new CS student and just need a little help plz (Java programming)

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by hassoon, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    hi, i'm a new CS student! my first course at college is object orienting programs ! so we started learning about the java language. i wanna apply what they're giving us at college at home, and i have a mac. so what do i have to install on my mac? can i work on xcode with the java language ? at college we're working on PC's but they don't mind us working on macs too..! i installed BlueJ but i dn knw how it works..! ty
  2. macrumors 68000

    Download Eclipse or Netbeans
  3. macrumors 68040


    If this is your first course, you need a text editor, and javac and java at the terminal. An IDE can only stand to confuse you at this point.

  4. macrumors 6502a


    +1. Don't download an IDE.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    In my first Java course we used DrJava:

    Just ignore the in app file browser and you have the same thing mentioned above, except you can compile and run from the app instead of going to the terminal each time.
  6. macrumors 68030


    JGrasp, it is practically just a text editor, but with compile and run buttons.
  7. macrumors 68040


    Don't listen to any of the above advice. Stick with BlueJ. It is great for learning and getting to grips with objects. You will want to move on to something more powerful later.
    But BlueJ is an educational tool designed specifically for people like you who are just starting out.
  8. macrumors 603

    I think it depends on why the OP installed BlueJ on his Mac.

    If it was because BlueJ is being used in the class, though running on Windows, then it seems like good advice to also use BlueJ on the Mac. Then almost everything learned in class about BlueJ can also be used for the Mac.

    But if the OP installed BlueJ based on other advice, then it's just another obstacle to programming Java on the Mac, and may have little relevance to what he's taught in class. Learning BlueJ may or may not help him in class, and having to learn it independent of his class may be too much.

    The simplest suggestion is to use the same development tool on Mac OS as he's using on the PC, if the tool runs on both.

    Since the OP hasn't actually said he's using BlueJ on PCs, I think some clarification is in order first.
  9. macrumors 6502


    This is what I used for my java classes. Worked great
  10. macrumors 6502

    I attended 3 universities, every one of them used JGrasp...I use it now on my mac.
  11. macrumors member

    What's so bad about an IDE? I think for beginners Netbeans is one of the easier compilers to start out with.
  12. macrumors newbie

    we use bluej at AP cs in school
  13. macrumors 68040


    I was making this assumption. I may be wrong, but you tend not to stumble across BlueJ in the same way you might come into contact with Eclipse or NetBeans.
  14. macrumors 68000

    Is that a good or bad thing? ;)
  15. macrumors 603

    It depends on the context. In a school situation, it seems plausible to me that a student from an earlier term may have told the OP about BlueJ. Or perhaps one of the teaching assistants or lab helpers.
  16. macrumors 604


    I dont know why everyone is saying don't start with an IDE. I started with Dev Bloodshed C++ (or whatever it was called) and Visual Studio 6 (am I showing my age???)

    IDE's have a lot of great tools that make the programming process much smoother. That being said, don't touch the tools if you are a beginner, they will mess you up but as you progress you will find them useful.

    I like Netbeans and XCode myself. If I have to write windows compatible code with little fuss I fire up Netbeans.
  17. macrumors newbie

    I have just completed a "introduction to programming" course at my university.

    We used both GreenFoot and BlueJ to write java in.

    But use the one they use on the windows machines. Most of them run on OSX, too.
  18. macrumors 68040


    What's so great about it when you have one or two small source files? I think the real issue is removing you from the tools that will be constant forever. There will never be a case where you can run an IDE and can't run javac and java. There will be cases where you can run javac and java but can't run an IDE. Why cripple yourself so that you can't operate in the latter situation? When the projects get complex enough that you're shuffling through Ant config files, makefiles, etc. for a considerable amount of time then by all means, use an IDE. Until then you're committing time to learning something outside of your goal.

    What? An IDE never taught me anything about a concept like Objects.

    My reply to j0hnnys above is why I recommend avoiding IDEs when one is just starting out.

    This sounds like "Use an IDE, it has a lot of great tools... that you shouldn't use right now". That to me translates to "Don't use an IDE, it has a lot of extraneous tools that will mess you up".

    I think IDEs are great once you need them. Before that I think they obscure the actual tools they are integrating. Obviously BlueJ is a very basic IDE, but in the tutorial no Java code is written until page 13, which also tells you that to compile you press the compile button. I don't believe it's going to show you what javac command it's actually running, and I don't believe when you run it's going to show you the java command it's running. I feel like this leads to someone not knowing how to compile and run a java program without BlueJ or some other IDE, which rubs me the wrong way and seems like a huge disservice to a beginner. The BlueJ tutorial is a ~40 page, 1MB PDF. The instructions for compiling and running (and even generating a runnable .jar file) using javac, java, and jar would fit on 1-2 pages.

    I know a lot of people feel like by *not* using an IDE you're slowing down the process of learning Java syntax, but I feel like by using an IDE you're robbing yourself of learning how to use the standard Java tools. I think that it might take a tiny bit longer the very first time you write something to compile and run it with the command-line tools. After that for a basic course it should be a wash.

    What's really important is actually learning, so if BlueJ works, great. If someone asks for my recommendation, though, I'm going to say learn the standard tools not a specific IDE every time.


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