Java is a general purpose programming language that is statically typed. PHP is a dynamically typed scripting language exclusively used for web development. Both Java and PHP are used for backend web development.
Learning a new language in your career can be a daunting process. Sometimes we don’t know which language is best suited to our specific needs. For this reason, we have compiled information on Java and PHP, identifying the similarities and differences between both programming languages to give you a better understanding of which one works for you.
PHP and Java are two of the most popular languages for web and software development. Let us start by defining each language separately.
PHP was originally called “Personal Home Page” but was later termed “Hypertext Preprocessor.” This language is a general programming language and was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1944.
PHP is a server side scripting language. It is embedded in HTML and is used in custom web development. PHP scripts are used in areas like server-side scripting, web application development, command-line scripting and in writing desktop applications. This language has also played a key role in the foundation of Content Management Systems (CMS). Today many websites, web apps, and web servers like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal run on PHP.
PHP is open-source and can be used on all of the major operating systems including macOS, Linux, Univ variants, Microsoft Windows, and others. If you are building a small or medium-sized application that involves software like Linux, Apache, or MySQL, then PHP is the right choice.
PHP has a wide range of databases which makes writing database-enabled web pages in it simple and easy.
Java is a general-purpose coding language and is used for web and mobile development. Java is known to be a safe and reliable language which makes it a popular choice for scientific applications. Java provides a secure environment and high-level concurrency tools compared to any other language.
Java is a compiled language which means that when you compile code, it gets converted into an intermediate code for the OS it is running on. The processes are converted into bytecode which in turn is converted into machine language. Java compiler produces code for a virtual machine called Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JVM acts as a bridge between the source code and the binary instructions. Any machine that has the JVM installed can run Java.
Being the world’s most popular programming language, Java has a large number of libraries. This makes it easy for developers to use existing libraries instead of writing custom code over and over again.
Java is used in applications like Android apps, Big Data Analytics, and server-side technologies like Apache, JBoss, etc.
PHP vs Java: Similarities and Differences
- Open Source
Both PHP and Java are open-source which means both languages are available for public usage and can be modified and redistributed.
Both are Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) languages. OOP expresses programs in terms of “objects.” This type of programming makes it easy to understand code as well as allows it to be reused. Both Java and PHP have access to techniques like inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism that makes a program more modular and reusable.
In both PHP and Java, the process of defining variables, classes, and looping structures are similar. This makes it easy for developers to work in a cross-language environment when there is a need to work on both languages simultaneously.
- Easy to Learn
Both Java and PHP are easy programming languages to learn, especially if you are familiar with the syntax. They are easy to understand, compile, write, and debug.
- Compiled vs. Interpreted
Java is a compiled programming language which means you can run it on any operating system no matter where it was originally written. The main difference between PHP and Java is in implementation. Java is compiled into bytecode and run on a JVM. PHP, on the other hand, is an interpreted language. It is first compiled into bytecode and then interpreted by a runtime engine.
- Memory Safety
Java ensures the safety of your system from security attacks and bugs. For this reason, Java programming is memory-safe. PHP is not as safe as JAVA. It doesn’t permit managing or writing and reading into memory.
- Statically Typed vs Dynamically Typed
Java is statically typed. This approach helps detect errors in the early stages of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process. PHP on the other hand is a dynamically typed language.
Concurrency is the ability of a language to allow execution of different tasks/processes in parallel. Multithreading means performing multiple tasks or processes concurrently. Java uses multiple threads to perform tasks in parallel and has one of the best-developed solutions for multithreading. Though PHP programmers don’t use parallelism very often, at times, using concurrency can bring forward worthwhile results.
- API Calls
Java can easily communicate with any API whereas PHP has some restrictions when it comes to API calls.
Conclusion: PHP vs Java
We have learned that both languages have many similarities and differences and each has its own set of pros and cons. We know that the usability of the language depends primarily on the type of system you want to build. Hence it is difficult to determine which language is better than the other.
PHP was designed specifically for web development and it does that very successfully. In PHP, you can develop and deploy any web applications within a matter of a few minutes. However, whenever the need is to develop something complex and complicated then Java becomes the preferable go-to language.