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Python vs Java

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Introduction


In computer science, programming languages are a fundamental part and are very crucial in developing various applications. In recent days, Python and Java have emerged as two of the most widely used programming languages Both of them are popular languages with a great array of libraries and it is often difficult to choose one among them. Java has been there since long and hence more popular compared to Python, but Python is gaining its popularity, nowadays, because of its simplicity.


In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Python and Java.



Java


Java is a high-level, object-oriented, secure and robust programming language that also serves as a platform. A platform is a software or hardware environment on which a program runs. Java has its own runtime environment called JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and API (Application Program Interface), hence it is also a platform. It is highly portable, can run on various platforms such as MAC OS, Windows and various versions of UNIX.  It was developed by Sun Microsystems and released in 1995.


[Related Page: Java Tutorial For Beginners]


Python


Python is a high-level, general-purpose, interactive and interpreted programming language, developed by Guido Van Rossum, in 1989. It is open source and its source code can be found under GNU General Public License (GPL) so that anyone can modify the source code. It has easy-to-use syntax, which makes it perfect for the beginners. Python has interfaces to various libraries and operating system calls and can be extended to C and C++. 


Get ahead in your career by learning Python through Mindmajix Python Training.


Java is not as trendy as it used to be in the past, but, still, it is one of the most popular languages in use. On the other hand, Python is new and still evolving, and it is gaining popularity among the developers because of its elegant coding style. It is said that Python will probably overtake the popularity of Java in the future. The reasons for this fast growth of python are productivity, libraries, ease of learning and language flexibility. 


Java still hasn’t lost the race. The developers keep adding new features to make it more powerful, faster and flexible. After all, it has the mighty Java Virtual Machine which makes cross-platform application development easier. 


[Related Page: History of Python]


Python vs Java: Key Differences


Python Java
Python is Interpreted programming language, in which program can be run using a Python interpreter. Java is a compiled language. The compiled code is converted to bytecode and can be run on any platform that has Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Python supports imperative, object-oriented, functional and procedural paradigms.  Java was developed for Class-based and Object-oriented paradigms.
Python keeps the code concise, clean and readable. More effort and time is needed for the developers to keep the code readable in Java.
Python is a dynamically typed language and doesn’t require the developer to declare variables. It allows the interpreter to detect and change the data type of the variable, need not to declare the variables. Java is a strongly typed language. it doesn’t allow the compiler to change the data type of the variable unless they are type-casted. 
Python is slower, as it is interpreter language and the types are assumed during the runtime. Java is faster than Python as all the types are assigned during compilation. 

[Related Page: Python Frameworks List ]


Python vs Java: Typing


Python is a dynamically typed language. In Python there is no need to declare any variable and it is assumed by the interpreter during runtime. Variables can be changed as per the developer’s wish, for example, string variable can be used as integer. Dynamic typing makes the code highly readable, easy and precise and at the same time difficult to analyse. The drawback of dynamically typed language is that the type is decided while runtime so it makes the process slow.


Example:

>>> name = “Python” 	#Doesn’t need any datatype. 
>>>age = 40

Java is a static language, where one can’t change the type of the variable, though integer variables can be type casted to floating point as it has shallow range. Variables must be declared with their data type before using them. As the variables are already defined during the compiled time, it is easier and much faster than Python.


Example: 

class static_example {
	public static void main (String[] args) 
			{
				int a = 20;	// Variable declaration 
				float b;
				b = (float) a;	    //Type Casting
				System.out.println(b);
			}
			}

Output:

20.0


[Related Page: Python For Beginners]


Python vs Java: Code Readability & Formatting


Python has unusual formatting among the programming languages. It uses indentations to separate the code blocks. Programmers easily choose Python as it offers simplicity and great code readability. In Python, programs can be written in few lines which would be complex in other languages.


Example: 

>>>x = 1
	>>> if (x==1) : 
		print(“Hello World”) 	#Separated by indents 

Java is not definitely the easiest language for beginners. The code blocks in Java are separated by curly braces. The programmers need to spend extra time and effort to make the code readable and it always involves many lines of code even for simple logic. 


Example: 

class readability_example
 {
	public static void main (String[] args) 
			{
				int a = 1;
				if(a==1)			//Separated by curly braces
				{
				System.out.println(“Hello World”);
				}
			}
}

Check Out Python Tutorials

 

Python vs Java: Performance


Python is interpreted language. So, the variables are not declared while writing the program. The types of the variable are assumed during run time by the interpreter, which uses extra processing time and memory. It increases the workload of the interpreter in runtime which makes it slow.


On the other hand, Java has the just-in-time compiler that runs as a part of Java Virtual Machine. The compiler compiles the byte code generated into native code and the JVM calls this native code directly. As there is no interpretation, it doesn’t take much of processor time and memory. 


[Related Page: Python exception handling]


Python Syntax:


Syntactically Python is way simpler than Java. For ending an executive statement, in Python there is no Semicolon. 

	Str = “Hello, this is Python” 

For a single line comment, ‘#’ is used and for multi-line comment ””” (three inverted commas) 

	#this is a single line comment in Python
	””” This is a multi-line comment 
		in Python ”””

Indentation is mandatory in Python for blocks with multiple lines. 

 

[Related Page: Comprehensions in Python]


Java Syntax:


Semicolon is compulsory in java to end an executive statement. 

