If you are interested in Android application development, you will definitely have a basic knowledge of Kotlin and Java. In recent years, the choice of Java and Kotlin for Android programming has become a hot debate among programmers. According to many programmers, Java is the best choice for Android programming because it is easily available. But, with the introduction of Kotlin programming language by Google in 2017 as the official Android development language, attention was drawn to this new language. Reading this article will give you a comprehensive view of these two programming languages so that you can choose the most suitable language for Android programming training. So stay with us until the end.
Table of Contents
Java programming language
The Java programming language was developed in 1995 by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems (which was acquired by Oracle in 2009). Java is an open-source, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. In addition, Java is a static programming language that performs type checking during compile time. As a cross-platform language, Java works on almost any device, operating system and server. Additionally, since it is compiled to bytecode, it can run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Famous applications like spotify, twitter and LinkedIn are made by Java.
Advantages of Java
- Java is an object-oriented programming language that makes it easier for programmers to write modular programs.
- Java is flexible. This means that it is easily transferred from one system to another.
- Java is platform independent.
- Java is a multi-threaded language. This means that it allows multiple parts of the program to run at the same time and actually makes the most of the CPU.
Limitations of Java
- Java consumes a lot of memory, which may lead to performance degradation.
- Instead of backing up data, Java only focuses on storing it.
- In Java, there is no control over garbage collection because Java does not provide functions like delete (), free ().
- Unsigned int and char are not supported in Java.
What is Kathleen?
Kotlin programming language is a much younger language than Java and was first introduced in 2016. Kotlin is an open source language that can compile code into bytecode and run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Like Java, Kotlin runs on almost any platform. Additionally, libraries and frameworks built in Java are also compatible for use in Kotlin. Kotlin code is easier and more readable compared to Java, so Kotlin reduces the possibility of errors.
Tinder, Netflix, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Uber are among the examples written using Kotlin.
Benefits of Kotlin
- Kotlin programming language codes are more concise and readable than Java.
- Kotlin programming syntax is user-friendly and understandable.
- Kotlin simplifies the programming process by dividing large programs into smaller layers.
- Kotlin helps developers to create extension functions.
- Kotlin provides a very simple and automated way to create data classes.
- This language allows the exchange and use of Java information in different ways.
- Writing new code in Kotlin takes less time.
Limitations of Kotlin
- The main limitation of Kotlin is that it has slower compilation performance.
- Kotlin is a new language. For this reason, unlike Java, it has a small and limited support community.
- Kotlin programming learning resources are available.
Why is the Java programming language compared to Kotlin?
So far, we have introduced Java and Kotlin programming languages and mentioned several features of these two languages. Now you may be wondering why the Java programming language is compared to Kotlin? As mentioned, Java is a general purpose language. Java programming language has been one of the most popular programming languages in the world for years. While Kathleen has only been introduced for a few years. However, Kotlin programming language is Java’s most serious competitor in Android development.
In 2017, Google recognized Kotlin as its second official language for Android development. Also, in 2019, Kotlin was announced as the successful programming language for Android application development by Google. As a result, it can be said that the Kotlin programming language has experienced incredible growth.
Key differences between Kotlin and Java
Now that we have some background, you may be wondering how the growth of Kotlin affects Java. Will kotlin replace it? The answer is not that simple. There are many different opinions on this matter. To understand both sides of the argument, let’s first take a closer look at their differences.
1. Null Pointer Exception error
Null Pointer Exceptions error in Java causes a lot of trouble for developers. The idea behind Null Pointer Exceptions is to enable users to assign a null value to any variable. Java allows developers to assign a null value to any variable. However, if they try to use an object reference that has a null value, a NullPointerException will be thrown.
In contrast, in Kotlin, you cannot assign null values to variables or objects by default. If we try to do this, the code will fail at compile time. Therefore, there are no Null Pointer Exceptions in Kotlin. However, if the developer wants to assign a null value to a variable, he can mark the variable as a nullable variable. For this, the following command is used:
“val number: Int? = null”
2. Expanding functions
Unlike Java, Kotlin allows the developer to extend the functionality of classes without having to inherit from a class. In Java, to extend the functionality of an existing class, a new class must be created and inherit functions from the parent class.
3. Code volume
One of the key differences between Kotlin and Java is that Kotlin requires less code. As mentioned, Kotlin is a very concise language. This means that a Java program can be written with less code in Kotlin. In general, the brevity of Kotlin makes writing large projects more manageable. This greatly reduces the possibility of error.
4. Data classes
Usually, in large Java projects, several classes are used, which are designed only to maintain data. Although these classes have little or no functionality, a developer still has to write a lot of boilerplate code in Java.
In contrast, Kotlin provides a simpler way to create classes to hold data. In this way, the programmer defines the class by including the keyword “data”.
Since Android is single-threaded by default, whenever a long-running I/O or CPU operation is initiated on the network, the corresponding thread is blocked. Java provides the ability to create multiple threads, but managing them is a complex task.
In Kotlin we can create multiple threads to execute this long-running intensive operation, which will stop execution at a certain point while executing the long-running intensive operation without blocking the threads.
6. Interface type
In Java, we must explicitly specify the type of the variable.
In Kotlin, we don’t need to specify the type of each variable explicitly.
7. Checked exception
In Java, Checked exception is checked which ultimately leads to robust code with good error handling.
But there is no checked exception in our Kotlin. So developers don’t need to declare or catch exceptions, which can be useful or not useful depending on the developer.
8. Functional programming
The Java programming language does not support functional programming until Java8.
Kotlin is a combination of procedural and functional programming language, which consists of many useful methods such as lambda, operator overloading, high-order functions, etc.