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If you start of with Java, you will hear this term more than any other. Another phrase you'll see is 'Write Once, Run Anywhere'. The Java platform is portable in a sense that its bytecode can be ported to any other machine that implements that Java platform version. Java Virtual Machines are available from a large number of vendors. Portability has its price: speed. Even though you'll hear that Java programs may become almost as fast as programs written in C or C++, this does not apply to numerical computation programs. Run-time checking of array references, not having direct control over memory allocation and deallocation, and the underlying object-oriented style overhead will always result in slower running code.


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