Java vs C#

Java vs. C#: Similarities and Differences

What are Java and C#?

Programmers, software development company owners, students, and people involved in IT have been discussing the Java vs. C# comparison ever since these programming languages came out. In this article, we’ll find out more about these two languages and make a comparison between them that is focused on their differences and similarities.

Java is a general-purpose programming language that is also object-oriented, class-based and precisely created to have fewer implementation interdependencies whenever possible. Software developers James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton began the project for the Java programming language in June 1991. Sun Microsystems released Java version 1.0 in 1996. The latest version of Java – SE 12 was released in March 2019.

C# is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language and is a combination of C and C++. Software engineer Anders Hejlsberg and his team built a programming language initially known as Cool in January 1999, which was renamed C# in July 2000. Version 1.0 was released in January 2002 and the latest version 7.3 was released in May 2018.

Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey for the most used programming languages shows that Java placed fifth with 41.4% while C# placed seventh with 31%. The TIOBE Index of April 2019 for the top programming languages puts Java at number one with a 15.035% rating while C# is at number six with a 3.515% rating.

Comparison of applications and uses of Java vs. C#

It’s estimated that three billion devices run on Java. The object-oriented and class-based nature of Java has enabled developers to create programs that are compatible with many devices or machines such as ATMs, TVs, computers in automobiles, and other mobile computing devices. It is widely used for creating web applications, server-side apps, mobile apps, desktop GUIs, and for video game development.

As a back-end (server-side) language, Java is used in many popular websites such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Google previously used Java as its main programming language for developing Android apps until the company switch to the Kotlin language. Java is also one of the most popular languages used in creating applications for business, education, financial, manufacturing, and medicine.

Not to be outdone, C# as an object-oriented, flexible and robust language has features especially suited for building Windows-based applications and video games. It is used as a back-end (server-side) language for the websites of MSN.com and Microsoft. C# can also be used to develop web applications and is becoming a popular language for mobile app development. The use of cross-platform development tools like Xamarin have allowed C# developers to create iOS and Android apps that can be used on various types of mobile devices.

Comparison between Java vs. C#

Whether you’re a novice programmer, a college student, or a software development company owner, you all may share the same predicament of choosing between Java or C#. These two programming languages have major similarities and differences that’s why our Java vs. C# topic focuses on these two categories of comparison so we can make a brief and concise discussion.

Similarities:

JavaC#
Programming classificationObject-oriented.Object-oriented.
Intermediate language code generation
A Java compiler generates a Java byte code.

A C# compiler generates the Microsoft Intermediate Language code.
Automatic memory management
It has a system garbage collector.

A system garbage collection that removes the low-level maintenance tasks from a developer.
Language influence
Influenced by C++.

Descended from and influenced by C++.
APIs and documentation
It has a comprehensive API specification and documentation.

It has extensive class libraries and documentation.
The ability for reflection and exception handling
It can do excellent reflection and exception handling.

It can perform efficient reflection and exception handling.
Syntax
The syntax of Java has an overall similarity to C#.

C# also shares many syntax similarities to Java.

Differences:

JavaC#
DeveloperOriginally developed by Sun Microsystems which was eventually acquired by Oracle Corporation.Microsoft Corporation.
Software framework
There are a lot of frameworks that can be used for Java. Some of the popular frameworks include Spring, Grails, Blade, JavaServer Faces, Google Web Toolkit, Play, and Struts.

The .NET Framework on Windows is the only framework that can be used for C#.
Runtime environment
It can run on a Java platform together with a Java Runtime Environment and a Java Development Kit.

Designed to run on the Common Language Runtime with the C# libraries that can only operate within the .NET Framework and an IDE like Visual Studio.
Public classes and checked exceptions
Java only has one public class inside a source code/source file, and it can support both checked and unchecked exceptions.

C# can have many public classes inside a source code. It supports unchecked exceptions but not checked exceptions.
Pointers and conditional compilation
It does not support the use of pointers and conditional compilation.

C# supports conditional compilation. It supports pointers that only be used in unsafe mode.
Goto statement, and structures and unions
It does not support goto statement, and structures and unions.

It supports goto statement, and structures and unions.
Floating point
Java supports strictfp keyword which means the results for floating point numbers will be the same for various platforms.

C# does not support strictfp keyword which means the results for floating point numbers may not be the same across all platforms.
Operator overloading
It does not support operator overloading.

It supports operator overloading.
API control and free libraries
Java’s API is controlled by an open source community process with a large and growing community that is constantly offering new libraries and tools.

C#’s API is completely controlled by Microsoft which means there is a lack of support for free libraries.
Support for the generic feature
The generic feature support is compiler assisted that is implemented with the use of erasures.

The generic feature support is integrated into the command- line interface, and the type information is available during runtime.
Arrays
In Java, the arrays are a direct specialization of the Object. The jagged arrays are implemented with single-dimensional arrays in which the arrays can be members of other arrays.

In C#, the arrays are a System specialization. Genuine rectangular arrays can be implemented which can also replace jagged arrays.
Learning curve
On a scale of one to five stars, users rate Java three stars for its difficulty level in learning. They say that it is not the easiest language to learn but definitely not the hardest.

On a scale of one to five stars, users rate C# three stars for its difficulty level. However, many users say that it is not the recommended programming language to learn for beginners because it has a steep learning curve.
Delegates
Java does not support delegates.

C# uses delegates, which are type-safe method pointers. These are used to implement event-handling.
Conclusion of Java vs. C#

We’ve discussed the major similarities and differences between Java vs. C# so hopefully, this topic will help you make an informed choice on which language is best for the specific project or task that you want to do. Keep in mind that the final decision to choose between Java or C# is still up to you because the end result of your product or project is based on the benefits of the language that you selected.

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