Features of Java: Robust
introduction of the JVM in the architecture also helped developers in creating
robust and secure Java applications. So what is meant by “robust and secure”?
As described in previous posts, bytecode is interpreted by a JVM, and a JVM
contains a bytecode verifier. The bytecode verifier not only verifies the
validity of the bytecode, but also maintains the integrity of the memory space
used by each application running on it. If the bytecode is invalid, JVM simply
refuses to run the code. Similarly, if the bytecode tries to access a memory
location that does not belong to the memory space of the current application,
the JVM rejects the code.
in the first place, how can we have invalid bytecode or an invalid memory
reference in a compiled Java application? The bytecode may be modified by a malicious
hacker by opening the code in a binary editor, or it may simply get modified
due to noise as it is transmitted over a network. Accordingly, even the memory
references may get modified in the executable before it is referenced by the
JVM at run time. Fortunately, the JVM traps such intentional and non-intentional
errors before the code is executed on a real CPU, resulting in a very robust
application that won’t crash our operating system. Java code is highly secure
in the sense that it cannot be used to spread a virus on a target machine. Java
code that runs under the tight surveillance of the JVM does not have direct
access to the operating system resources. Such access is made through the JVM,
which ensures all the necessary security for the operating system. Java has
omitted one of the important features of C++, and that is pointer arithmetic.
Java does not support the declaration of pointers and pointer arithmetic.
lack of pointers also makes Java programs more robust and secure.
Pointers are notorious for allowing malicious access to locations outside the
executing program’s memory space. They can also be used for spreading viruses
on the system. The elimination of pointers has helped developers in creating
robust and secure applications in Java.
is both a statically and strongly typed language.
The term static refers to compile time or the source code, whereas dynamic
refers to the run time or the bytecode. A programming language is said to use
static typing when type checking is performed during compile time as opposed to
run time. In static typing, all expressions have their types determined at
compile time, prior to when the program is executed. The word strong in the
context of typing means that rules about the type system are enforced prior to
the code being run. Thus, Java is considered to be both statically and strongly
important consideration in making an application robust is the proper
allocation and deallocation of memory and other system resources at run time. In
C++, memory allocation and deallocation are the responsibility of the
programmer. A developer may sometimes forget to deallocate a memory resource
after it has been used. The worst case is when he deallocates memory that is
still in use by some other part of the application. This results in chaos and
hard-to track run time errors. Java eliminates this issue totally by providing automatic
garbage collection. The Java run time assumes the responsibility of
tracking the allocations and freeing memory resources when they are no longer
referenced by any part of the application. This automatic garbage collection
makes Java applications very robust.
reason behind why Java programs are so robust is the exception-handling mechanism.
Whenever an error occurs in our running program, it will be handled by an
exception handler in our code, provided us have one. As a developer, we are
required to provide exception handlers at all appropriate places in our
program. Java has an exception mechanism with two types of exceptions—checked
The compiler makes the developer provide code to handle the checked exceptions,
but not the run time (unchecked) ones. This mandatory requirement for processing
checked exceptions results in more robust applications with fewer application