What Java Has Removed from C++

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There are a number of C++ features that Java does not support. In some cases, a specific C++ feature simply didn't relate to the Java environment. In other cases, the designers of Java eliminated some of the duplication of features that exists in C++. In still other instances, a feature of C++ is not supported by Java because it was deemed too dangerous for Internet applets.

Perhaps the single biggest difference between Java and C++ is that Java does not support pointers. As a C++ programmer you know that the pointer is one of C++'s most powerful and important language features. It is also one of its most dangerous when used improperly. Pointers don't exist in Java for two reasons:

  • Pointers are inherently insecure. For example, using a C++-style pointer, it is possible
    to gain access to memory addresses outside a program's code and data. A malicious
    program could make use of this fact to damage the system, perform unauthorized
    accesses (such as obtaining passwords), or otherwise violate security restrictions.
  • Even if pointers could be restricted to the confines of the Java run-time system (which
    is theoretically possible, since Java programs are interpreted), the designers of Java
    believed that they were inherently troublesome.

    Note
    Since pointers don't exist in Java, neither does the -> operator.

Here are a few more of the most important "omissions":

  • Java does not include structures or unions. These were felt to be redundant since the
    class encompasses them.
  • Java does not support operator overloading. Operator overloading is sometimes a
    source of ambiguity in a C++ program, and the Java design team felt that it causes
    more trouble than benefit.
  • Java does not include a preprocessor nor does it support the preprocessor directives.
    The preprocessor plays a less important role in C++ than it does in C. The designers
    of Java felt that it was time to eliminate it entirely.
  • Java does not perform any automatic type conversions that result in a loss of
    precision. For example, a conversion from long integer to integer must be explicitly
    cast.
  • All the code in a Java program is encapsulated within one or more classes. Therefore,
    Java does not have what you normally think of as global variables or global functions.
  • Java does not allow default arguments. In C++, you may specify a value that a
    parameter will have when there is no argument corresponding to that parameter when
    the function is invoked. This is not allowed in Java.
  • Java does not support the inheritance of multiple superclasses by a subclass.
  • Although Java supports constructors, it does not have destructors. It does, however,
    add the finalize( ) function.
  • Java does not support typedef.
  • It is not possible to declare unsigned integers in Java.
  • Java does not allow the goto.
  • Java does not have the delete operator.
  • The << and >> in Java are not overloaded for I/O operations.
  • In Java, objects are passed by reference only. In C++, objects may be passed by
    value or by reference.

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Comments(3)


1. View Comment

Sometimes java do support operator overloading as for example (+) operator.In case of String it is used for concatenation but for addition of two integers it is used for adding 2 nos.

View Tutorial          By: Gunjan Srivastava at 2011-07-06 09:14:00
2. View Comment

I don't like Java for not supporting pointers.

View Tutorial          By: Yannbane at 2012-10-14 12:16:27
3. View Comment

I've been learning C++/C for the past year or so, and like the idea behind a lot of Java functionality. Passing by reference, automatic garbage handling and no GOTO are all nice! Might have to start looking into the language soon.

View Tutorial          By: William Semple at 2013-01-05 17:53:30

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