a set of programs that enable developers to code and execute software written in Java. There are several types of them:
- Java Standard Edition (J2 Platform and Standard Edition or J2SE) is a computing platform used to create and deploy portable code in server and desktop environments.
- Java Micro Edition is a computing platform that implements portable code in mobile devices. It’s also known as Java 2 Platform Micro Edition (J2ME).
- Java Enterprise Edition is a set of instructions used in Java SE 8 – a feature release for enhancing Java’s functionality. The applications coded with the aforementioned platform are executed on reference time (it can be performed in transactions and other app functionalities).
The New Updates in Java
In 2020, Oracle launched 2 versions of Java:
- Java 14 was released in March 2020. Its new features are records that replace classes, pattern matching, switch expressions, and many others.
- Java 15 or JDK 15 has been available since September 2020. This new version includes the core improvements in hidden classes (they can’t be used by the bytecode), text blocks (they automate a string – a class in Java API), and much more.
Another recent update from Java was the Garbage Collection – a process of removing the unused objects in the automatic management system.
The Key Benefits of Java
If you are in doubts whether you need to code your app in Java, have a look at these advantages:
Large Development Community
Simple Learning Curve
Java is easy to code, debug, and compile in comparison with other programming languages like C++ and C.
The Java code is compiled into a bytecode that can be performed on several platforms like Windows, MacOs, Solaris, etc. There are 3 types of portability provided by Java:
- OS/GUI is a function that converse operating system and graphic user interfaces.
- Source code portability allows Java to produce identical results despite the operating system, Java compiler, etc.
- CPU architecture portability is the process of producing an object code (a bytecode).
Technologies That May Replace Java
Among numerous programming languages available on the market, Java remains highly popular. Up to 54% of developers implement it in the deployment process across the world. Whether you’re curious to find out what technologies are gaining traction now and if they can replace Java, read about them below:
Python is the most in-demand programming language in the world. Nearly 25.95% of developers code in it. The popularity of Python is explained by its excellent library support for building web applications. Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and other famous apps were coded with the aforementioned programming language.
Python is mainly used in the data science field to conduct sentiment analysis and prediction algorithms in the gaming and customer service areas. Actually, Java can’t be implemented in these fields, and therefore, Python won’t replace it in the future.
Kolin is an open source programming language officially released in 2016. In 2019, Google announced it one of the most preferred languages for Android development. For Kotlin, it can be hard to take over Java in the near future because it’s a relatively young technology with a small development community.
Scala is a general purpose technology that provides support for functional and object-oriented programming. It was created by Martin Odersky, a German computer scientist, in the early 2000s. Scala has such advantages as simple syntax and excellent compatibility with the Java virtual machine. But it’s more difficult to learn than Java.
Swift is an open source programming language created by Apple.Inc. It was publicly released in 2014. Swift is only used to write code for iOS, MacOS, tvOS, and watchOS platforms. Thus, it’s impossible to state whether this technology will take over Java.
PHP is an open source scripting language. It was developed by a Canadian - Danish programmer – Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP is mainly used in web development. Among its benefits, there are simple web app maintenance, performance, and integration. And thanks to these qualities, PHP is a good choice for web app development.
Like Java, it's an open source and object-oriented programming language. But it can’t replace Java as PHP is mainly implemented in small projects.
The Main Reasons Why Java Won’t Disappear in the Future
Java has a Java virtual machine, which is used by other technologies such as Kotlin and Scala. Moreover, developers can write the same code that will function on various OS (operating systems) like Linux and Microsoft Windows. Among other reasons why Java won’t fade away soon, we can state the following:
- It’s an excellent choice for creating streaming apps thanks to its reactive function.
- Java is still used in web, mobile development, big data, IoT (Internet of Things), blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
- It’s possible to develop FaaS (function as a service) and serverless apps with a robust functionality.
- Java keeps pace with the progress and updates its versions faster than several years ago. For instance, Java 15 was released just in 6 months after Java 14. In the previous versions like Java 8-13, it took up to 5-6 years.
- AirBnb, Uber, Netflix, and other tech giants are still implementing Java in their development processes.
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In our article, you found out the main features of Java, its benefits, new updates, and what is the future of this technology. Also, we compared it with other state-of-the-art technologies like Python, Kotlin, Scala, Swift, and PHP.
Thanks to a huge development community, easy learning curve, outstanding portability, usage in large projects of Pinterest, Google, Uber, and others, Java will exist in the future.
So if you bear in mind an excellent idea about creating a top-notch product, reach out to our Java development company, and scale your business to new heights with us!