Python vs Java – Who Will Conquer 2019?

Python Vs Java – The hottest battle of the era. Every beginner want to know which programming language will have a bright future? According to statistics, Java is losing its charm and Python is rising. But, no one will tell you which one is beneficial. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between Java and Python and let you decide which one is more useful.

Python vs Java - Which is best for Beginners

Python Vs Java – A Battle for the Best

Let’s deep dive into the differences.

1. Hello World Example

To rigorously compare Python and Java, we first compare the first program in any programming language-  to print “Hello World”.

  • Java
public class HelloWorld
{
  public static void main(String[] args)
   {
    System.out.println("Hello World");
   }
}
  • Python

Now, let’s try printing the same thing in Python.

print(“Hello World”)

As you can see, what we could do with 7 lines of code in Java, we can do with 1 line in Python.

Let’s further discuss parts of this program and other things.

2. Syntax

A striking characteristic of Python is simple python syntax. Let’s see the syntax difference between Python and Java.

2.1 Semicolon

Python statements do not need a semicolon to end, thanks to its syntax.

>>> x=7
>>> x=7;

But it is possible to append it. However, if you miss a semicolon in Java, it throws an error.

class one
{
    public static void main (String[] args)
        {
            int x=7;
            System.out.println(x)
        }
}

Compilation error            #stdin compilation error #stdout 0.09s 27828KB

Main.java:10: error: ‘;’ expected

System.out.println(x)
         ^

1 error

2.2 Curly Braces and Indentation

The major factor of Python Vs Java is curly braces and indentation. In Java, you must define blocks using semicolons. Without that, your code won’t work. But Python has never seen a sight of curly braces. So, to define blocks, it mandates indentation. Some lazy programmers don’t go the extra mile to indent their code, but with Python, they have no other choice. This indentation also aids readability. But you must compliment the indentation with a colon ending the line before it.

>>> if 2>1:
print("Greater")

Greater

This code would break if we added curly braces.

>>> if 2>1:
{

SyntaxError: expected an indented block

Now, let’s see if we can skip the curly braces and indentation in Java.

class one
{
     public static void main (String[] args)
      {
            if(2>1)
            System.out.println("2");
      }
}

Success                #stdin #stdout 0.07s 27792KB

2

Here, we could skip the braces because it’s a single-line if-statement. Indentation isn’t an issue here. This is because when we have only one statement, we don’t need to define a block. And if we have a block, we define it using curly braces. Hence, whether we indent the code or not, it makes no difference. Let’s try that with a block of code for the if-statement.

class one
{
  public static void main (String[] args) 
  {
    if(2<1)
    System.out.println("2");
    System.out.println("Lesser");
  }
}

Success                #stdin #stdout 0.09s 28020KB

Lesser

As you can see here, 2 isn’t less than 1, so the if statement’s body isn’t executed. Since we don’t have curly braces here, only the first print statement is considered to be its body. This is why here, only the second statement is executed; it isn’t in the if’s body.

2.3 Parentheses

Starting Python 3.x, a set of parentheses is a must only for the print statement. All other statements will run with or without it.

>>> print("Hello")

Hello

>>> print "Hello"

SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to ‘print’

This isn’t the same as Java, where you must use parentheses.

2.4 Comments

Comments are lines that are ignored by the interpreter. Java supports multiline comments, but Python does not. The following are comments in Java.

//This is a single-line comment
            /*This is a multiline comment
            Yes it is*/

Now, let’s see what a comment looks like in Python.

>>> #This is a comment

Here, documentation comments can be used in the beginning of a function’s body to explain what

it does. These are declared using triple quotes (“””).

>>> """
         This is a docstring
"""
'\n\tThis is a docstring\n'

These were the syntax comparison in Python Vs Java, let’s discuss more.

3. Dynamically Typed

One of the major differences is that Python is dynamically-typed. This means that we don’t need to declare the type of the variable, it is assumed at run-time. This is called Duck Typing. If it looks like a duck, it must be a duck, mustn’t it?

>>> age=22

You could reassign it to hold a string, and it wouldn’t bother.

>>> age='testing'

In Java, however, you must declare the type of data, and you need to explicitly cast it to a different type when needed. A type like int can be casted into a float, though, because int has a shallower range.

class one
{
  public static void main (String[] args) 
  {
    int x=10;
    float z;
    z=(float)x;
    System.out.println(z);
  }
}

Success                #stdin #stdout 0.09s 27788KB

10.0

However then, at runtime, the Python interpreter must find out the types of variables used. Thus, it must work harder at runtime.

Java, as we see it, is statically-typed. Now if you declare an int an assign a string to it, it throws a type exception.

class one
{
  public static void main (String[] args) 
  {
    int x=10;
    x="Hello";
  }
}

Compilation error            #stdin compilation error #stdout 0.09s 27920KB

Main.java:12: error: incompatible types: String cannot be converted to int

x="Hello";
   ^

1 error

4. Verbosity/ Simplicity

Attributed to its simple syntax, a Python program is typically 3-5 times shorter than its counterpart in Java. As we have seen earlier, to print “Hello World” to the screen, you need to write a lot of code in Java. We do the same thing in Python in just one statement. Hence, coding in Python raises programmers’ productivity because they need to write only so much code needed. It is concise.

To prove this, we’ll try to swap two variables, without using a third, in these two languages. Let’s begin with Java.

class one
{
  public static void main (String[] args) 
  {
    int x=10,y=20;
    x=x+y;
    y=x-y;
    x=x-y;
    System.out.println(x+" "+y);
  }
}

Success                #stdin #stdout 0.1s 27660KB

20 10

Now, let’s do the same in Python.

