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I'm a complete noob and I need help

Matt Lulek

Joined: Aug 09, 2012
Posts: 1
So I recently picked up a copy of Head First Java and it told me to install the JDK and some API document or whatever. I previously used the program Eclipse to write programs and now I do not know where to write, save, and compile java programs... Halp please Also, could someone ezplain what the JDK and API documents are for and how to use them?
mike ryan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 08, 2010
Posts: 210

Hi Matt,

take a look at this link , should answer most of your questions .

Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 15047

Welcome to the Ranch. Some more useful links:

Oracle's Java Tutorials - try the Hello World tutorial to learn how to write your first application using a simple text editor and the Windows command prompt
Java SE Download page where you can download the JDK - check out the installation instructions
Java SE Documentation, where you can find the API documentation and other useful information

Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 8 API documentation
Matt Bobrowski

Joined: Aug 28, 2012
Posts: 3
I'm actually in quite a similar situation. I got Head First Java as well and I'm wondering if I should run Java 6 or 7. The book says it's good for Java 5 or 6, but when I type "java -version" in my command prompt it indicates that I already have java 7. Any thoughts? Any info would be greatly appreciated
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11927

You are probably fine using 7.

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Stevens Miller

Joined: Jul 26, 2012
Posts: 772

I agree with fred. As a new Java programmer, it's unlikely you are going to run into any differences between 6 and 7 for a while, if ever. Java is constantly improving, so the problem you are asking about will be with you until Something Better shoves Java aside. For example, I have "Core Java, Vols. I & II, 8'th ed." on my desk. I wouldn't even think of sitting down to work on a Java program without having those books within arm's reach. But they're both about 6, with the next edition scheduled for release later this year. But I am using Java 7 now and wouldn't want to hold back on gaining from any of its improvements over 6, just so my books would match exactly.

Have fun. You're in for a heck of a ride.
Matt Bobrowski

Joined: Aug 28, 2012
Posts: 3
Much appreciated Stevens and Fred! Really looking forward to getting into Java.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: I'm a complete noob and I need help
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