Table of Contents
What does Platform Independent Mean?
The term, platform independent, is widely used in the world of information technology. A programming language is called platform independent if it is portable, that is, it can be used across different platforms with minimum or no modifications. This is an important feature a language should possess because any glitches while running an application are simply a turn-off for the end user. Platform-independent software can be run on a variety of environments, making it easier to use across an enterprise. It needs less overhead and planning than a platform dependent software might require.
Why Is Platform Independence Sought After?
The need of platform independence arose because of the various operating systems in function nowadays. So, when a code, written for Windows, was run on Mac OS, it threw errors and the code had to be modified according to the respective hardware and machine configuration. This created problems for programmers because the internet was rising and code portability had become the need of the hour.
Platform Independent Languages
Java is the most famous platform independent language. Some other P.I. languages are Ruby, Lisp, Scheme, Scala, Clojure, Python, Perl, PHP, C# and the list goes on. Also, the criteria for deciding on platform independence might vary from person to person. For example, languages like C/C++ are platform independent at the source code level, but lose platform independence once the code is compiled, because native code is platform specific.
Java, on the other hand, is termed as platform independent because of its bytecode. Java code is first compiled to bytecode and is packaged in a .jar file. This file will then run identically on various platforms, like different versions of Windows and Linux. This is primarily the reason for the popularity of Java because it lives up to its ‘Write Once Run Anywhere’ promise.