Re: Absolute beginner question

Patricia Shanahan <>
Wed, 21 Mar 2012 12:37:17 -0700
Helpful person wrote:

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, 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

Have you used Visual Studio? If so, I recommend going straight to an IDE.

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.

Use of an IDE is generally orthogonal to Java understanding. It is a
trade-off between an initial learning curve, and tools that make
managing complex project easier. An IDE will save you time by doing
things like displaying the documentation for a method whenever you hover
on a call to it.


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