What is Java? What is JDK? What is JRE? What is JVM?

What is the difference between them?
  • Java is the language and includes a strict and strongly typed syntax.
  • Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, also known as J2SE, referred to the platform and included the classes in the java.lang and java.io packages, among others. It was the building block that Java applications were built upon.
  • A Java Virtual Machine, or JVM, is a software virtual machine that runs compiled Java code. Because compiled Java code is merely bytecode, the JVM is responsible for compiling that bytecode to machine code before running it. (This is often called the Just In Time Compiler or JIT Compiler.) The JVM also takes care of memory management so that application code doesn’t have to.
  • The Java Development Kit, or JDK, was and remains the piece of software Java developers use to create Java applications. It contains a Java language compiler, a documentation generator, tools for working with native code, and (typically) the Java source code for the platform to enable debugging platform classes.
  • The Java Runtime Environment, or JRE, was and remains the piece of software end users download to run compiled Java applications. It includes a JVM but does not contain any of the development tools bundled in the JDK. The JDK, however, does contain a JRE.
Notes are from this great book!