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What is the difference between C++ and Java?

If you were looking for courses to learn computer programming, you might have come across an array of popular coding languages used these days, including two of the most popular — Java and C++.

Bjarne Stroustrup developed C++ at Bell Labs in 1979. C++ was an upgrade to the highly popular C programming language. It incorporated Object-Oriented concepts from Simula. Adding these features to C made it one of the most popular programming languages out there.

James Gosling developed Java at Sun Microsystems in 1995 for set-top boxes and televisions. The main aim of JAVA was to create interactive television. A concept which was too complicated for the television industry at that time. However, the language was better for internet applications due to its cross-platform nature.

Also read: What’s the difference between Java and Javascript?

Java vs C++: Comparison

Java, as a language is more prominent in the web development domain. System programming uses C++ extensively. The main reason for this is that C++ gives memory management features to the programmer. Below we’ve explained the main differences between Java and C++.

What's the difference between Java and Javascript?

  • Code conversion: C++ uses a compiler to convert the code from high level to machine code. Java uses a compiler as well an interpreter to do the same. In the case of Java, the high-level code is broken down into byte code using a compiler and then this bytecode is executed using an interpreter.
  • Programming support: Java supports only Object-oriented programming. C++ supports both Object-oriented programming and procedural programming.
  • Inheritances and operator overload: C++ supports multiple inheritances and both operator and method overloading. Java only supports method overloading.
  • Platform: Java is platform-independent. C++ is not. Code compilation is done for a particular device in C++, whereas code written in Java is compiled in one machine and runs on a Java Virtual Machine.

  • Memory management: Java does not use destructors for memory management. C++ offers the functionality of destructors. C++ uses pointers for memory management. Java does not use pointers, which provides better system security.
  • Java doesn’t support unions, whereas C++ does.
  • C++ supports both calls by value and reference. Java supports only call by value.
  • Errors: In C++, It is the programmer’s responsibility to check the errors. In the case of Java, it is the system’s responsibility to correct an error in the program.
  • Thread management: Java has built-in support for thread management; C++ does not.
  • Virtual functions: Virtual functions can be created in C++, whereas this feature is unavailable in Java.

Both Java and C++ are excellent general-purpose programming languages. If you want to work with embedded devices, you should go for C++ as it’s more hardware-centred. But if you’re going to develop application-specific software you should learn Java.

Also read: What’s the difference between C and C++?

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