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While most of the world uses "Java" as another term for coffee, the computer science world uses it to refer to a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. The syntax of Java is much like that of C/C++, but it is object-oriented and structured around "classes" instead of functions. Java can also be used for programming applets -- small programs that can be embedded in Web sites. The language is becoming increasingly popular among both Web and software developers since it is efficient and easy-to-use.

Java is a great programming language, but like Reading Rainbow says, you don't have to take my word for it. Sun Micorsystems describes Java as a "simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture-neutral, portable, high-performance, multithreaded, dynamic, buzzword-compliant, general-purpose programming language." And it removes stains like magic.

Published: 2002

Definition from the PC Glossary