Getting Started with Java Hello World Program

Getting Started with Java Hello World Program

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Esha
Esha Gupta
Associate Senior Executive
Updated on Apr 9, 2024 13:17 IST

Do you know the significance of the "Hello World" program in Java? It's the first step for many into the world of programming, serving as a simple yet profound introduction to the syntax, environment setup, and execution flow of Java. Let's understand more!

The "Hello World" program is more than just a tradition. It's a practical first step in learning a new programming language, understanding its environment, and gaining the skills and confidence needed for more complex programming tasks. Let's write our first Hello World program in Java!

Table of Content

 

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Setting Up the Environment

Setting up the environment for writing and running a Java "Hello World" program involves a few key steps & we have the following two options given below.

Option A: Setting Up a Local Java Development Environment

Step 1: Download and Install the Java Development Kit (JDK)

  • Visit the official Oracle website to download the JDK.
  • Choose the version compatible with your operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux).
  • Follow the installation instructions specific to your OS.

Step 2: Set Up the PATH Variable

For Windows

  • Right-click on ‘My Computer’ and select ‘Properties’.
  • Navigate to ‘Advanced system settings’ → ‘Environment Variables’.
  • Under ‘System Variables’, click ‘New’ and add a new PATH variable.
  • Set the variable name as Path and the value to your JDK’s bin directory path (e.g., C:\Program Files\Java\jdk-xx\bin).
  • Click ‘OK’ to save the changes.

For macOS/Linux

  • Open your terminal and edit your shell profile file (like .bash_profile, .bashrc, or .zshrc).
  • Add export PATH="/path/to/java/jdk-xx/bin:$PATH" to the file.
  • Save the file and restart the terminal.

Step 3: Create a Dedicated Directory for Java Programs

Choose a location on your computer (like Desktop or Documents) to organise your Java projects.

Step 4: Choose a Text Editor or an IDE

  • For simple programs, a basic text editor like Notepad can suffice.
  • For more complex projects, consider using an IDE like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, or Visual Studio Code, which offers advanced features like debugging tools, code completion, and project management.

Step 5: Write and Save Your Java Program

  • Write your Java code in the text editor or IDE.
  • Save the file with a .java extension, ensuring the file name matches the public class name in your code.

Option B: Using an Online Java Compiler

For quick testing or learning purposes, use an online Java compiler. This method is convenient but not recommended for developing full-scale Java applications or projects due to limitations in handling large codebases, dependencies, and debugging.

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Understanding the Java Program Structure

Understanding the structure of a Java program is very important for any beginner. A typical Java program consists of several key components.

1. Class Declaration

Every Java program is defined within a class. The class name should be the same as the filename (if it's public) and is defined using the class keyword.

Example

public class HelloWorld {
    // program code
}

2. Main Method

  • The main method is the entry point of any Java program. It's where the program begins execution.
  • It must be defined with a specific signature: public static void main(String[] args)

Example

public static void main(String[] args) {
    // code to be executed
}

3. Comments

  • Comments in Java are used to explain code and enhance readability. They are ignored by the compiler.
  • Single-line comment: Begins with //
  • Multi-line comment: Enclosed between /* and */

Example

// This is a single-line comment
/* This is a multi-line comment
   covering more than one line */

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4. Statements and Expressions

  • Statements form the building blocks of any Java program. They are executed sequentially, including expressions (like calculations), method calls, control structures, etc.
  • A statement must end with a semicolon (;)

Example

System.out.println("Hello, World!");

5. Variables and Data Types

Variables are used to store data, and each variable in Java has a data type that determines the size and layout of the variable's memory.

Example

int number = 10;

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6. Methods

Methods are blocks of code that perform a specific task. They are defined within a class and can be called from the main method or other methods.

Example

public static void myMethod() {
    // code to be executed
}

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7. Objects and Classes

  • Java is an object-oriented programming language. An object is an instance of a class, and a class is a blueprint for objects.
  • Objects are created from classes and can have attributes and methods.

Example

MyClass obj = new MyClass();

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Understanding these components and their interaction within a Java program lays the foundation for learning more complex aspects of Java programming.

Writing Your First Java Program

Writing your first Java program is an exciting step into the world of programming. Let's create the classic "Hello, World!" program, which is a simple yet complete Java application that prints the text "Hello, World!" to the console. This example will help you understand the basic structure and syntax of a Java program.


 
// Declares the HelloWorld class
public class HelloWorld {
// Main method - program execution starts here
public static void main(String[] args) {
// Prints "Hello, World!" to the console
System.out.println("Hello, World!");
}
}
Copy code

Output

Hello, World!

Common Errors and Troubleshooting

  • File Not Found During Compilation: Ensure the Java file name matches the class name and check the directory path.
  • Syntax Errors (e.g., missing semicolon or braces): Carefully check the code for missing “;”, “{“, “}” or other syntax issues.
  • NoClassDefFoundError at Runtime: Confirm that the public class name matches the filename and execute using java ClassName without the .class extension.
  • ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Check that all array indices are within the valid range of the array.
  • NullPointerException: Ensure objects are properly initialized before use.
  • ClassCastException: Check that object casting aligns with the object's actual class type.
  • NumberFormatException: Validate and ensure format compatibility when converting strings to numeric types.

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End Notes

Congratulations on completing your first Java program! This milestone marks your entry into the world of Java programming, where you've taken the initial step in understanding the basics of one of the most versatile and widely used programming languages.

FAQs

What is a "Hello World" program in Java?

A "Hello World" program in Java is a simple program that displays the message "Hello, World!" on the screen. It is typically used as the first program when learning a new programming language.

How do I write a basic "Hello World" program in Java?

To create a "Hello World" program in Java, you can use the following code:
public class HelloWorld {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello, World!");
    }
}

What is the purpose of the public static void main(String[] args) method in the program?

The public static void main(String[] args) method is the entry point of a Java program. It is where the program starts its execution. When you run the program, the code inside this method is executed.

How do I compile and run a Java "Hello World" program?

To compile a Java program, you can use the javac command followed by the filename with the .java extension (e.g, javac HelloWorld.java). After successful compilation, you can run the program using the java command (e.g, java HelloWorld).

What should I do if I encounter errors while compiling or running the program?

If you encounter errors, carefully check your code for syntax errors or typos. Ensure that your Java Development Kit (JDK) is installed and configured correctly. If you're still having issues, you can seek help from online Java communities or forums for troubleshooting.

About the Author
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Esha Gupta
Associate Senior Executive

Hello, world! I'm Esha Gupta, your go-to Technical Content Developer focusing on Java, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Front End Development. Alongside these specialities, I have a zest for immersing myself in v... Read Full Bio