The Difference Between JavaScript And Java

A lot of resources will tell you that the similarities between JavaScript and Java begins and ends with syntax, and everything after that is heaven and earth. The reality is that things are a little more complicated than that. To really get an appreciation for what makes JavaScript and Java so different, we’ll also need to cover what makes them similar. That way, the distinction becomes a lot clearer to see.


Okay, so the most basic parallel between JavaScript and Java, except for sharing the word “Java” is the fact that they are both Object Oriented Programming (OOP) languages. This means that they are both meant to help users interact with what would otherwise have been static images, buttons, windows, and so on. Java was created by James Gosling while JavaScript was the result of the cooperative efforts of programmers at Netscape.

Of course, this is describing the two things in a general sense. If you look at a car, what you are seeing is the sum of the parts that made up the vehicle instead of just the vehicle itself. In a way, that’s what OOP tools like JavaScript and Java represent. Only, Java can be considered a complete car while JavaScript is only some parts of it.

The Differences

Now that we’ve touched on what makes JavaScript and Java similar, let’s take a look at what makes them different. In a general sense, these two programming languages differ in the way that a housecat and a tiger would differ. Housecats are smaller, easier to manage. Tigers, on the other hand, can perform everything that housecats can do and still offer something more.

Java is a much bigger and more complicated programming language that is capable of offering complete, functional applications for users. This means that if one wanted to create an app using Java, they would be able to do so without needing anything else.

On the other hand, JavaScript needs the existence of a browser or more specifically, HTML in order to function. JavaScript texts are basically fed into the browser where the code will be interpreted and the effect brought out. Of course, this is the traditional description that makes the two languages distinct from one another.

These days, Java and JavaScript are coming ever closer together in terms of definition than in the past, thanks largely to web apps. There might become a time when the line between the two become too blurred to matter. For now, though, it’s still pretty easy to tell which is which.