Java vs Objective C

Java vs Objective C

Java and Objective C are two popular programming languages used all over the software development industry ever since. Whether Java or Objective C is a more feature-rich, portable, and intuitive programming language is a topic of much debate. Even though they have certain things in common, they also differ significantly in a number of important ways.

Both Java and Objective C have their own unique features and benefits, and developers must choose which language to use based on the specific needs of the project. Java is a more commonly used language due to its object-oriented nature. At the same time, Objective C is a lower-level language that offers more direct control over the underlying platform. In what follows, you will compare the two languages using a few other vital parameters given below.

  • Syntax
  • Platform Dependency
  • Ease of Learning
  • Memory Allocation and Management
  • Data Types
  • Exception Handling
  • Library and Framework Support
  • Run-time Performance
  • Constructors and Code Reusability

1. Syntax

Syntax is one of the most significant differences between the languages. Java uses a C-style syntax that includes curly braces and semicolons, making the code more readable and understandable. It derives its syntax from C++ (a familiar language for most developers). However, the unique syntax of Objective C, which entails using square brackets to send messages to objects, needs to be clarified for novices. It is based on the primary C language. 

2. Platform Dependency

In terms of platform independence, Java can operate on any device or operating system that has the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed. This makes it a platform-independent language when compared to other languages. This makes creating cross-platform applications extremely flexible and popular. On the other hand, Objective C has a limited range of supported platforms because its main application development use is for Apple’s iOS and macOS platforms.

3. Ease of Learning

Even though the ease of learning varies by person, app developers tend to learn Objective C first. It is because of the better revenues that iPhone apps developed using Objective C have the potential to earn in comparison to Android applications developed using Java. However, some argue that Objective C is fundamentally outdated and that Java is much more of a “modern” language. Indeed, there is very little use for things like Objective C’s split headers and DRY-violation. 

4. Memory Allocation and Management

The difference in memory management is the difference in their approach to it. Java uses the automatic garbage collection method for memory allocation and management, where the JVM automatically frees up memory by reclaiming objects that are no longer in use. Most professional programmers consider this method more efficient than the ‘pointers’ and ‘reference counting’ in Objective C. 

  • Because Objective C relies on a reference counting mechanism, programmers must manually control memory usage by holding onto and releasing objects. This method is confusing at times for the developers. 
  • It is also not intuitive how Objective C methods return values, which is another reason why it is not recommended. 
  • In order to prevent memory from becoming clogged when coding iOS apps, developers must continuously verify that the previously allocated objects are being removed. When using Java, this is usually not necessary.

5. Data Types

Java has a large number of built-in data types, including eight primitive types: boolean, char, byte, int, short, long, float, and double. Its class and object systems facilitate the concepts of object-oriented programming as well. The built-in data types in Objective C, on the other hand, are fewer, and the language primarily uses objects and classes to manipulate data. It is divided into four categories: enumerated, derived, primitive, and void data types.

6. Exception Handling

There are also differences between Objective C and Java’s exception-handling mechanisms. Exception handling in Java is one of the powerful mechanisms to handle run-time errors so that the normal flow of the application can be maintained. The try-catch-finally block is used to handle and manage exceptions, and exceptions are represented as objects in the language.  

On the other hand, Objective C provides a robust set of tools and methodologies to handle exceptions, ensuring the stability and reliability of applications. However, it handles exceptions using a combination of error pointers and return values, which can lead to more complicated and error-prone code.

7. Library and Framework Support

Java boasts an extensive library and framework ecosystem that enhances functionality and speeds up and improves the effectiveness of development. Its extensive library can handle a wide range of tasks, including web development, database connectivity, and GUI programming. Despite having a wide range of libraries and frameworks, Objective C is more geared towards iOS and macOS development, with a particular focus on graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and features unique to Apple. 

8. Run-time Performance

The compiled Objective C programming language offers excellent run-time performance, which is very advantageous for developers building iOS apps. Performance speeds are typically lower for Java codes because they need to be compiled in addition to being interpreted. Nevertheless, this is not much of a problem in terms of general acceptance among novice programmers.

9. Constructors and Code Reusability

Web and mobile app developers highly favour reusable code languages. Objective C performs better on this metric. This programming language allows for the reuse of all initializers defined in the same class. ‘constructors’ are required to initialise variables in Java. These so-called “constructors” are not reusable and, with rare exceptions, frequently result in code duplication. In Objective C, variables can be initialised by calling regular methods; there is no such thing as a “constructor.”

In conclusion, there are differences between Objective C and Java with regard to syntax, memory management, data types, exception handling, and library and framework support. These variations draw attention to the distinctive qualities of every language and demonstrate how well-suited they are for particular developmental needs. This highlights the importance of understanding the nuances of each language when designing and developing applications. Moreover, it underscores the importance of selecting the right language for the project at hand.

Interesting Links:

Getting Started with JAVA

Objective C Tutorial

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