my dream - a simplified version of java - made from java

Discussion in 'Java' started by rfractal30, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. rfractal30

    rfractal30 Guest

    Hi

    I jumped into a wide and deep ocean. That ocean is java!

    Let me start by saying - I'm a hobbyist programmer.

    Another thing - I've had no programming training. Everything I know
    about programming is self-taught. Admittedly my knowledge is very
    limited. So why do I program? The answer is because it is fun. I like
    to create programs that do the things I want them to do. I love the
    challenge. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention - my mathematical knowledge
    is also very small ^^ (I know - it's not good).

    And I love the concept of java. It is a beautiful language.

    If I have learnt one thing about java it is this: IT IS A COMPLETE
    NIGHTMARE TO LEARN!!!

    And I think I have figured out why..

    JAVA IS NOT A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE - it is a tool for creating
    programming languages. You use classes and interfaces (your own or
    someone elses) to create your own custom made capabilities. So you can
    then use the commands that are within these classes.

    The problem for someone like me is that because I am a hobbyist
    programmer, I do not have a set focus. I want to learn how to program
    in java - to become familiar with it's syntax and capabilities. I also
    want the satisfaction of creating applications.

    But all the time I come up against the same problem: Java's sheer
    vastness. Where do I start?

    In other words: I need limitations in order to learn and gain
    confidence. I need a programming language that has been created using
    java, that cuts out all of the unwanted complexity. Maybe something
    like visual basic.

    Ok, you might tell me: 'go ahead and program in visual basic'. But I
    don't want to. For one thing, it is very expensive - also I just prefer
    java, it is multi-platform, and I find the concept of object oriented
    programming fascinating.

    So I need limitations. To begin with I achieved this by only creating
    command-line programs. And this was fun for a while, and quite
    fruitful. But after a while I just wanted to dip my feet into the
    waters of graphical interfaces. To make the kind of applications that
    are so easy with visual basic. This is when my headaches really
    started.

    If I am creating a visual interface - I just want to be able to put a
    button onto a screen - and then write the code that goes with it when
    it is clicked (or some other event applying to it). What is all this
    crazy stuff about creating 'button listeners'? The button should
    already have a listener. And if I create a message box, I should just
    be able to enter in the values I need.(default values should be
    provided for those less commonly used). I just thought of another
    example. Why do I need to write some code so that the application will
    stop running when I exit it?

    What I'm really asking for is a programming language created using
    java. That IS java - but without the unwanted complications. Something
    that will allow hobbyist and casual programmers to create applications
    without having to understand the finer and more complex features of the
    language (but with those features still accessable if wanted).

    In some ways this language might resemble visual basic. Especially in
    terms of creating visual interfaces. Just a toolbox with some stuff
    that you can drag and drop. Then resize and edit.

    The key thing I am asking for is that all the most important features
    of the language should be on top - ready and easy to use. All the more
    complex/optional values should be given default values (and still
    available if wanted). This new programming language would have very
    clear and easy to understand documentation, as well as tutorials and
    example programs.

    Michael
     
    rfractal30, Feb 6, 2005
    #1
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  2. [OT] Re: my dream - a simplified version of java - made from java

    "rfractal30" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi
    >


    Michael,

    <SNIP>

    I agree, at least in spirit, with much of your post: Java is a rich and
    powerful language, and is the sort of tool that takes much time,
    determination, and focus to learn to effectively use, and later, master.

    Since you are in a hurry to create more sophisticated - particularly
    GUI-based - programs without spending too much time learning complex
    fundamentals, you might consider the use of a scripting language to ease
    your learning path. Once you've made strides with such a tool, you could
    always reattempt the mastery of Java [something, I believe, is worth
    pursuing, and an undertaking you will definitely not regret].

    Whilst both Perl and Python are very popular [not to mention quite powerful]
    scripting language choices, they are both, in my opinion, complex
    languages - at least on par with Java - so little will be gained [in terms
    of speeding up / simplifying the learning task] by choosing one of these. Of
    course, this is merely my opinion; my intention is not to criticise any of
    these tools but to outline, what I think, is a speedier, possibly more
    effective, learning path for you to follow. Hopefully I won't be flamed for
    positing this view.

    I'd like to, however, alert you to the existence of a, in my opinion, very
    easy-to-learn scripting language called REXX. There is a novice-friendly,
    GUI-oriented implementation called Reginald which may be obtained at:

    http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/rexx/rexxuser.htm

    I highly recommend that you complete the tutorial as it quickly gets you up
    to speed on the language [*very* easy to use], and install some of the
    GUI-based tools. I'm sure after working with these tools for a few hours
    you'll know whether this is an approach suited to your purposes.

