Is the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) platform dependent or platform independent? What is the advantage of using the JVM, and having Java be a translated language?
JVM translates bytecode into machine language
Every Java program is first compiled into an intermediate language called Java bytecode. The JVM is used primarily for 2 things: the first is to translate the bytecode into the machine language for a particular computer, and the second thing is to actually execute the corresponding machine-language instructions as well. The JVM and bytecode combined give Java its status as a "portable" language – this is because Java bytecode can be transferred from one machine to another.
Machine language is OS dependent
Given the previous information, it should be easier to figure out an answer to the original question. Since the JVM must translate the bytecode into machine language, and since the machine language depends on the operating system being used, it is clear that the JVM is platform (operating system) dependent – in other words, the JVM is not platform independent.
The JVM is not platform independent
The key here is that the JVM depends on the operating system – so if you are running Mac OS X you will have a different JVM than if you are running Windows or some other operating system. This fact can be verified by trying to download the JVM for your particular machine – when trying to download it, you will be given a list of JVM’s corresponding to different operating systems, and you will obviously pick whichever JVM is targeted for the operating system that you are running.
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