Absolute beginner question


H

Helpful person

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
 
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H

Helpful person

...

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
 
G

glen herrmannsfeldt

(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
 
M

markspace

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.
 
H

Helpful person

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
 
R

Roedy Green

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..
 
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G

Gene Wirchenko

On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 21:06:16 -0700, Roedy Green

[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
 

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