Writing Your First Program In Java

Vipin | Sun, 23 Aug, 2020 | 98

After setting your Java Development Environment you are now ready for writing your first java program.

Open any text editor and write the following line of code..

/*
 This is a simple Java program.
 Call this file "Example.java".
*/
class Example {
 // Your program begins with a call to main().
 public static void main(String args[]) {
 System.out.println("This is a simple Java program.");
 }
}

 Entering the Program

For most computer languages, the name of the file that holds the source code to a program is immaterial. However, this is not the case with Java. The first thing that you must learn about Java is that the name you give to a source file is very important. For this example, the name of the source file should be Example.java. Let’s see why

In Java, a source file is officially called a compilation unit. It is a text file that contains (among other things) one or more class definitions. (For now, we will be using source files that contain only one class.) The Java compiler requires that a source file use the .java filename extension.

As you can see by looking at the program, the name of the class defined by the program is also Example. This is not a coincidence. In Java, all code must reside inside a class. By convention, the name of the main class should match the name of the file that holds the program. You should also make sure that the capitalization of the filename matches the class name. The reason for this is that Java is case-sensitive. At this point, the convention that filenames correspond to class names may seem arbitrary. However, this convention makes it easier to maintain and organize your programs.

Compiling the Program

To compile the Example program, execute the compiler, javac, specifying the name of the source file on the command line, as shown here:

C:\>javac Example.java

The javac compiler creates a file called Example.class that contains the bytecode version of the program. As discussed earlier, the Java bytecode is the intermediate representation of your program that contains instructions the Java Virtual Machine will execute. Thus, the output of javac is not code that can be directly executed.

To actually run the program, you must use the Java application launcher called java. To do so, pass the class name Example as a command-line argument, as shown here:

C:\>java Example

When the program is run, the following output is displayed:

This is a simple Java program.

When Java source code is compiled, each individual class is put into its own output file named after the class and using the .class extension. This is why it is a good idea to give your Java source files the same name as the class they contain—the name of the source file will match the name of the .class file. When you execute java as just shown, you are actually specifying the name of the class that you want to execute. It will automatically search for a file by that name that has the .class extension. If it finds the file, it will execute the code contained in the specified class.

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