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I'm thinking about my overall approach to learning Java

John Quach
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 50
I wondering what's my next step in learning Java and Programming in general.

Here's where I stand:
- Did 2 semesters of the same Java class. ( had to repeat )
- I can create hierarchies and packages of very simple programs. For example: I can create an Addition Class that does addition and have a subclass extend that class. Or I can put that class in its own package and import it.
- The highest math I've done is College level Algebra.


I'm currently reading "Developing Games in Java" by Brackeen and while I understand the concepts for the most part, reading and dissecting the codes in the book is extremely difficult. Most of the difficulty is not knowing the methods and classes from Swing or AWT.

I'm thinking about learning and memorizing the classes from AWT and Swing that are relevant to what I'm trying to do. But is it necessary? One of the pros about Java and other similar languages is reusing code that you've written and what other people have written.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18669
    
    8

You don't need to memorize the Swing classes. If you want to write code which uses them, you should instead go through Oracle's Swing tutorial. It covers all of the main UI components and their supporting classes. By going through the tutorial, you will come to recognize the classes, which is far more practical than just memorizing them (although I'm not even sure what it means to "memorize" a class).

And when I say "go through" the tutorial, I mean to take the example code which they provide, and make changes to it so that you can see what happens. Don't just look at the code, play around with it.

I would suggest your next step should be to write a useful application. Pick something which you want your application to do, and set out to make an application which does that. Do the simplest possible thing first, and then when you have that working, extend it to do more complicated things.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10451
    
    8

If you are learning, I would not really recommend a book which (at least from the title) is about developing games in Java. Like Paul recommended, start with the Oracle tutorials. Just avoid the Netbeans section at this stage, else you will end up focusing learning Netbeans instead of swing (Netbeans is a tool, i.e. an IDE )

Also, you can safely opt not to use AWT. It is an predecessor of Swing, and modern applications hardly use AWT. The preferred way is Swing.
Have you downloaded the Java API? If not you can get it from here Cultivate the habit of referring to the API docs. That way you need not waste energy "memorizing" it.


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John Quach
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 50
Thank you guys. But I have no internet at home and I can only spend so much time at a coffee shop.


I do have a book given to me by my father in law. It's called Java Swing by OReilly.

However, it was published in 2003. Has Swing come a long way since then?
Ove Lindström
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 326

John Quach wrote:Thank you guys. But I have no internet at home and I can only spend so much time at a coffee shop.


I do have a book given to me by my father in law. It's called Java Swing by OReilly.

However, it was published in 2003. Has Swing come a long way since then?


The concepts are more or less the same.

About off-line reading of the tutorial, luckily a lot of other have had that problem and some have compile the tutorial into PDF.

Google for "creating a gui with jfc swing pdf" and you will find it. (I.e. http://icarus.cs.weber.edu/~dab/cs3230/SwingUI.pdf that is one of the latest versions)
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: I'm thinking about my overall approach to learning Java