    As an aside, it is also possible to add third-party GUI libraries such as
    the Tk-based routines which are used with most of the popular scripting
    languages. This approach is, also, reasonably easy to learn and use, and may
    yet be another option for you.

    Finally, one other reason that I recommend the learning of REXX is that
    there is an implementation called NetREXX, one that extends the REXX
    language, and maps it to the Java API. In other words, you can code in a
    variant of REXX, and see Java code [.class files] generated which you can
    then execute with the JVM [java.exe]. If you are interested in, later on,
    mastering Java, then this approach [REXX -> NetREXX -> Java] could help
    bridge the learning gap ?

    Food for thought, anyway.

    Cheers,

    Anthony Borla
     
    Anthony Borla, Feb 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. rfractal30

    Ryan Stewart Guest

    "rfractal30" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi
    >
    > I jumped into a wide and deep ocean. That ocean is java!

    [...]
    I must admit I didn't read all of your post, but I did skim it. Programming is
    not simple. Simple programming is simple, not to mention limited in usefulness.
    If you think that Java is complex, go try C++ for a few weeks/months. When you
    get back, you'll have a different perspective. Everything about Java is very
    plainly laid out. There is one specification that all implementations are
    required to adhere to and have been since Java was created, quite unlike C++.
    Java comes with a vast array of libraries ready to do just about anything you
    need, and each one has great documentation (typically). It sounds like part of
    what you're wanting is a good IDE. Google the comp.lang.java.* groups for "best
    IDE" or something along those lines to see the multitude of posts on the topic
    and the answers, which are the same every time.
     
    Ryan Stewart, Feb 7, 2005
    #3
  4. Years back we were confronted with the following task: to create a set of
    tools that would allow non-programmers to build database-centric
    applications, with data input windows, containing text fields, pop-up and
    pull-down lists, checkboxes, buttons etc. The actions of the window
    controls, and event handling (e.g. once I enter something in the text field,
    I want the field content to be validated against a database table) were to
    be implemented graphically, rather than scriptically, and take the form of
    executable flowcharts. The flowcharts would be made of basic executable
    components, such as a decision-making object, or a database retrieval box
    etc.

    So we developed STEP FORWARD, where the users could program visually, and
    add their own Java code into it, expanding its functionality.

    Then, following the same philosophy, we developed SCRIBE - a report
    generator that uses the same graphical programming concepts, but has a
    richer set of functionality for building database reports.

    Have a look at either (or both) of them, and see if they come close to your
    dream, without turning it into a nightmare.

    STEP FORWARD: www.gestalt.com
    SCRIBE: www.reportgenerator.org

    Alex Molochnikov
    Gestalt Corporation

    "rfractal30" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi
    >
    > I jumped into a wide and deep ocean. That ocean is java!
    >
    > Let me start by saying - I'm a hobbyist programmer.
    >
    > Another thing - I've had no programming training. Everything I know
    > about programming is self-taught. Admittedly my knowledge is very
    > limited. So why do I program? The answer is because it is fun. I like
    > to create programs that do the things I want them to do. I love the
    > challenge. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention - my mathematical knowledge
    > is also very small ^^ (I know - it's not good).
    >
    > And I love the concept of java. It is a beautiful language.
    >
    > If I have learnt one thing about java it is this: IT IS A COMPLETE
    > NIGHTMARE TO LEARN!!!
    >
    > And I think I have figured out why..
    >
    > JAVA IS NOT A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE - it is a tool for creating
    > programming languages. You use classes and interfaces (your own or
    > someone elses) to create your own custom made capabilities. So you can
    > then use the commands that are within these classes.
    >
    > The problem for someone like me is that because I am a hobbyist
    > programmer, I do not have a set focus. I want to learn how to program
    > in java - to become familiar with it's syntax and capabilities. I also
    > want the satisfaction of creating applications.
    >
    > But all the time I come up against the same problem: Java's sheer
    > vastness. Where do I start?
    >
    > In other words: I need limitations in order to learn and gain
    > confidence. I need a programming language that has been created using
    > java, that cuts out all of the unwanted complexity. Maybe something
    > like visual basic.
    >
    > Ok, you might tell me: 'go ahead and program in visual basic'. But I
    > don't want to. For one thing, it is very expensive - also I just prefer
    > java, it is multi-platform, and I find the concept of object oriented
    > programming fascinating.
    >
    > So I need limitations. To begin with I achieved this by only creating
    > command-line programs. And this was fun for a while, and quite
    > fruitful. But after a while I just wanted to dip my feet into the
    > waters of graphical interfaces. To make the kind of applications that
    > are so easy with visual basic. This is when my headaches really
    > started.
    >
    > If I am creating a visual interface - I just want to be able to put a
    > button onto a screen - and then write the code that goes with it when
    > it is clicked (or some other event applying to it). What is all this
    > crazy stuff about creating 'button listeners'? The button should
    > already have a listener. And if I create a message box, I should just
    > be able to enter in the values I need.(default values should be
    > provided for those less commonly used). I just thought of another
    > example. Why do I need to write some code so that the application will
    > stop running when I exit it?
    >
    > What I'm really asking for is a programming language created using
    > java. That IS java - but without the unwanted complications. Something
    > that will allow hobbyist and casual programmers to create applications
    > without having to understand the finer and more complex features of the
    > language (but with those features still accessable if wanted).
    >
    > In some ways this language might resemble visual basic. Especially in
    > terms of creating visual interfaces. Just a toolbox with some stuff
    > that you can drag and drop. Then resize and edit.
    >
    > The key thing I am asking for is that all the most important features
    > of the language should be on top - ready and easy to use. All the more
    > complex/optional values should be given default values (and still
    > available if wanted). This new programming language would have very
    > clear and easy to understand documentation, as well as tutorials and
    > example programs.
    >
    > Michael
    >
     
