Java terminology

Phases of program execution

  1. Writing of the program is done by a java programmer.
  2. Compilation of the program is done by javac compiler, javac is the primary java compiler included in java development kit (JDK). It takes java program as input and generates java bytecode as output.
  3. In third phase, JVM executes the bytecode generated by compiler. This is called program run phase.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

The primary function of JVM is to execute the bytecode produced by compiler. Each operating system has different JVM, however the output they produce after execution of bytecode is same across all operating systems. That is why we call java a platform independent language.


As discussed above, javac compiler of JDK compiles the java source code into bytecode so that it can be executed by JVM. The bytecode is saved in a .class file by compiler.

Java Development Kit(JDK)

As the name suggests this is complete java development kit that includes JRE (Java Runtime Environment), compilers and various tools like JavaDoc, Java debugger etc. In order to create, compile and run Java program you would need JDK installed on your computer.

Java comes with a huge standard library of data structures and helpers. First and foremost documentation is the standard Javadoc.

Java Runtime Environment(JRE)

JRE is a part of JDK which means that JDK includes JRE. When you have JRE installed on your system, you can run a java program however you won’t be able to compile it. JRE includes JVM, browser plugins and applets support. When you only need to run a java program on your computer, you would only need JRE.


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