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What is the difference between C++ and Java?

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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++?

Nischay Khanna

A tech enthusiast, driven by curiosity. A bibliophile who loves to travel. An Engineering graduate who loves to code and write about new technologies. Can't sustain without coffee. You can contact Nischay via email:

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