	String str = “Hello, this is Java”;

For a single line comment, ‘//’ is used and for multi-line comment ‘/* */ is used. 

//This is a single line comment in Java 
	/* This is a multi-line comment 
		in Java */

The code blocks are separated by curly braces in Java programming.


[Related Page: Regular expression operations]


Python vs Java: Portability


Both the programming languages are highly portable, but, because of JVM, Java has a little edge over Python. Python runs everywhere, it is a matter of changing paths and settings in the respective operating systems (MAC, WINDOWS, LINUX). To run Python program, there should be a compiler in place to convert the Python code into a code that the particular operating system understands. 


Java doesn’t need any compiler to convert the code to understandable code to the operating system, all it needs is a Java Virtual Machine. Thanks to the development of technology, in almost all the mobile or computer devices JVM comes pre-installed. So, the developer can be sure that their application will be used by almost all the users.


[Related Page: Six Digit Salary With Python]


Python vs Java: Security


Python and Java both are termed as secure languages, yet Java is more secure than Python. Java has advanced authentication and access control functionalities which keep the web application secure. As Java has bytecode, every time when the compiler compiles the code, a class file is created along with the bytecode which is tested by the JVM for malwares and viruses.  


Python is a simple and easy-to-debug language. With minimum code, it is easier to debug and prevent future risks of code getting complicated. Python also has advanced security measures, but, when compared to Java, it falls short.


[Related Page: Python Flask]


Python Vs Java: Mobile App Development


Mobile application development is the process of developing application software for handheld devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc. When it comes to the selection of language to develop mobile applications, it depends on the platform. Java happens to perform very well in android applications. The Android SDK includes many standard Java libraries along with their own to develop good mobile applications. 


Mobile development’s priority is speed. As Python is an interpreted language and consumes more memory and processing speed at the runtime, it is not preferred by most of the developers, when it comes to mobile app development. Python doesn’t have the option for building any native applications for mobile devices, yet it can be created as cross-platform applications using libraries like Kivy. Mobile applications need a framework that is fast and has smooth functionality for which Java is more suited. 


Frequency Asked Python Interview Questions


Python vs Java: Programming


In the following section, we will learn about the difference in programming between these two languages with an example - EMI Calculator in Python and Java. The program is for the calculation of monthly EMI, where the principal amount, rate of interest and time period are passed to a function. The function calculates the emi with the input passed and returns to the function call in main function.


Python:


Uses and Applications in various fields


Python and Java are used across various fields along with many technologies and frameworks. In this section, we will discuss about the uses and application of both the languages in various fields.


[Related Page: Python For Data Science]


Machine learning


Python, because of its simplicity, is chosen by many experts and data scientists for developing machine learning algorithms. Python is widely used in machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data because of its rich libraries and packages. Commonly used packages for machine learning in Python are tensor flow, scikit-learn and Pytorch. 


Nowadays, programmers also use Java for machine learning but not as much as Python. After all, there is no Hadoop without Java Virtual Machine. However, it is good to use Java in machine learning when it is a project related to cybersecurity, fraud detection and network security. Commonly used Java packages for machine learning are WEKA, Mallet and MOA. 


[Related Page: Machine Learning with Python ]


Game Development


Java is the most preferred language for developing games because of its high performing frameworks. Game development required highest possible performance to offer seamless user experience, for which Python is not suitable. There are many gaming environments that uses Python but only as a scripting language. There are many powerful game developing engines such as JMonkey that helps in creating great games.


[Related Page: Random Number In Python]


Web Development


Python and Java are used mostly in Backend web development. Backend web development is concerned with developing set of software that runs on servers. Both the languages have powerful frameworks for web development. As Python is very easy syntactically, programmers prefer Python for productive web development. However, Java’s static typing makes sure there would be no mistakes in the code lines. Flash and Django are two widely used frameworks in Python for web development. Java has Spring framework for web development.


[Related Page: Install Python on Windows and Linux ]


Python vs Java: Salary Trends


Although both Java and Python are popular languages, the recent trends show that there is more demand for Python developers in the corporates than the Java engineers. Many of the experienced Java developers find it difficult to shift from Java to Python. As Python is a new language and still evolving there is only a handful who are experts in Python, so, less supply and more demand have led to more pay.


The fresh Python developers get more than the fresh Java developers, whereas, the experienced Java developers get more than the experienced Python developers.  


[Related Page: Introduction to Python Programming]


Python Vs Java: Future


Both the languages have bright future as both of them have advanced libraries and frameworks that can cope up with the modern technologies. It all depends on the applications that are under development. When it comes to developing infrastructure software (Operating systems etc), cross-platform software, security then Java would be preferred. On the other hand, when it comes to developing new algorithms for Data Science, analytics, machine learning, developers would prefer Python. Both the languages are still evolving and getting better day by day.


[Related Page: Python Exception Handling]


Conclusion/closing thoughts:


Both the programming languages have their own advantages and disadvantages such as, python is easy to code, simpler to learn with huge library, high level of code readability and Java is more compatible and best in developing mobile applications and games. Both of them are widely accepted and capable programming languages that can adapt themselves along with new technologies. For people who are new to programming, it is better to choose python, as it is easy to learn and has English-like syntax whereas, if the aim is to build an enterprise level applications then it’s Java any day. 


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Ravindra Savaram
About The Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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