Java vs Python: Which one to learn?

Java vs Python: Python has surpassed Java in popularity. Python’s popularity surpassed Java in 2017, according to Google Trends.

Java vs Python

Python’s great use for experimentation, and Java’s more significant usage for production code, is most likely to blame for the trend. Experimentation takes precedence over production code.

Python is a dynamically typed as well as an interpreted language, whereas Java is statically typed and compiled. Java is faster at runtime and easier to debug because of this one difference, while Python is easier to use and read.

Python’s appeal is due in significant part to its communicativity; people comprehend it more easily. It comes with many Python libraries, so a novice coder won’t have to start from scratch. Because Java is old and still frequently used, it has many libraries and a supportive community.

Let’s take a closer look at these, with some code samples to show the differences between Python and Java.

Python Overview

Python was released for the first time in 1991. It’s a high-level, interpreted general-purpose programming language. It is Object-Oriented.

Guido van Rossum created Python with a design philosophy focusing on code readability. The Python community will provide a score to each other’s code based on how Pythonic it is.

When to Use Python

Python’s libraries make it simple for a coder to get started. They will rarely have to start from scratch. There’s a library for it if a programmer wants to go into machine learning. There is a library for them to use if they’re going to make a nice chart. There is a library for them to use if they want a progress bar in their CLI.

Python is, in general, the Lego of programming languages; grab a box with instructions on how to use it and start building. There isn’t much that has to be begun from the ground up.

Because of its readability, Python is excellent for:

  1. New programmers
  2. Getting ideas down fast
  3. Sharing code with others

Java Overview

Java is an old programming language. Java is a general-purpose programming language that uses classes and is object-oriented, similar to Python.

Java was created by Sun Microsystems’ James Gosling and launched in 1995 as part of the Java Platform. From simple text sites to websites with video and motion, Java revolutionised the web experience.

When to use Java

Java is intended to run on any platform. It interprets compiled code using its Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM is both an interpreter and an error detector in one package.

Java was the most extensively used server-side language because of its connection to Sun Microsystems. Although this is no longer the case, Java reigned for a long time and attracted a large community, so it still enjoys widespread support.

Java vs Python: Uses

Python is frequently used by new programmers and junior developers who are transitioning into the data science profession. TensorFlow and pyTorch, two popular machine learning packages, are both developed in Python.

Python provides great data processing libraries like Pandas and Dask and good data visualisation tools like Matplotlib and Seaborn.

Java is widely used in web development. Senior programmers are more likely to experience it. It has a decent Natural Language Processing community and allows for asynchronous programming.

Both languages can be used to interact with APIs and to train machines. Java is better suited to the development of web applications.

Java vs Python: Code

Syntax: Java vs Python

Python’s syntax is more concise than Java’s since it is an interpreted language, making it easier to get started and test applications on the fly. You can type lines directly into the terminal, but Java will need to compile the entire programme before running.

The computer responds with 7 when you type Python and then 5+2.

python
5+2
7

 

Consider using Java for this. Because Java lacks a command-line interpreter (CLI), we must build a whole programme and then compile it to print 7. Here is how to print 7 in Java using Print7.java:

public class Print7{
       public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("5+2=" + (Integer.toString(5+2)));
       }
}

 

Type javac Print7.java to compile it, and then run it using java Print7.

java Print7
5+2=7

 

We have to write a whole application in Java to print 5. There’s a class in there and a main function that informs Java where to start.

With Python, we can also have a main function, typically used when passing parameters. It appears as follows:

def main():
  print('3+2=', 3+2)
if __name__== "__main__":
  main()

 

Classes: Java vs Python

Unless you tell it otherwise, Python code runs from top to bottom. But, as with Java, you can also create classes like this:

Python Class

class Num:
  def __init__(self, left, right):
      self.left = left
      self.right = right
number = Num(3, 2)
print("3+2=", number.left + number.right)

Here’s how you’d go about doing it in Java. As you can see, it’s a bit wordy, which is one of the most common complaints against Java. We’ll go over some of the code in more detail below.

Getter and Setter functions in a Java class

class PrintNum{
      int left;
      int right;
      PrintNum(int left, int right) {
          this.left = left;
          this.right = right;
      }
      public int getleft() {
          return left;
      }
      public int getRight() {
          return right;
      }
}
public class Print5 {
      public static void main(String[] args) {
          PrintNum printNum = new PrintNum(3,2);
          String sum = Integer.toString(printNum.getleft()
                + printNum.getRight() );
          System.out.println("3+2=" + sum);
      }
}


 

Python is helpful in its treatment of variables. Like, it can print dictionary objects automatically. While in Java, it is necessary to use a function that prints a dictionary explicitly. Python also converts variables of one type to another to make it easy to print strings and integers.

While Java has strict type checking, it helps avoid runtime errors. Here we declare an array of Strings called arg.

 

String[] arg

You usually put each Java class in its file. But here, we have put two classes in one file to make compiling and running the code simpler. We have:

class PrintNum {
    int left;
    int right;
}

 

The class has two member variables, left and right. Using Python, we did not need to declare them first. We just did that on the fly using the self object.

Java variables should be private in most cases, meaning you cannot refer to them directly outside the class. You have to use getter functions to retrieve their value like this.

 

public int getleft() {
    return left;
}

 

So, in the main function, we instantiate the class and retrieve its values:

 

public int getleft() {
    return left;
}
public static void main(String[] arg) {
    PrintNum printNum = new PrintNum (3,2);
    String sum = Integer.toString(printNum.getleft()
         + printNum.getRight() );
}

Python is mild in its treatment of variables. Java is not.

Like, we cannot concatenate and print numbers and letters like “3+2=” + 3 + 2. We use the function above to convert each integer to a string Integer.toString(), and then we have to print the concatenation of two strings.

Java vs Python: Conclusion

Both programming languages are suited for a wide range of users and are supported by substantial communities. Learning one does not rule out the possibility of knowing the other; many programmers work in many languages. Learning multiple programming languages can also help you comprehend them better.

Python is easier to learn in many ways, and it is feasible to migrate to Java afterwards.