What is the difference between Java and JavaScript?

Last updated: April 1, 2017 

What is the difference between Java and JavaScript?

difference between java and javascriptThe difference between Java and JavaScript is distinct.  Despite sharing the word Java in the name, Java and JavaScript are not actually related.  The shared naming convention appears to be the result of a co-marketing arrangement between by Netscape, developer of the Netscape Navigator web browser, and Sun Microsystems, creator of the Java programming language, in 1995.  Netscape Navigator 2.0 included support for Netscape’s LiveScript.  LiveScript is a programming language that allows web page content to interact with users in a way that basic HTML cannot perform.  Navigator 2.0 also included support for Sun’s Java.  Netscape released a minor update to its 2.0 web browser, Netscape Navigator 2.0B3, and had renamed LiveScript to JavaScript for that release.


Java is a programming language developed by Oracle Corporation.  It allows Java applications to run on any platform that supports a Java Virtual Machine.  It is popular for web applications that use a client-server relationship.  A Java client can be embedded as a “sandbox” in a web page without interacting with the web page’s content.  The client downloads from, and connects to, a third-party Java server apart from the server that hosts the web page.  For more information about Java, please visit Java.com.


JavaScript is a scripting language that can only run within web browsers that support it (and have JavaScript enabled).  It causes the content in an HTML document to behave dynamically like a program.  It provides interactivity in web pages for actions like games, button responses, animation, and much more.  Without JavaScript, web pages that you visit in your web browser would appear to be just a static collection of text and images.  To learn more JavaScript and how to use it, please visit the Mozilla.org development site.

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