Friday, March 3, 2006 12:03 PM
Java is both compiled and interpreted. The Java compiler, called javac, compiles (translates) the Java source code into an intermediate-level code called byte codes. These bytecodes are not directly executable on any hardware platform that is currently in existence; rather, the codes are interpreted by the Java interpreter, which can operate either by itself or as part of a Web browser such as Netscape.
The fact that Java is both compiled and interpreted can give you, the Java programmer, the best of both worlds. A program that you write in Java will be efficient (because it is compiled) and capable of running on a multitude of platforms (because it is interpreted).