An IDE is a program system that assists in the design, creation, debugging, and maintenance of software. It typically consists of intelligent editors, a debugger, and often has the ability to extend to a large set of add-on functions via a plug-in system.
The problem with using an IDE to learn to program is that:
1. You have doubled your work. You need to learn the programming language AND you need to learn how to use the IDE.
2. IDEs do stuff and you don't know why they do them or what it means.
3. When IDEs generate code, it is often not very clean or intelligent compared to what a person would create. People are more flexible and intelligent. It also used to be that IDEs would accomplish their tasks by pulling in vendor-proprietary libraries that made you dependent on that vendor and not as capable of doing more general work.
For this reason, we tend to advise people who are just starting out that the best beginning "IDE" is Windows Notepad.
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
Tim Holloway wrote:For this reason, we tend to advise people who are just starting out that the best beginning "IDE" is Windows Notepad.
I concur. Starting out with an IDE when you don't yet know the language is a Very Bad Idea.
I recommend Notepad++. It has a tabbed interface, syntax highlighting, and collapsible bracket matching. But since it's still a "dumb" editor, it forces the new student to learn the command line compiler and understand classpath, two things that IDE's isolate from the user resulting in lots of questions about Class Not Found errors.
Another good one is EditPad.
For a flashback, when I first learned x86 assembler, the only editor available was edlin. And we liked it. Those were the days.
"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." -- Ted Nelson
When i started out with JCreator, it wasn't an IDE. It was more like TextPad. We had options to compile and run in the JCreator itself. If you are just starting out with java programming then never use an IDE.
[ SCJP 6.0 - 90% ] , JSP, Servlets and Learning EJB.
Try out the programs using a TextEditor. Textpad - Java 6 api