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Ivor Horton's Beginning Java™ 2, JDK™ 5th Edition by Ivor Horton

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1.2. Features of The Java Language

The most important characteristic of Java is that it was designed from the outset to be machine independent. You can run Java programs unchanged on any machine and operating system combination that supports Java. Of course, there is still the slim possibility of the odd glitch, as you are ultimately dependent on the implementation of Java on any particular machine, but Java programs are intrinsically more portable than programs written in other languages. An application written in Java will only require a single set of source code statements, regardless of the number of different computer platforms on which it is run. In any other programming language, the application will frequently require the source code to be tailored to accommodate different computer environments, particularly if an extensive graphical user interface is involved. Java offers substantial savings in time and resources in developing, supporting, and maintaining major applications on several different hardware platforms and operating systems.

Possibly the next most important characteristic of Java is that it is object-oriented. The object-oriented approach to programming is also an implicit feature of all Java programs, so we will be looking at what this implies later in this chapter. Object-oriented programs are easier to understand and less time-consuming to maintain and extend than programs that have been written without the benefit of using objects.

Not only is Java object-oriented, ...

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