Standalone applications in Java

Hi,

This is a 2 part question.

1) I know Java is primarily a programming language for web development, but can you write non-web standalone applications with it as well, such as with C and VB?

2) I'm trying to evaluate if I should learn Java or one or more of .NET suite.  Is there someone out there who does both well who can shed light on the pros and cons of both and which .NET is equivalent to Java?

Thanks in advance.
Erwin
erwinsAsked:
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dorwardCommented:
(1) No, not really. Most of the Java development I read about is non-web (although a lot of apps written in it do access networks for various purposes).

If you look at http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/getStarted/index.html , you will note that it covers applications as well as applets. (JSP and Servlets aren't covered in the basics).

(2) Java is more mature and more cross platform (at least for the time being).
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DelTremeCommented:
(1) Yes, you can develop stand-alones using Java.

(2) Briefly this is my experience:

If you want to develop for multiple platforms, use Java
VB can be used to quickly create user-friendly apps
And to optimize for performance, I'd use C++
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jimmackCommented:
1) Yes, 99% of all the Java I've written over the last 7 years has been standalone applications.

2) Java is one language that will run on many platforms.  .NET is many languages that will run on (primarily) one platform.  This second statement is being addressed by a couple of open source projects that will allow .NET to run on Linux.  The closest equivalent to Java in .NET is C# (which is very similar to Java).

If you want advice on whether to learn Java or .NET, then you would be better to look at where you want to work in the future.  Do the companies you want to work for use Java or Microsoft products?

If this is just for home/hobby interest at the moment, then go with Java because it's free.
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erwinsAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all your replies.  They were all very helpful.
Erwin
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