Fred's Guide to Java Resources

This is an area for information about the basics of Java, JavaScript, and additional resources on both.

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Please help improve this page by letting me know what you would like to be added here. Send me some mail, or take a moment to fill out this simple form.

Some Very Basic Information

What is Java?

Java is an object oriented programming language with a growing popularity on the Internet. By object oriented, I mean that Java allows you to create self contained sections of programming code (classes), and then reuse these pieces via a mechanism called inheritance. When a piece of code inherits from another, it gains the characteristics and abilities of the parent piece of code, and has the ability to add or modify these characteristics. In many ways Java is similar to another programming language, C++.

Java also is portable across several operating systems, since the finished Java program requires little or no modification, unlike other programming languages. This is due to the fact that the compiled Java program runs through an interpreter on each platform, so only the interpreter needs to be modified to support a new operating system or computer. Java also has a number of security features to prevent misuse in the form of trojans (killer programs) or viruses (self replicating programs) that have occasionally plagued the computer industry. Many classes for doing common tasks on the Internet are available for Java at no cost.

Currently, (May '96), the only net browsers Java runs with are HotJava from Sun Microsystems, and Netscape, from Netscape Communications Corporation. Microsoft is currently adding Java support to their Microsoft Explorer web browser.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is similar to Java in language structure. However, where Java is compiled using the javac (or other) compiler prior to running, JavaScript is really more like a set of macros, although it is much more sophisticated then most. Where Java programs (Applets) are separate from a web page using them, JavaScript is embedded directly in the web page. You can think of Java as being like the programs you are accustomed to running on your computer, where JavaScript is more like the scripting languages you might be familiar with from your word processor, terminal programs, or spreadsheet programs.

JavaScript also has the advantage (?) of being optimized for use in Netscape products, which comprise the majority of web browsers currently in use. Note though that JavaScript is proprietary to Netscape, and is unlikely to be used by other browsers in the future.

A Quick Java Sample

If you have correctly installed Netscape 2.0 with Java support on your machine, you should see a digital clock with the time and date appear below.



This is one of the more useful Java programs I have found. Go here for information on how to use it or to download the source.

Java programming language resources

Java News Group
Java Class Hierarchy Diagrams
Java World
The Java(tm) Developers Kit
API User's Guide
The Java Language Tutorial
Java: Programming for the Internet

Other places to look

Yes, it's a bunch of bookmarks. I hope they are helpful to you.

Symantec Café
Gamelan: Earthweb's Java Directory
Yahoo - Computers and Internet:Languages:Java
Yahoo - Computers and Internet:Languages:JavaScript
Netscape's JavaScript Authoring Guide
Netscape's JavaScript Index
JavaScript - ColorCenter
Java Class Hierarchy Diagrams
Java World
Trail Map: The Java Language Tutorial
The Java(tm) Developers Kit
API User's Guide
The Java(tm) Developers Kit
Trail Map: The Java Language Tutorial
Java: Programming for the Internet

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Copyright © 1996 Fred McLain, All Rights Reserved.

accesses to this page since January 19th, 1995

Last modified June 6th 1996

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