help with IDEs

Discussion in 'Java' started by cartercc@gmail.com, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Guest

    My intent is NOT to induce any kind of flame war, but merely to seek
    information.

    I'm an IT professional, a database manager for a large public
    university. I'm not a programmer or developer (but I happen to write a
    lot of Perl in conjunction with my job duties as a database and server
    administrator.) I also hold masters degrees in computer science and
    software engineering.

    I've had about five years of light Java experience. On Windows systems
    I use DOS edit and javac. On Unix systems I use vi and javac. For
    personal and philosophical reasons, I eschew IDEs ... never liked them
    and never wanted to use them. (I'm a vi guy.)

    In the past several months, I've had to do some diagramming, and I have
    used Eclipse (with a nod to Visio, which I have come to really like for
    diagramming.) I don't need and don't especially want a CASE tool, and
    I'll continue to write light Java for the foreseeable future.

    This week, I've had my face shoved into jGRASP, and I need to come to
    terms with it in light of limited time and the press of job
    responsibilities. I need something compatible with HCI/HCC,
    diagramming, and pedagogy. I don't need a full fledged UML or CASE
    tool.

    TWO QUESTIONS:

    (1) Is jGRASP a candidate for spending a significant amount of time
    learning? Will the return justify the time investment?
    (2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of jGRASP as to:
    Eclipse
    BlueJ
    NetBeans
    TextPad
    others (the Borland product)

    Thanks for your time, CC.
    , Mar 28, 2006
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  2. Chris Smith Guest

    <> wrote:
    > TWO QUESTIONS:
    >
    > (1) Is jGRASP a candidate for spending a significant amount of time
    > learning? Will the return justify the time investment?


    The answer to this question will depend entirely on what your goals are.
    I'm not entirely clear on that. You say that you need to do some
    diagramming. Is this because someone told you to, or for some real
    reason? jGRASP is certainly capable of generating UML diagrams from
    code, as are dozens of other products.

    Most of the interesting part of jGRASP, though, is about its filling in
    the whitespace in your source code with flowchart symbols and lines that
    are supposed to clarify what the code does. I'm not sympathetic to that
    approach, but if you like it then go for it.

    > (2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of jGRASP as to:
    > Eclipse
    > NetBeans


    Eclipse and NetBeans are full-fledge IDEs that are quite popular and
    expansive in scope. Not only do they do much more as a development
    environment, but they also provide the ability to use or even write
    plugins that cause them to do yet more. For example, I need a parser
    generator recently, and I found an ANTLR plugin for Eclipse, so I now
    have a syntax highlighting editor and as-I-type error highlighting in my
    grammar, not to mention that I can step into the grammar from a
    debugger. Very useful. There's no chance you could do something like
    that from jGRASP, and that's a tiny percentage of what you get from
    using a major IDE (Eclipse more so than NetBeans, but the two products
    aren't all that different).

    > BlueJ


    BlueJ is in the opposite direction. It's intended as an educational
    tool, and it lacks much at all in the way of sophisticated features.
    Instead, it just draws UML diagrams for you, and lets you edit the
    source code behind the classes. It has a very primitive debugger, but
    nothing to brag about.

    The main advantage of BlueJ is that it is simple, and therefore easy to
    teach with. It doesn't sound like that's what you're looking for.

    > TextPad
    > others (the Borland product)


    Not sure.

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Mar 28, 2006
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  3. Oliver Wong Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > (2) What are the strengths and weaknesses of jGRASP as to:
    > TextPad


    I haven't used jGRASP, but TextPad is just a "plain old text editor",
    with support for syntax highlighting. So you can get syntax highlighting for
    java source files, but not much else (e.g. no support for UML diagrams at
    all).

    - Oliver
    Oliver Wong, Mar 28, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    Thanks for your reply.

    > The answer to this question will depend entirely on what your goals are.
    > I'm not entirely clear on that.


    Unfortunately, I'm not either. I was assigned a task of looking into
    what was called "software visualization" and was told that jGRASP would
    do the trick. I just wanted to do a real quick and dirty feasibility
    study to determine whether I would be wasting my time by downloading
    and reading the tutorials. (This comes on the heels of a significant
    amount of time struggling with Eclipse which resulted in the nagging
    feeling that the game wasn't worth the candle.)

    > You say that you need to do some
    > diagramming. Is this because someone told you to, or for some real
    > reason?


    The diagramming was for a presentation that's now finished. I used
    Eclipse mostly as an ADL to show the components in the project, not for
    doing UML to produce code or for any kind of OO analysis. Again, I was
    instructed to use Eclipse, and my assessment was that using Eclipse for
    doing what I had to do was a little like using an 18 wheeler to pick up
    a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. Yes, it did the job, but it
    wasn't worth the overhead.

    > Eclipse and NetBeans are full-fledge IDEs that are quite popular and
    > expansive in scope.


    I have both of these on my machine. I don't write (much) Java, and I
    don't need these, so I'll probably just delete them. I think jGRASP
    might be exactly what I'm looking for.

    Thanks much, CC.
    , Mar 28, 2006
    #4
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