Introduction to Java Compilers
Java Compilers are the compilers for the programming language. Every programming language has its own set of program which executes the code return in that particular language. There is no magic behind the code running in a particular language. There is something written by someone to convert the code written in human-understandable to translate in the language which understood by a machine. The same thing gets applied with java also. Java is easy to understand by humans. If we write programs in java it should be get converted into machine language.
Machine language is nothing but 0’s and 1’s, to convert this code into byte code java has its own set of compilers. Generally, we knew only a few compilers. And if you are new to java then the possibility is you must be knowing only one compiler called javac. Compilers give us the ability to interact with other platforms. We can run our program written in Java on any platform like Windows, Linux, MAC, etc. There is no restriction on which compiler should be used. But we should know the availability of different compilers for the time being. Now let’s look at what exactly it means.
What is Java Compilers?
Compilers are an interface between human language and machine understandable language. The Java compiler operates on the .java file or on the source code file. It then converts every class in the .java file into its corresponding .class file. This .class file can operate on any Operating System.
Hence java is a platform-independent language. Note that when we compile our java file with command javac it converts the code into machine language. That code called bytecode. Now it’s time to check out different environments that are currently there available for us.
Types of Java Compilers
- Edison Design Group
- Power J
- Client-Side Compiler
- Server-Side Compiler
Lets us study in details about the different types of Compilers which are as follows:
It is implemented by Martin Odersky at Sun Microsystems which was further owned by Oracle. This javac compiler needs to be installed with any IDE to run a java program. Javac itself is written in Java language. This compiler is available for Windows, UNIX, and other OS.
2. Edison Design Group
It is a company that makes the EDG compiler. It is implemented by J. Stephen “Steve” Adamczyk in 1988. They mainly write compilers for preprocessing and parsing. This compiler is also available for Windows, UNIX, and other Oss but this compiler is not available for any IDE.
GCJ stands for GNU Compiler for Java. This is a free compiler available for Java Programming Language. This compiler compiles the java source code to a machine-understandable format. It can also compile JARs which contain bytecode. This compiler is only available for UNIX and not for other Operating Systems like Windows and this is neither available for any IDE. This compiler can also compile C, C++, Fortran, Pascal, and other programming languages.
This is an Eclipse compiler for Java and comes with Eclipse IDE and available for operating systems like Windows, UNIX, etc. With this compiler, if some part of the code is having a compile-time error, however, the other part of the code can be tested whether working fine or not. This is not the case with javac as you need to fix all the errors before compilation. With Eclipse compiler, if your java source code is having any compile-time error then it will through it as a runtime exception. Also, this compiler can run in the background of IDE and it also speeds up the compilation as compared to javac.
This compiler is developed by Dave Shields and Philippe Charles at IBM and it’s an OSI certified open-source Java Compiler and written in C++. It is a high-performance compiler used for large projects and much faster in compiling small projects than Sun’s compiler. Jikes was released in 1998 for Linux. The issue with Jikes compiler is that it does not support Java 5 and above versions since there is no updation from IBM on the same. This compiler works best with JDK 1.3 and below versions.
6. Power J
This compiler was written at Sybase which was further owned by SAP. This is available for Windows and also for IDEs.
It stands for Just In Time compiler and used to improve the performance of Java application. This compiler is enabled by default. It gets active when any method in java is called. JIT compiles the byte code of that method into machine code. It’s a component of Java Runtime Environment which improves the performance at run time.
8. Client-Side Compilers
The client-side compiler is C1 and it gets enabled through the –client at JVM startup command-line option. It is used for Client-side applications which are having very few resources and it reduces the startup time of the applications.
9. Server – Side Java Compilers
This is used for the application running at the server side like server-side enterprise applications. The Client-side compiler is not enough for the applications running at the server-side. So the server-side compiler is C2 and this compiler gets enabled through –server JVM startup command-line option. The more advanced algorithms and techniques can be used with the application with a server-side compiler.
Do we need to know all the Compilers to Work with Java?
No, you don’t need to get hands dirty on each environment out there for the compiling process. As per your requirements and tools available you can select any one from above.
Java is an Object-Oriented Programming Language which compiles the code into byte code and then runs the byte code on any Computer System which supports Java Virtual Machine. The compiler is a program that processes the high level of the source code of a particular programming language written by the developer into the machine-understandable format. These compilers are also written in some of the programming languages like Pascal, C, Basic, Java, etc. In general, compilers can be written in any language which is powerful enough to write compilers.
This has been a guide to the Java Compilers. Here we discuss the basic concept with some of the Different Types of Java Compilers. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –