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NewB to Java

Ray Schaeffer
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 10, 2007
Posts: 4
Hi,

I am a retired software engineer and would like to learn and
tinker in Java with "console", "windows", and "applets".

Have installed MS J++ on my Windows system. When a "Windows
project" is created with J++, it gives the "warning" (as i
read it) that the "MS language extensions" must be loaded
onto the system where the .exe is run.

Is there a Java Compiler/Linker (development kit) where I can
build projects and send to friends to use who just have plain
old vanilla Windows without any special language extensions?

Am hoping for one that is freeware or inexpensive.

Also am looking for a concise book that will give a good overview
of Java.

Thanks in advance
Ray Schaeffer
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11402
    
  16

I thought MS J++ was officially dead. i didn't know you COULD download/install it any more.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Adam Nace
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2006
Posts: 117
Why not just use the sun java development kit, instead of the Microsoft stuff? Its far more standard, and the code compiled with it can be run on pretty much any machine that has a jvm.

- Adam
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Welcome to JavaRanch!

As Fred and Adam suggested, J++ is history, and you would do much better using Sun's current version of Java.

The Java Development Kit (JDK) can be downloaded from Sun's Java SE Download page. The most-recent version is "JDK 6 Update 2." After downloading, be sure to carefully follow the installation instructions (especially the step that updates the PATH).

After installing, try it out with this Hello World tutorial for Windows.

For a good introductory book, I recommend Head First Java by Sierra and Bates.

Let us know how this goes.


"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
sscce.org
Ray Schaeffer
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 10, 2007
Posts: 4
Thank You Gentlemen,

I was able to download and install "JDK 6" and compile and run the HelloWorldApp.

I then copied a simple windows program, created with J++, and "javac" gave
lots of errors. Will the "Heads First Java" book show how to write windows
programs without MS language extensions being needed?
Any pointers on how to do this would be much appreciated.
Also ran across DrJava today, is it a usefull tool?

Thanks
Ray Schaeffer
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

One important idea behind Java is "compile once, run anywhere." The concept is "platform independence" in terms of the same compiled bytecode being able to run on any machine (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Dr. Java looked like a promising beginner's tool when I first saw it, but I think it has some significant shortcomings. For example, it ran extremely slowly, and I wasn't able to break out of an infinite loop using Ctrl+C (maybe there's another way?). For Windows, I would recommend an editor along the lines of crimsoneditor for syntax highlighting, line numbers, etc. Then compile and run using javac and java from the Command Prompt.

Once you get more comfortable with how these tools work, then you might consider moving to an IDE like Eclipse.
[ September 11, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]
Adam Nace
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2006
Posts: 117
Originally posted by Ray Schaeffer:
Will the "Heads First Java" book show how to write windows
programs without MS language extensions being needed?


I wonder if you are confusing "windows program" with "gui program", perhaps? Any java program will run in windows, if that is your objective. If you want to make a program that "looks like" a professional program, what you're talking about is GUI's, which java does just fine.

- Adam
Ray Schaeffer
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 10, 2007
Posts: 4
Perhaps my wording was not the best. What i want to do is write
some code for some friends of mine who are not very computer savvy.
A GUI for the operator interface would work better for them as
opposed to a CLI (Command Line Interpretor) like DOS.

Since I had a copy of MS J++ hanging around, I installed that on
WinXP and created a few "Console" projects. They all seemed to
have a DOS/CLI operator interface. If a "Windows project" is
created with J++, a GUI is created in the project -but- it
gives the warning that it needs to include "MS Language Extensions".
The warning says if you chose "No", your project may not compile!
And if you choose "Yes", the "MS virtual machine for java" must
be installed on your system.

What I'd like to deliver to my buddies, is some software that has
a GUI, and where they don't have to be told that they need the
"MS virtual machine for Java" installed on their system or any
other oddball stuff, just plain old MS Windows.

I am very fearful that if they are told they must load something
else on their systems, that they may quit buying me beer!

So the bottom line question is:
How do i write Java software that has a GUI that will run on
MS Windows systems without the user having to install any special
libraries or other intimidating software.

Thanks
Adam Nace
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2006
Posts: 117
You want to start looking into SWING. If you go to Google, and type in SWING Tutorial, you will get a link for the SWING tutorial hosted by Sun Microsystems. This gives you more than enough info to write a good GUI application.

- Adam
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Java applications require a Java runtime environment. The easiest place for users (non-developers) to get the Java runtime environment is probably java.com. The top of the page has a "Free Java Download" button. This should not be too intimidating to a user -- it's very similar to downloading a Flash player, for example.

Head First Java has 2 chapters devoted to GUIs, and another chapter on packaging and deployment. I think you'll find that Java has evolved a lot since the days of J++.

Also keep in mind that J++ is not Java. It was a Microsoft "implementation" of Java that failed to fully implement the Java Language Specification. J++ programs could only run on machines with a Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, which MS has been barred from distributing since 2001. (It can still be found on the internet, but it certainly isn't supported.) Also, because J++ was based on an ancient version of Java (1.1.x), its GUI capabilities were quite limited.
Ray Schaeffer
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 10, 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks a lot for the help!
This forum has been pleasant, helpful and informative.
Will order the book later today.
-Ray Schaeffer
 
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