Absolute beginner question

Discussion in 'Java' started by Helpful person, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. I have done a lot of programming in the past including a limited
    amount of object oriented programming. I have never used Java and
    wish to learn this language/environment. A search on line has taken
    me to the NetBeans site. There they suggest installing the "Java
    Development Kit (JDK)" and the "NetBeans IDE".

    I am quite capable of teaching myself from books and online
    information. However, is this the best way to start?

    From the Netbeans site (http://netbeans.org/kb/articles/learn-
    java.html):
    To get started, download and install the Java Development Kit (JDK),
    and the latest NetBeans IDE today! The Java Development Kit (JDK)
    contains all the tools you need to compile code and run your newly
    written applications. The NetBeans IDE (integrated development
    environment) is an optional software utility that makes all these
    tools more easily accessible.

    Thanks,

    Richard
    Helpful person, Mar 21, 2012
    #1
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  2. On Mar 21, 2:36 pm, Patricia Shanahan <> wrote:
    > Helpful person wrote:
    > > I have done a lot of programming in the past including a limited
    > > amount of object oriented programming.  I have never used Java and
    > > wish to learn this language/environment.  A search on line has taken
    > > me to the NetBeans site.  There they suggest installing the "Java
    > > Development Kit (JDK)" and the "NetBeans IDE".

    >
    > > I am quite capable of teaching myself from books and online
    > > information.  However, is this the best way to start?

    >
    > ...
    >
    > I suggest writing a few Java programs using whatever approach you are
    > most used to. If you have done a lot of command line and text editor
    > programming, I would start that way. If you are used to using an IDE,
    > then start by installing NetBeans or Eclipse.
    >
    > Once you get to the point of having more than a couple of classes, you
    > should switch to an IDE, even if you are not used to one.
    >
    > Patricia


    Patricia, thanks for the reply. Maybe I should give more
    information. I have previously written complex programs using
    Fortran, an antiquated language and of little use today. I have also
    used Visual Basic, an excellent alternative (for the non C programmer)
    and close to object orientated. I have experience creating objects,
    classes, collections etc. with an amateur's attempt at programming
    "correctly".

    I'm not sure what using an IDE entails. Are you suggesting that I
    should not yet move to this stage? I'm certainly happy to start right
    at the beginning if this helps me to understand better, even though it
    can be frustrating.

    Thanks,

    Richard
    Helpful person, Mar 21, 2012
    #2
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  3. Helpful person <> wrote:

    (snip)
    > Patricia, thanks for the reply. Maybe I should give more
    > information. I have previously written complex programs using
    > Fortran, an antiquated language and of little use today.


    Fortran has been updated in 1977, 1990, 1995, 2003, and 2008,
    including adding OO features. The compilers are coming along
    a little slower, though, and I won't discourage you from
    learning Java.

    > I have also used Visual Basic, an excellent alternative
    > (for the non C programmer) and close to object orientated.
    > I have experience creating objects, classes, collections etc.
    > with an amateur's attempt at programming "correctly".


    > I'm not sure what using an IDE entails. Are you suggesting that I
    > should not yet move to this stage? I'm certainly happy to start right
    > at the beginning if this helps me to understand better, even though it
    > can be frustrating.


    Java works just fine from the command line, editing with your
    favorite editor, compiling with javac and all. You can use make,
    as many unix developers do, or not.

    If you are used to VB, though, you probably do what with an IDE.
    (I forget if you can do it command line or not.)

    -- glen
    glen herrmannsfeldt, Mar 21, 2012
    #3
  4. Helpful person

    markspace Guest

    On 3/21/2012 12:06 PM, Helpful person wrote:

    > I'm not sure what using an IDE entails. Are you suggesting that I
    > should not yet move to this stage? I'm certainly happy to start right
    > at the beginning if this helps me to understand better, even though it
    > can be frustrating.



    I think the "Intermediate Tutorial" on that link refers you to the
    Oracle Java tutorial, which in turn has you create a simple program from
    the command line.

    That's fine to do. You should learn the difference between javac and
    java (the programs) and understand a bit about what they do. Eventually
    you should endeavor to learn the command line tools well. They're
    important in many real projects.

    However, as a student, as soon as you complete that first little
    example, you can go straight to NetBeans (or other IDE) and not look
    back for a while. Modern IDEs are super important now-a-days for
    productivity. You just can't match them with vi and a few self-made
    scripts like the old days. There's too much work done for you by the
    IDE creators and the IDE itself. It's a must-have tool, and one that
    you will use for the bulk of your professional development.
    markspace, Mar 21, 2012
    #4
  5. Thanks for all the helpful comments. It seems my best strategy will
    be to start with command line programming, follow the tutorial
    examples and then switch to an IDE interface.

    In general I prefer command line programming as it teaches basics
    better. (It's how I learned and still program HTML/CSS). However,
    Java is much more complex and I expect I will almost certainly need
    help from the IDE.

    Thanks,

    Richard
    Helpful person, Mar 22, 2012
    #5
  6. Helpful person

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 11:24:51 -0700 (PDT), Helpful person
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who
    said :

    >I have done a lot of programming in the past including a limited
    >amount of object oriented programming. I have never used Java and
    >wish to learn this language/environment.


    see http://mindprod.com/jgloss/gettingstarted.html

    An IDE is like at automatic vs stick shift.

    I had to go without my IDE for a few days. I could hardly believe that
    I once coded without one. It lets you rapidly navigate around a
    project finding uses of variables or methods and finding the
    definition. It lets you globally rename anything safely even when
    than name appears is several contexts. That is most of the benefit.
    For some of the other goodies see
    http://mindprod.com/jgloss/intellij.html
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com
    When you were a child, if you did your own experiment
    to see if it was better to put to cocoa into your cup first
    or the hot milk first, then you likely have the programmer gene..
    Roedy Green, Mar 23, 2012
    #6
  7. On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 21:06:16 -0700, Roedy Green
    <> wrote:

    [snip]

    >Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    >http://mindprod.com
    >When you were a child, if you did your own experiment
    >to see if it was better to put to cocoa into your cup first
    >or the hot milk first, then you likely have the programmer gene..

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I *am* the programmer Gene.

    Yes, I did that sort of research, too.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
    Gene Wirchenko, Mar 23, 2012
    #7
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