Difference between Java and Javascript

Published on January 10, 2017

Java and Javascript are two of the most prevalent programming languages used today. Someone who isn’t privy to different programming languages will likely think that the latter is merely an upgrade to the former. The truth is that these two programming languages have their distinctions. Other programmers might summarize the difference into something along the lines “Java is to Javascript as bull is to bulletin”, indicating that they are two distinct things. But as both of them are programming languages, it’s not fair to consider them to be entirely unrelated.


Java vs Javascript

Java is a general-purpose programming language that’s capable of creating various useful computer applications. Java boasts the capability to run on different platforms without the need to be recompiled. Applications created using other programming languages similar to Java have to be modified, depending on which operating system they would be installed in. This is made possible through the creation of specific codes for different machines that serve as a kind of translator for the machine and the coded program.

Javascript is a programming language that has significantly grown in popularity over the past few years. It is a scripting language that resides within the contents of an HTML document. Browsers are equipped with the ability to understand and execute the embedded script within the HTML. They subsequently run the code once the user opens the web page containing the code. Some scripts run actively, while some need to have some sort of trigger to execute. The dynamic nature of Javascript provides web developers infinite possibilities on how they can make their websites interactive and user-friendly.

A lot of people today can access the Internet easily using their mobile devices. For this reason, they are more exposed to applications that are found on the internet. This is widely considered to be one of the reasons why the prevalence of Javascript has risen significantly.

Java vs Javascript

Both of these programming languages have proven their merits among coding enthusiasts as well as novices. Their usefulness makes them strong contenders for the primary language of people who are attempting to learn programming. Needless to say, the choice is not an easy one. So, what should new programmers keep in mind to understand the difference between Java and Javascript?

Ideally, before deciding which programming language to learn, rookie programmers should first determine what career they are interested in. Java, being a general-purpose language, opens the door for the creation of a multitude of applications that are independent from the browser. This programming language is great for those who wish to make programs from the ground up. While Java is capable of running in browsers through the use of “applets”, being dependent on browsers isn’t the optimal use of Java capabilities.

For programmers who prefer to focus on creating websites that are dynamic and interactive, focusing on Javascript would be more beneficial. Its dependence on browsers doesn’t mean it’s less capable. Rather, it serves its purpose well because of its well-defined scripting parameters. Javascript enthusiasts are also ecstatic about the numerous web-based applications that don’t need separate programs to run. In fact, there are laptops that run only one software: a browser.

Comparison Chart

More rigid programmingMore fluid and dynamic
Not reliant on a browser to runBrowser-dependent
Does not need to be recompiled after every modificationInjected directly into the HTML of a web page


The video below elaborates on the differences between the two programming languages.