File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Beginning Java and the fly likes IDE or no IDE Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Beginning Java
Bookmark "IDE or no IDE" Watch "IDE or no IDE" New topic

IDE or no IDE

Nathan Leniz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2006
Posts: 132
I've been learning for a bit now and experimented with some IDEs (I found I like Eclipse the best) but in the spirit of learning I decided to go with Notepad. Then I started going nuts with no syntax highlighting, and found a notepad replacement that has syntax highlighting and a few other nifty things built into it for coding (line numbers, bracket match highlighting)and was wondering if you guys thought it is cheating.

The program is Notepad++.


The very existence of flamethrowers proves that at some time, some where, some place, someone once said to themselves "I'd really like to set those people on fire over there, but I just can't get close enough".
Adam Nace
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2006
Posts: 117
There are other great programs that will do this, too.

One of the popular ones is Textpad. I think there's also a Notepad2?

And of course there's always vi / vim / gvim that will do syntax highlighting for you.

There definitely are advantages to IDE's, especially for navigation between different source files, easily finding definitions of variables, classes, or methods, etc.

Unfortunately, though, for somebody who's just learning, there are details that the IDE hides from you (like class path, and other compiling issues), and as soon as that beginner needs to start deploying outside of the IDE, they suddenly discover that they have no idea how to do it.

For this reason, a lot of us recommend using notepad / textpad / vim / etc to begin to learn to write java.

Once you understand how to compile and run programs, though, an IDE is invaluable. Some of the more popular ones are Eclipse, NetBeans, and JBuilder, among others.

- Adam
Amit Rampurkar

Joined: Sep 10, 2006
Posts: 14
Yeah Adam is right, learn how to compile and run programs without the IDE, specially try to understand things like classpath, path and various command line options which come with JAVAC and JAVA. Also try to compile files which are part of a package from command line. Once you are comfortable then you can start using a IDE.
Hope this helps
[ January 15, 2007: Message edited by: Amit Rampurkar ]
Lucas Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 53
Yes, of course everyone should learn the theory by using Notepad to code in Java.
But after this phase, everyone should using a comprehensive IDE for better productivity either...
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: IDE or no IDE
jQuery in Action, 3rd edition