Essentials of the Java Programming Language - Part 1

Peter Kitson

ISBN : 0201707209

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Sample Chapter From Essentials of the Java Programming Language - Part 1
     Copyright © Monica Pawlan

A Word About the Java Platform

The Java platform consists of the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) and the Java1 virtual machine (JVM).

Java APIs are libraries of compiled code that you can use in your programs. They let you add ready-made and customizable functionality to save you programming time.

The simple program in this lesson uses a Java API to print a line of text to the console. The console printing capability is provided in the API ready for you to use; you supply the text to be printed.

Java programs are run (or interpreted) by another program called the Java VM. If you are familiar with Visual Basic or another interpreted language, this concept is probably familiar to you. Rather than running directly on the native operating system, the program is interpreted by the Java VM for the native operating system. This means that any computer system with the Java VM installed can run Java programs regardless of the computer system on which the applications were originally developed.

For example, a Java program developed on a Personal Computer (PC) with the Windows NT operating system should run equally well without modification on a Sun Ultra workstation with the Solaris operating system, and vice versa.

Setting Up Your Computer

Before you can write and run the simple Java program in this lesson, you need to install the Java platform on your computer system.

The Java platform is available free of charge from the web site. You can choose between the Java® 2 Platform software for Windows 95/98/NT or for Solaris. The download page contains the information you need to install and configure the Java platform for writing and running Java programs.