>>> a,b=2,3
>>> a,b=b,a
>>> a,b

(3, 2)

As you can see here, we only needed one statement for swapping variables a and b. The statement before it is for assigning their values and the one after is for printing them out to verify that swapping has been performed. This is a major factor of Python vs Java.

5. Speed

When it comes to speed, Java is the winner. Since Python is interpreted, we expect them to run slower than their counterparts in Java. They are also slower because the types are assumed at run time. This is extra work for the interpreter at runtime. The interpreter follows REPL (Read Evaluate Print Loop). Also, the IDLE has built-in syntax highlighting, and to get the previous and next commands, we press Alt+p and Alt+n respectively.

However, they also are quicker to develop, thanks to Python’s brevity. Therefore, in situations where speed is not an issue, you may go with Python, for the benefits it offers more than nullify its speed limitations. However, in projects where speed is the main component, you should go for Java. An example of such a project is where you may need to retrieve data from a database. So if you ask Python Vs Java as far as speed is concerned, Java wins.

6. Portability

Both Python and Java are highly portable languages. But due to the extreme popularity of Java, it wins this battle. The JVM (Java Virtual Machine) can be found almost everywhere. In the Python Vs Java war of Portability, Java wins.

7. Database Access

Like we’ve always said, Python’s database access layers are weaker than Java’s JDBC (Java DataBase Connectivity). This is why it isn’t used in enterprises rarely use it in critical database applications.

8. Interpreted

With tools like IDLE, you can also interpret Python instead of compiling it. While this reduces the program length and boosts productivity, it also results in slower overall execution.

9. Easy to Use

Now because of its simplicity and shorter code, and because it is dynamically-typed, Python is easy to pick up. If you’re just stepping into the world of programming, beginning with Python is a good choice. Not only is it easy to code, but it is also easy to understand. Readability is another advantage. However, this isn’t the same as Java. Because it is so verbose, it takes some time to really get used to it.

10. Popularity and Community

If we consider the popularity and community factor for Python vs Java, we see that for the past few decades, Java has been the 2nd most popular language (TIOBE Index). It has been here since 1995 and has been the ‘Language of the Year’ in the years 2005 and 2015. It works on a multitude of devices- even refrigerators and toasters.

Python, in the last few years, has been in the top 3, and was titled ‘Language of the Year’ in years 2007, 2010, and 2018. Python has been here since 1991. Can we just say it is the easiest to learn? It is a great fit as an introductory programming language in schools. Python is equally versatile with applications ranging from data science and machine learning to web development and developing for Raspberry Pi.

While Java has one large corporate sponsor- Oracle, Python is open-source (CPython) and observes distributed support.

11. Use Cases

Python: Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics, Websites, Games, Computer Vision (Facilities like face-detection and color-detection), Web Scraping (Harvesting data from websites), Data Analysis, Automating web browsers, Scripting, Scientific Computing

Java: Application servers, Web applications, Unit tests, Mobile applications, Desktop applications, Enterprise applications, Scientific applications, Web and Application Servers, Web Services, Cloud-based applications, IoT, Big Data Analysis, Games

12. Best for

While Python is best for Data Science, AI, and Machine Learning, Java does best with embedded and cross-platform applications.

13. Frameworks

Python: Django, web2py, Flask, Bottle, Pyramid, Pylons, Tornado, TurboGears, CherryPy, Twisted

Java: Spring, Hibernate, Struts, JSF (Java Server Faces), GWT (Google Web Toolkit), Play!, Vaadin, Grails, Wicket, Vert.x

14. Preferability for Machine Learning and Data Science

Python is easier to learn and has simpler syntax than Java. It is better for number crunching, whereas Java is better for general programming. Both have powerful ML libraries- Python has PyTorch, TensorFlow, scikit-learn, matplotlib, and Seaborn, and Java has Weka, JavaML, MLlib, and Deeplearning4j

Python Interview Questions

Similarities of Python and Java

Besides differences, there are some similarities between Python and Java:

  • In both languages, almost everything is an object
  • Both offer cross-platform support
  • Strings are immutable in both- Python and Java
  • Both ship with large, powerful standard libraries
  • Both are compiled to bytecode that runs on virtual machines

This was all about the difference between Python vs Java Tutorial.

Summary

So, after all, that we’ve discussed here in Python vs Java Tutorial, we come to conclude that both languages have their own benefits. It really is up to you to choose one for your project. While Python is simple and concise, Java is fast and more portable. While Python is dynamically-typed, Java is statically-typed. Both are powerful in their own realms, but we want to know which one you prefer. Furthermore, if you have any query/question, feel free to share with us!

So now you know which out of java and python is best for your project, install python on Windows if you are willing to go ahead with Python.

4 Responses

  1. G.Sridhar says:

    Java has greatly changed since version 1.8. With lambdas, streams, default methods, code has become less verbose, concise and started favoring parallel computation. With no second thought, Java / Scala would be my choice.

    • DataFlair Team says:

      Hi G.Sridhar,
      Thank you for sharing such a nice piece of information on our Python vs Java Tutorial. We have a series of Scala tutorial as well refer them too.
      Keep learning and keep visiting Data Flair

  2. Osman Karadereli says:

    You have tones of false claims on comparison. How do you compare speed of two languages? Under what circumstances? Just another blowing click bait

    • DataFlair Team says:

      Hey Osman,
      Python, as mentioned above, is an interpreter based language. An interpreter based language being slower than a compiler based one is the first conclusion that anyone would deduce. Java excels at speed when it is compared with Python. This is the main reason as to why it is preferred as a server-side computing language. Java is also statically typed as opposed to Python which is dynamically typed. There are various evidences and benchmarks that bolster the claim that Java executes programs faster than Python.
      Hope, it helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.