In This Chapter
Finding out about programming
Scoping out Java
Comparing Java with other programming languages
Understanding Java's incomprehensible version numbers
This chapter is a gentle introduction to the world of Java. In the next few pages, you find out what Java is, where it came from, and where it's going. You also discover some of the unique strengths of Java, as well as some of its weaknesses. Also, you see how Java compares with other popular programming languages, including C, C++, C#, and Visual Basic.
By the way, I assume in this chapter that you have at least enough background to know what computer programming is all about. That doesn't mean that I assume you're an expert or professional programmer. It just means that I don't take the time to explain such basics as what a computer program is, what a programming language is, and so on. If you have absolutely no programming experience, I suggest that you pick up a copy of Java For Dummies, 5th Edition, or Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies, 3rd Edition, both by Barry Burd (Wiley). ...