What is Java?

Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. It is used to write applets which, unlike CGI scripts, actually load into and execute from within the user's web browser.

Java code is platform-independent, which means that any browser or operating system which has a Java interpreter written for it (i.e. most of them) can run Java applications with no alterations.

Why use Java?

Java is ideal for interactive applications which must run quickly. Sending HTTP requests to and from the server, which must launch a new CGI process each time, can be too slow for applications such as some games, web-based chat systems, or any other highly interactive use. Java can take advantage of the considerable processing power of today's desktop computers, and also relieve the load on a busy server, making it run more quickly.

Some sample Java applications

These sample applications show some of the practical uses of Java.