Jython vs Python main differences and when to use them

Jython vs Python main differences and when to use them
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Written by Debarghya DasNovember 26, 2021
12 min read
Python
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Debarghya Das

Junior Front-End Developer

The differences between Jython and Python and how do these two languages connect with Java let see.

About Python

Python refers to the original C-based programming language, so whenever you read Python, it means CPython. It got so popular that the C became implied, being Python the common designation and the reference all the different implementations compare to.

Python is one of the most popular object-oriented programming languages around, often compared with Perl, Ruby, and Java. Python is widely appreciated because of its syntax simplicity and readability, faster development, and powerful applications.

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Python's main features are:

  • Syntax - Python is easy to write, read and understand, making it ideal to build prototypes and accelerate the development process. Its clarity and conciseness make it an ideal language for beginners.
  • Applications - It may be suited to start in programming, but Python has an advanced application potential. Python is widely used in data science, machine learning, data visualization, and data processing.
  • Libraries - The power of Python lies in the libraries available that cover the most common programming tasks such as connecting to web servers, reading and modifying files, searching text with regular expressions, and some more advanced endeavors like machine learning.
  • Easily extendable - developers can expand the capabilities of Python by adding new modules compiled in C, by embedding it into applications, or by grouping the code itself into modules and packages for re-use.
  • Compatibility - Python runs in all OSs: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Unix. Android and iOS also make the list thanks to unofficial builds.
  • Free - like the best things in life, Python doesn't cost anything. Anyone can download and use Python in their applications. And since it's available under an open-source license, it can also be freely modified and re-distributed.

About Java

Java is also a popular object-oriented programming language, with a similar syntax to C++ and C. It is statically typed, which means it performs type checking at compile-time, contrasting with Python's dynamically-typed programming language characteristics.

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The core features of Java are:

  • Syntax - Java's syntax looks a bit cumbersome compared to Python, using more code and with stricter rules. The presence of brackets makes it even less attractive and more prone to validation mistakes.
  • Applications - Java is used everywhere, from web applications to desktop GUI apps, enterprise applications, and integrated systems.
  • Libraries - There is a vast number of Java libraries available that can be used for almost anything.
  • Extensions - Java's core capabilities can be extended through a set of packages or classes bundled in a JAR file.
  • Compatibility - Java runs in Java Virtual Machine environments, which can run in any device or operating system following the "Write once, run anywhere" principle.
  • Free - It is free and available for general-purpose computing.

So, What is Jython?

Now that we have an idea of what Python and Java are, it will be easier to grasp the concept of Jython. As we said initially, Jython is a Java implementation of Python, developed to run in Java platforms and use Java classes. The name itself is a tell: Jython=Java+Python.

It has most of the characteristics we described above for Python, opening up new possibilities to programmers that can use Python's syntax and logic in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) environment, with the bonus of using Java's libraries.

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Jython’s main features are:

  • Elegant syntax - It shares the same syntax as Python and all its simplicity, clarity, and conciseness.
  • Applications - The main application of Jython is the integration of Java with Python, enabling developers to use the JVM library while writing in Python semantics within a Java platform. Java is a great resource for Machine Learning since it's easy to debug while handling large-scale operations.
  • Libraries - Jython can use all Java libraries. It's the most appealing part for Python developers since they can access Java libraries like Weka or Deeplearning4j.
  • Compatibility - Jython runs in any Java Virtual Machine, and JVM runs in most devices, so Jython runs, basically, anywhere.
  • Free - Jython is available for commercial and non-commercial use.

Differences between Python and Jython

Python and Jython share large numbers of the same core attributes. However, Jython does how Python can manage the additional possibilities of Java, enabling the use of a Pythonesque syntax to write Jython modules that can tap into the vast amount of Java libraries for application integration.

Jython:

  • Platforms: Cross-platform (requires JVM).
  • File Extension: .class
  • Applications: Web applications; Desktop GUI Apps; enterprise solutions; embedded systems.
  • Libraries: Written in Java.

Python:

  • Platforms: Cross-platform
  • File Extension: .py
  • Applications: Scientific and numeric computing; Machine Learning applications; image processing; language development.
  • Libraries: Written in C.

Benefits of Jython

Since we've set up what Jython is, the thing that it isn't, and what it is useful for, how about we discover the reason why it is a particularly appealing choice for designers all over the place. Jython not just overcomes any issues between the conceivable outcomes presented by Python and Java yet in addition makes new ones.

It's an easy programming language to learn and implement that has a lot of power thanks to the huge amount of Java libraries it brings. It can be used to create quick Graphical User Interfaces, call to a database, create frames or test the code quickly for errors.

Visually, it even looks better. Like Python, Jython relies on indentations and spacing instead of brackets to divide code blocks and define structure, limiting the presence of unnecessary symbols in the code.

Let’s compare a simple if-statement in Java against the same in Python/Jython:

Java if-statement

x = 100;
if (x > 0) {
    System.out.println("Variable value is greater than zero");
} else {
    System.out.println("Variable value is less than zero");
}

Python/Jython if-statement

x = 100
if x > 0:
    print 'Variable value is greater than zero'
else:
    print 'Variable value is less than zero'

The latter version looks cleaner, leaner, and more concise. No curly braces, no single inverted commas, and no brackets. The similarities with Python's syntax make Jython a valuable tool to help programmers code Java applications without the complexities and demands of coding in Java.

Access to Java's libraries is another major benefit since there are libraries for almost anything. Programmers can work faster, saving time in the development and testing stages.

Jython also works wherever JVM works. The Python code used in a Jython application is compiled as Java bytecode, an instruction set written for the Java Virtual Machine. Since JVM is designed to work anywhere, this feature promotes cross-platform portability and improves performance.\

Python+Java=Jython

In this way, it's anything but a Python versus Jython circumstance, however a triumphant relationship of elements that makes Jython an amazing blend of Python and Java. Jython consolidates the softness and flexibility of Python with the capability of the Java universe, making it a genuine choice for engineers hoping to dunk their toes in High-Level Language waters utilizing a more straightforward grammar.

Either for Java or Python developers, Jython might be worth looking at to expand programming capabilities and create powerful applications with an elegant syntax.

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