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Just Java™ 2 by Peter van der Linden

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One Size Doesn't Fit All

It's quite an accomplishment to run the same binary executable on such widely different architectures as MacOS, Windows, Linux and a quarter of a billion cell phones. There's more information about this coming up in Chapter 2, but for now, let's make an over-simplification and say that Java binary executables are interpreted on each platform.

The Java binary format doesn't contain machine code instructions for any one computer. It contains a slightly higher level, more general, set of instructions known as byte code. To run a Java program, you actually run an interpreter. The interpreter reads the binary file containing the byte code and translates it into the machine code for the system where you are executing the ...

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