Python vs Java: Which is Better?

By | November 22, 2021
Python vs Java

Python and Java are among the most popular and chart-topping programming languages. Both are battling to be in the top position, with Python making constant improvements in the past few years while Java continues to maintain its position.

With Java, we can build various types of applications, such as desktop applications, network applications, web applications, Android applications, games, and so on. On the other hand, Python is widely used for data analysis, data visualization, task automation, and building websites and software.

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This article will primarily focus on highlighting the key differences between Java and Python. But before that, we will walk you through a brief overview of Java and Python, with their features and downsides. So let us get started.

What is Python?

Python is a high-level, general-purpose interpreted language. Guido Van Rossum first released Python 0.9.0 in 1991 as a replacement for the ABC programming language. Python 2.0 was released later that year, and it included garbage collection and list comprehension features. Python 3.0 was released in 2008, and it was a significant revision of the language.

Python 3.9.0 is the most recent version, and it includes a number of new features and optimizations. It is an open-source and free-to-use programming language licensed under the Python Software Foundation License.

Python supports a wide range of programming principles, including object-oriented, procedural, structured, reflective, and functional.

Code readability is the core feature of the Python language, as it eliminates the use of complex symbols like curly braces to delimit blocks and semicolons after statements. Instead, it uses whitespace indentation. In addition, the syntax of Python is easily readable and understandable as it includes simple English keywords.

Benefits of Python

Some of the notable benefits of Python are:

  • Simple and easy to learn and read.
  • Python’s easy syntax helps developers concentrate on solving problems rather than spending time on understanding the syntax.
  • Dynamically typed and high-level language.
  • Huge Library support.
  • Easy integration with C, C++, and Java languages.
  • Compatible with major operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Disadvantages of Python

Some of the downsides of Python to take into consideration are:

  • Weak language for mobile computing, as Android and iOS do not support Python as an official programming language.
  • Slow in execution, as it is an interpreted language.
  • Problems in achieving multi-threading due to the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL).
  • Primitive and underdeveloped database layer.

What is Java?

Java is also a high-level, object-oriented programming language. It is a class-based language, i.e., inheritance in Java is implemented using classes and objects rather than using objects alone. It is a free and open-source language designed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and first released in 1995.

The latest version of Java is Java 17, and the current long-term support (LTS) versions of Java are Java 8, 11, and 17. Java supports multiple programming paradigms, like functional, object-oriented, generic, concurrent, reflective, and procedural.

WORA, or Write Once, Run Anywhere, is one of Java’s best features. It allows you to write and compile Java code on one Java-supporting machine and run it on other Java-supporting machines without recompiling. This is accomplished by compiling Java code into bytecode similar to machine code, which is then executed at runtime by a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Benefits of Java

Following are some significant advantages of Java:

  • Less complicated syntax than C++.
  • Write a Java code once and run it on almost any computing platform.
  • Automatic memory management.
  • Highly secure, as it does not use explicit pointers.
  • Multi-threaded language, i.e., each bigger task is split into multiple threads, where all threads can run individually and parallelly.

Disadvantages of Java

Here are some drawbacks of Java to consider.

  • Comparatively slower than other programming languages, as the compilation of programs takes time.
  • Increased hardware cost due to high memory and processing requirements.
  • Does not support low-level programming constructs, like Pointers.

Python vs Java: Head to Head Comparison

Here is a table that shows some major differences between Java and Python.

Parameters Java Python
Compilation Java is a compiled language. Python is an interpreted language.
Static or dynamic It is a statically-typed language, i.e., variables are declared explicitly. It is a dynamically-typed language, i.e., there is no need to declare variables explicitly.
Learning curve Java has a complex learning curve. Syntax of Java is inspired by C and C++ languages. Python is easy to understand and learn, as its syntax involves simple English keywords and does not make use of special symbols, like braces or semicolons.
String operations There are limited string-related functions. It offers a wide range of string-related functions.
Multiple inheritances Multiple inheritances in Java is implemented using multiple interfaces in a class. Python offers single as well as multiple inheritances.
Braces vs indentation Each function and class definition begins and ends with curly braces. It uses indentation to separate the code into different blocks.
Speed Java programs run slower than Python programs, as compilation takes time. Python programs run faster.
Architecture Initially, the source code is converted into bytecode, and this byte code is then executed by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on multiple platforms, having Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. The interpreter in Python translates the source code into machine-independent code.
Database support It offers stable database connectivity. It offers weak database connectivity.
Portability Java applications can be run on any computer or mobile device that can run the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Python is less portable than Java, as it requires an interpreter to be installed on the target machine.
Game development frameworks. JMonkeyEngine is a popular java framework for game development. Cocos2d, Panda3d, Pygame, etc., are Python frameworks for game development.
Machine learning libraries Mallet, Weka, Deeplearning4j are some popular libraries for implementing machine learning in Java. TensorFlow, PyTorch are libraries for implementing machine learning in Python.
Best for It is ideal for developing embedded systems, desktop GUI applications, web applications, etc. Python is popularly used for data visualization, data analysis, task automation, scientific and numeric computation, and developing machine learning applications.

Examples of Java and Python Program

To understand how the syntax of Java and Python differ, we shall implement Java and Python programs to print a sentence by taking input from the user.

Java Program

import java.util.Scanner;
public class TechGeeks
{
public static void main(String args[])
{
String str;
Scanner s1 = new Scanner(System.in);
System.out.print("Please Enter Your Name: ");
str = s1.nextLine();
System.out.println(str);
System.out.println("Your name is: " +str);
}
}

Output

Please Enter Your Name: John Brown
Your name is: John Brown

Python Program

str = input ("Please Enter Your Name: ")
print("Your name is: ", str)

Output

Please Enter Your Name: John Brown
Your name is: John Brown

Conclusion

Both Python and Java are great in their own ways. Python is ideal for beginners as it has an uncluttered syntax that uses simple English keywords. On the other hand, Java is a perfect option for those wishing to develop enterprise-level applications, games, and mobile applications.

Hopefully, we have covered all the major differences between Java and Python in this article. We recommend you choose either of these two languages, depending upon your project needs.

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