Re: Is Java the right language for me?

Eric Sosman <esosman@ieee-dot-org.invalid>
Wed, 23 Dec 2009 15:31:55 -0500
On 12/23/2009 2:55 PM, JL wrote:

I have some experience with programming in languages such as C++,
Fortran, VBA, Matlab, etc. but i've never created a standalone
executable program.

     This seems odd. I don't know about VBA and Matlab, but C++
and Fortran are usually compile-to-executable implementations.
Interpreted implementations are possible, I guess, and might have
value as debugging aids or for rapid prototyping, but my belief
is that they're pretty rare.

I would like to do this and have a modern looking
GUI. I've been teaching myself Java because that seems to be what
people are recommending for my needs, but i'm confused. How do Java
applications become .exe programs?

     They don't, usually. (There's supposed to be a compiler and
run-time around somewhere that packages Java this way; I've never
used it and don't know whether it's any good.) Java .class files
are usually loaded and executed by a Java Virtual Machine, which
ordinarily uses a mixture of interpretive and translate-to-
machine-code techniques to do what the .class files tell it.

It seems like most windows
applications are created using Visual Basic. Can someone advise me on
what language might be best to start learning to create standalone,
broadly compatible application (possibly web applications as well)?

     Java is a reasonable language, pleasant in many respects and
awkward in others. I can't tell you whether that meets your
criteria for "best." Also, I still don't know what "standalone"
means, if your C++ and Fortran programs don't qualify.

Eric Sosman

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