    Alex Molochnikov, Feb 7, 2005
    #4
  5. rfractal30

    Malte Guest

    rfractal30 wrote:

    >
    > The key thing I am asking for is that all the most important features
    > of the language should be on top - ready and easy to use. All the more
    > complex/optional values should be given default values (and still
    > available if wanted). This new programming language would have very
    > clear and easy to understand documentation, as well as tutorials and
    > example programs.
    >
    > Michael
    >


    I do not think you will get what you wish. I am myself apalled by what
    Java has become, but I realize that this is a do or die thing for Java.
    The area of computing has become very fragmented, everything has to be
    n-tier and support multible architectures and multiple purposes.

    There is just no way that Java can stay simple in this environment.

    Core Java is pretty simple but the minute you want to do something
    useful with it you have to dig into myriads of tutorials and become
    familiar with thousands of small problems.

    This is unavoidable, I think. Java wants to (needs to, I say) be
    everything to everybody.

    So you don't do EJB? Lucky for you. There's a bunch of problems you
    don't need to bother with.

    Don't do Applets? Fine, see if you like the intricate challenges of J2EE
    better ;-)

    Or change lifestyle and do imbedded. Lot less multiple architectures to
    come to grips with.
     
    Malte, Feb 7, 2005
    #5
  6. rfractal30

    rfractal30 Guest

    Re: my dream + some book recommendations

    I just want to thank everyone who replied - some of the suggestions
    certainly have given me food for thought. The language REXX in
    particularly look interesting - would of been a nice one for me to
    learn when I was starting out - but I feel would be a backwards step
    for me now.

    I've sort of come to grips with the fact that Java is a highly complex
    language - but I still feel that there are some aspects of the language
    that put up unnecessary barrier to the beginner programmer. One that
    stands out especially is the lack of input and output functions for the
    console - this can be frustrating for the beginner programmer (I had to
    hack together my own input and output classes - admittedly it was quite
    an enlightening process..) As well as the lack of console classes - it
    is also _way_ to complicated to create GUI's. All this stuff of frames
    and JFrames, Panels, Listeners, MouseListeners, threads - you get what
    I'm saying! It just makes me feel frustrated and stupid.

    One thing I neglected to mention in my post is that I am limited in my
    computing power. I only have 98 mb of RAM and 200 mhz process - also
    I'm on dial-up. I also only have an old version of Borland's JBuilder2
    (this doesn't even cover the Graphics2D). So perhaps I should not be
    too hard on myself. I'm definitely not going to give up - even if it
    takes me 30 years, eventually I will get to grips with Java!

    Another thing - I got this book called 'Java 2 - Weekend Crash Course'
    by Julio Sanchez and Maria P. Canton. I fairly recommend this book as
    it is not just a book on Java - but also a book on learning how to
    program for the beginner. It covers some of the fundamentals of
    programming (admittedly in not too much detail). The first half of the
    book does not even cover the 'object' side of Java. When it does get to
    the Object Oriented approach it is quite good. It also has some nice
    stuff on I/O operations and classes. Another book I can recommend
    (although I have barely skimmed it) is 'Thinking in Java' by Bruce
    Eckel. This seems to be very clearly written and informative. It
    probably teaches more than anyone in their right mind needs to know
    about class structure, interfaces and such stuff. I've got a feeling
    that this book is going to be very important for my knowledge of Object
    Oriented programming. Ok I'll stop now before I start to sound like a
    sales rep ;-)

    Thanks again - Michael
     
    rfractal30, Feb 21, 2005
    #6
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