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so so frustrated...

Matt Fielder
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Joined: Oct 27, 2004
Posts: 158
I think Java is cool. Wouldn't be here if I weren't one of the sick and twisted to think this stuff is fun.

Someone convince me to keep plugging away.

I've read the books. I've done the small little programs. SOOO many times have I said that I'm up for a project to use to learn stuff on. What the heck is next???

I guess this sounds more like venting than anything, but does anybody have any guidance? I want to learn; always have. Reading Java books and tutorials is great but you only get so far in books. Problem is I want to create, but sit here with a blank canvas wondering where to start.

Does anybody have any clue what I'm talking about...
C. Alan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2004
Posts: 30
In other words, you are looking for a project?

Umm... how about a java based Yatzee? Or a simple calculator, a do it yourself checkbook registry..... what are youn interested in? I am interested in computer forensics, so I created some small applications that help me with that (such as file comparison, hashing, etc.) I have gone through the questions, and picked up on projects others were doing for assignments.

Here are some sites that have projects (along with code):

A google search will turn up project ideas that are used for computer science classes. They may not be as cool as a dice game, but they usually teach some important concepts.

Good luck.

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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

Hi Matt,

Yes, absolutely. I remember feeling like this at one point many, many years ago.

Let me tell you something: you used fine art metaphors in your message, but programming isn't like fine art. It's a craft. You build things. You don't make sculptures: you make chairs. You make tables. You make bookcases. The important point is that you never program just for the sake of programming, the way one might paint just for the sake of painting. You program to build something useful.

What you need to do is look around your life and find an empty spot that needs an end table. Like baseball? Write an app that you can use to track scores and statistics. Like wine? Write a "wine diary" app. Have young kids? Write an educational program for them. Have a frazzled Mom? Write a program to help her organize her schedule.

Then, and here's the secret to becoming a real expert: when you've gotten good at making tables, make a chair.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Srinivasa Raghavan
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 1228
Alan ,
Thanks for the nice links. In between one of my friend is doing his engineering & wants to do a academic project in java. Is there any links that throws some light on projects that can be done for engineering students ( source code is not needed ).

Thanks & regards, Srini
MCP, SCJP-1.4, NCFM (Financial Markets), Oracle 9i - SQL ( 1Z0-007 ), ITIL Certified
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
If you're still stuck I've got one for you. Write an abstraction layer to the Java Printing API that handles layout and paging. Making a very simple thing to do basic printing with Java.

It's a project I plan to work on in a few months if I don't find that someone else has got it going.
Srinivasa Raghavan
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 1228
Wow Nice Steven,
Can you throw more light on that.
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
Basically the Java Printing API is pretty solid complete and flexible. The problem is it is about as difficult to print some simple paragraphs as it woudl be to build a complex graph/table/whatever. There is also very weak support for cross platform 'Printer Setup' functionality. There is no, as far as I can tell, support for 'Print Preview'. You also have to manually find out where your page breaks are, setup margins, everything that is basic boiler plate stuff.

IMO there should be a small, fairly simple, abstraction layout that provides page breaks and page count, margin setting, 'Print Preview', a printer setup dialog, and some basic methods to handle adding text in the form of paragraphs and maybe setting up columns. It should also provide a way to grab underlying pages for more advanced work so that it is not limiting, but it doesn't have to try to do everything.

I had planned to ask for some feedback on features here on the ranch before getting started. I think it would be of great benefit to the community.

P.S. I would make it open-source and provide a way to add printing to other media (allow added classes to print to PDF, PS, or whatever).
Srinivasa Raghavan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 1228
Thanks, Even i'm interested to do it.
Steven Bell
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
There is a start of what I'm talking about on JavaWorld


This might be a good place to get going.
Ben Wood
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Joined: Aug 14, 2001
Posts: 342
Matt, when I was in your position I wrote a text editor app. I know the world really didn't need another text editor, but it's the sort of thing you can start off simple and then build up.

For example, just getting a scrolling text area to load and save files actually does something useful, but doesn't take much coding. Then you can start to add the bells and whistles. For example undo-redo functionality, search and replace, line numbering etc and (because I was doing some html work at the time) I started adding in HTML specific functions including page templates and a graphical tool for creating image maps - maybe now I would add some Java specific functionality, syntax highlighting, link to compiler etc.

Just a thought.

I liked it because after a short while I was able to actually use my text editor to develop my text editor!

SCJP 1.4, www.gsi3d.org.uk
Jayesh Lalwani
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Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
If you have the time and energy, then you can get involved in some open source projects
Jeff Bosch
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Joined: Jul 30, 2003
Posts: 805
I found myself in the same position when I was a mainframe "programmer". (The reason for the quotes will cost you two beers.) I grew weary of the primitive mainframe interface and tools, and I wanted to learn more Java. (I'd already done some embedded stuff in assembly and C and loved it.) So I wrote some utilities in Java that automated tasks I performed at work, such as modifying a spreadsheet table and turning it into a flat file database for transfer up to the mainframe. Soon, many teams at work were using my utilities, which I thought was pretty cool.

One career move later and I found myself working as a tech writer, and wanted a Java project. So I build an XML massager that fixed a problem in RoboHelp's rendition of JavaHelp.

Then I got really crazy...

... and I signed up for SCJD.

You want a project? One that could gain you broad, valuable experience, maybe advance your career, and drive you flipping nuts at the same time? Go to Sun, sign up for the SCJD. (You need to have the SCJP first, though.)

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for one day. Teach a man to fish, he'll drink all your beer.
Cheers, Jeff (SCJP 1.4, SCJD in progress, if you can call that progress...)
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
subject: so so frustrated...
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