The Java Programming Language

The Java programming language is a high-level language that can be characterized by the following:

· Simple

· Architecture neutral

· Object oriented

· Portable

· Distributed

· High performance

· Multithreaded

· Robust

· Dynamic

· Secure

Each of the preceding keywords is explained in The Java Language Environment , a white paper written by James Gosling and Henry McGilton.

In the Java programming language, all source code is first written in plain text files ending with the .java extension. Those source files are then compiled into .class files by the javac compiler. A .class file does not contain code that is native to your processor; it instead contains bytecodes — the machine language of the Java Virtual Machine1 (Java VM). The java launcher tool then runs your application with an instance of the Java Virtual Machine.

Because the Java VM is available on many different operating systems, the same .class files are capable of running on Microsoft Windows, the Solaris TM Operating System (Solaris OS), Linux, or Mac OS. Some virtual machines, such as the Java HotSpot virtual machine, perform additional steps at runtime to give your application a performance boost. This include various tasks such as finding performance bottlenecks and recompiling (to native code) frequently used sections of code.