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Java Newbie

Tony Phillips
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 14
Hello all. I thought I'll introduce myself. I am new to Java. I am taking it because my Master's program requires it. I am coming from a C#/VB.Net background. I find the differences and similarities between Java and C# interesting.

I have been looking over the forums (particularly the oo concepts and design patterns section) for a while.

As far as IDEs, what is considered the best (free) IDE for Java? I already downloaded NetBeans, but I was curious if there was a better one.
[ February 28, 2007: Message edited by: Tony Phillips ]
Rachil Chandran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2006
Posts: 67
Which IDE is better is a question of personal preference.

Since you already have netbeans, you might want to take a look at Eclipse.

Eclipse is pretty widely used (read better googling when you have questions/problems)

There are a few others that you can look at and compare too.
[ February 28, 2007: Message edited by: Rachil Chandran ]

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Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1364
    
  17
I have heard many good things about Eclipse, but haven't tried any IDEs myself.

http://www.eclipse.org/
Tony Phillips
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 14
Originally posted by Katrina Owen:
I have heard many good things about Eclipse, but haven't tried any IDEs myself.

http://www.eclipse.org/


So does that mean you do everything in Notepad or something?
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42371
    
  64
Welcome to JavaRanch.

IntelliJ is an excellent commercial IDE. There may be special academic pricing available.

Although, since you're just starting out, I'd suggest to acquire some profiency in using the command-line tools (and a simple text editor for the source), instead of heading for an IDE straight away. It'll teach you a few lessons about how the compiler and the runtime environment work that may get lost with an IDE.


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Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1364
    
  17
Originally posted by Tony Phillips:


So does that mean you do everything in Notepad or something?


Yeah, I use vim. I haven't seen the need for an IDE yet since I work on small programs (a few thousand lines at most) with few classes. I imagine that I will look into IDEs when I advance to more complex projects.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
So does that mean you do everything in Notepad or something?



Yeah, I use vim.
Surely you mean, "No, I use vim." I don't use vim myself but use some of the other text editors available on Linux, and they are miles better than Notepad because they support automatic indentation, syntax highlights and colours, and bracket highlighting. All the things Notepad lacks which make it so awkward to use for programming. And they don't seem to add a .txt extension on everything whether it needs it or not.

CR
Ashok Kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 93
editplus is a very good text editor.Notepad is too plain and boring.


"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work."
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1364
    
  17
Originally posted by Campbell Ritchie:
Surely you mean, "No, I use vim." I don't use vim myself but use some of the other text editors available on Linux, and they are miles better than Notepad

CR


Oops - yes, you have a point. I'm not familiar with Notepad - apart from the bit about it being a text editor.

Vim supports syntax highlighting, indentation, etc and has lots of nifty features. You can pretty much call your files anything you want (as long as you are using legal characters on the system you are on), but if you open a java document that you called SomeDocument.test or even just SomeDocument it won't highlight your syntax (maybe there are configuration options which will let it do that as well, I haven't tried).

Some people I am acquainted with who use windows use Wordpad, which apparently is better than Notepad.
Eduardo Ellery
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2007
Posts: 2
Hi Tony,

I'm a beginner in the forum as well. I use Eclipse and most of my colleagues uses the same.

There's no such answer as the best IDE, but this one is very popular which makes the task to find tutorials and solve troubles easier.

You can start with it. This is the best time to try as many IDEs as you can. Once I get used to one, I find very difficult to change to another. Even if it's better.

Why is that so?
Tony Phillips
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 14
Since I come from the Microsoft side of the house, I sometimes forget that everyone don't use Windows. You are right that WordPad is better than NotePad.

However, I could not imagine doing the type of work I do using only a basic text editor. I didn't realize people actually use basic text editors to do their work. Don't you loose a lot of productivity??
Mike Mc Afee
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2007
Posts: 19
As Eduardo pointed out, once you get used to something, it's difficult to change. However, I would be careful to call vim or other text editors "simple". I've used vim and a couple other text editors that are used for code editing and they are extremely powerful, in the right hands.

I've also used Studio and have transitioned to a Java shop that uses Eclipse. I cannot speak for the other Java IDE's, but I have grown used to Eclipse. I find the refactoring feature of Eclipse to be very useful and do not recall a comparable feature in Studio.

You best bet would be to check the sites of the mentioned IDE's and compare features and feedback.
Jaime M. Tovar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 133
I�m sure I can�t do more than 100 lines without code insight. I�m very ashamed. And my vote goes for eclipse. NetBeans is somewhat slower. Eclipse has better tools and add-ons in my opinion. For a good java editor I recommend jedit.


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Brandt Charles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2006
Posts: 57

I have yet to program in a professional capacity, but I like jGrasp. It's easy to use, seems to have some nice features, and it's free. You will probably end up using something like Eclipse in industry, but for the time being I've been satisfied with it.


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marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Tony Phillips:
...I sometimes forget that everyone don't use Windows...

What? You mean there are people who still use Windows?



"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Tony Phillips
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 14
Eclipse looks impressive. It reminds me of Visual Studio 2005.

Two things I MUST have.

1. Intellisense
2. Debugger
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39478
    
  28
If you are going to use Windows, I suggest you try JCreator (which is an IDE, but the freeware edition can be used as a posh text editor).
You can get it here and either use the build->compile file->build->execute file option, or save the file to a folder and use command line instructions.

Tony Phillips: I agree that WordPad (Windows again) is better than NotePad, but it is a word processor. It is still no use for programming because it doesn't support code highlighting, automatic indentation and bracket highlighting.

All things you need for programming, particularly when so many errors are the results of {} [] and () not being correctly paired off. You need a programmer's tool, not something designed for writing letters.

I am of the school who disapprove of IDEs for beginners, because you have enough to learn for the Java without having to learn the hundreds of options in the IDE at the same time.

CR

[Edited for minor formatting errors]
[ March 02, 2007: Message edited by: Campbell Ritchie ]
Tom Cleal
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 22, 2007
Posts: 13
When working on medium/large projects I use Eclipse. If I am doing a small project or a class project I usually use Textpad (when on windows). It's ~$30 and has some of the other features like highlighting etc. It has a toolbar that you can assign functions to like the java and javac commands, but I very rarely use them, I use the command line instead.
I also do this to keep up the command line skills since I still need them occasionally.
Nicholas Carrier
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 14, 2005
Posts: 78
Originally posted by marc weber:

What? You mean there are people who still use Windows?



Marc Weber has asked you a question, would you like to reject it or allow?

Eclispse is the way to go. It has your debugger (which you can debug remotely with), tons of plugins to make life easier (starting and stopping webservers etc), and the intellisense that you desire.

Nicholas has given a response, would you like to reject it or allow


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