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Comparison of Java, Javascript, Java Applets and Java Beans

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Comparison of Java, JavaScript, Java Applets and Java Beans

Team C

WEB 420

Introduction

Starting back in the early 1990's with the introduction of Java to the computer scene there has been many updates and advances in how languages interact with web based programs. In this paper we are going to highlight several areas of several different Java flavors. The flavors we are addressing are Java, JavaScript, Java Applets and JavaBeans. We will discuss their history, features, usage and syntax and finally follow up with a chart providing a comparison of the different Java architectures.

History

Java, a language based on C++, was developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990's. (Java programming language, n.d.) It was originally called OAK and was designed for set top boxes and hand held devices. "Oak was unsuccessful so in 1995 Sun changed the name to Java and modified the language to take advantage of the burgeoning World Wide Web." (Java, n.d.) Java is an object-oriented language simplified to eliminate language features that cause common programming languages. Java should not be confused with JavaScript, which shares only the name and a similar C-like syntax. Sun Microsystems currently maintains and updates Java regularly.

JavaScript was designed in April 1995 by Brendan Eich. It was initially developed under the name Mocha, then LiveScript and finally settled on JavaScript, coinciding with the addition of Java support in the Netscape web browser. (JavaScript, n.d.) "Spawned in 1995 by the need to make Netscape Navigator's newly added support for Java applets more accessible to non-Java programmers and web designers, a powerful scripting language too often described as 'simple'." (Champeon, 2001) "Netscape developed Javascript in 1995 as a way for web server administrators to connect their servers to databases and search engines, and on the client side for validating forms and providing interactive content on the HTML level." (The History of Java, n.d.) JavaScript was originally known as LiveScript because of its dynamic nature. JavaScript was commonly used to manipulate images and document contents.

There were early issues with JavaScript; security flaws, lack of development tools and often criticized for "being too unlike Java, or too much like Perl." (Champeon, 2001) However, JavaScript took on a life all its own and in some circles was written off due to its simpleness, its security flaws and to some extent because it could only be tested within the browser environment.

A Java Applet is a small program written in Java, which can be downloaded to any computer. The applet is usually embedded in an HTML page on a Web site and can be executed from within a browser. "JavaSoft, the current name of the company which oversees the development of the Java language, was founded in January of 1996, and a few months later released the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.0." (Youmans, 1997) The concept of an applet came out of the creation on the Java language. "It enabled users to produce programs named applets which could be transmitted and run over the Internet, a somewhat different end product from what was originally envisioned back at the beginning of the decade." (Youmans, 1997) Java Applets came about as a requirement for adding functionalities to HTML documents, especially in the Graphical User Interface (GUI) area. Applets are essentially small programs that are embedded within a web page and run within the pages' web browser environment.

Java Beans are a specification developed by JavaSoft that defines how Java objects interact. An object that conforms to this specification is called a JavaBean, and is similar to an ActiveX control. It can be used by any application that understands the Java Beans format. JavaBeans are written in the Java programming language. Like ActiveX controls, JavaBeans components are reusable software programs that you can develop and assemble easily to create sophisticated applications. The name Java was chosen at a time when Sun's Oak language ran into trademark problems. "After the name Java was chosen, it became obligatory for Java products to have names based on coffee and/or the culture and geography of the Indonesian archipelago." (Eckel, n.d.) "Thus in 1996 when Sun engineers were casting around for a name for Sun's component software architecture, they settled on JavaBeans." (Eckel, n.d.)

Features

Java - "No language is simple, but Java considered a much simpler and easy to use object-oriented programming language when compared to the popular programming language, C++. Partially modeled after C++, Java has replaced the complexity of multiple inheritance in C++ with a simple structure called interface, and also has eliminated the use of pointers." (Choudhari, n.d.)

One of the most important features of JavaScipt is that it requires no compiler, no special testing environment, and is very secure. JavaScript does not have the capability to read or write from a user's hard drive, which results in an extremely secure operating environment. JavaScript can be written and tested using nothing more than a basic text editor and any web browser, resulting in a low startup cost for compiling.

The single most distinctive feature of Applets is their ability to add GUI displays to standard web pages. Parameters given for the Applet tell the page to generate a window in which the Applet will run.

JavaBeans major features are listed from http://jliusun.bradley.edu/~jiangbo/javaroom/Beans12/tsld005.htm:

* Introspection: Enables a builder tool to analyze how a bean works.

* Customization: Enables the developer of a Bean component to customize the appearance and behavior of a Bean.

* Events: Enables beans to fire events and informing builder tools about the events they can fire and the events they can handle.

* Properties: Supports the customization mentioned above.

* Persistence: Enables developers to customize Beans, and then retrieve those Beans later, with customized features intact.

Usage

Java

"One major use of web-based JavaScript is to write functions that are embedded in or included from HTML pages and interact

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