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Recommendations for JAVA beginner

Posted on 1998-03-18
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I'm looking for suggestions on good JAVA development  tools and books to learn JAVA and develop JAVA user interfaces/applications.  These applications will not be targeted for the Internet.  We're thinking about using JAVA because we need a cross platform solution.  
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Question by:gumtowv
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by:gadio
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 You can try and check the Sun java tutorial at http://www.javasoft.com/docs/books/tutorial/index.html . Its a good tutorial. Note that when choosing Java for application you should also consider other requirements you may have as well. Java has its strong sides and its week sides.



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by:jpk041897
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Posting as a comment so that you can get a large set of answers.

There are several on-line books at both:

http://www.mcp.com            in the personal library section

and

http://www.developer.com/reference/r_java.html

that you can evaluate before purchasing. That way you won't end up with books that some one found "great" and you find useless.

Regarding development tools, there are 5 you might wsh to consider

Asymetrix Supercede (http://supercede.com), Borland Java Builder (http://www.borland.com/jbuilder/), IBM's Visual Age for Java (http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/vajava/), Sun's Java Workshop (http://shop.sun.com/) and Symantec's Visual Cafe (http://www.symantec.com).

These are all good tools, but all have there individual weakness. At present, Supercede is probably your best bet since the full Standard edition can be downloaded for free. All the other tools have time limited evaluation versions that you can download. But while you are in the process of learning enough to actualy be able to make a good evaluation, a good free tool has a lot to recomend it.

What you want to stay away from is Microsoft's Visual J++ since it has several incompatibilities with standard Java (with more comming up in the next release) and will not help you in cross platfom development.

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by:froderik
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Books:
I only have one Java book. "Java in a nutshell" by David Flanagan. It is a really great reference book but will probably not work as tutorial unless you are very familiar with OO development. It might be worth considering waiting for a JDK 1.2 compatible version of this book.

Online:
Most information you need can be obtained online but sometimes it is hard to separate the good stuff from the bad. The sites recommended by jpk are definitely worth visiting as well as Sun's Java site. Experts-Exchange is a great place to get help when running into trouble. Lots of friendly and helpful people here-

Tools:
I have used Visual Age and JBuilder so I can give you some comments about them. Visual Age is probably the best choice if you have developed Smalltalk using VisualAge or VisualWorks. It has basically the same structure. It is not file based so it might be hard to combine it with a non-IBM CM tool as well as test code with JDK. It is, of course, possible to export files when needed. VisualAge has a slow GUI but has a great debugger. JBuilder is a good tool in most ways. The first version had the tendency of crashing too often. A recent update made it much more stable. Debugging is OK although the current state of objects aren't displayed as good as in VisualAge.

I haven't used the GUI editor in any of the tools so I can't give you any information there.
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by:webster030697
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I'd suggest you also have a look at Metrowerks Codewarrior for the following reasons:

1. It has a great programming environment (one of the best)

2. It come with on-line (CDROM) books and tutorials, and

3. It compiles Java, C, C++, and Pascal, all for multiple platforms. In other words, you can write one set of code (eg C, C++, Pascal), and compile it for different platforms, all on your machine. This might be useful if you decide not to go down the path of learning Java.
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by:jpk041897
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Has CodeWarrior been ported to  PC and UNIX plattforms or is it still restricted to the MAC?
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by:froderik
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In the latest issue of JavaWorld 6 major Java IDE's were tested. See:
http://www.javaworld.com/jw-04-1998/jw-04-visual-ides.html?031798ibd
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Ant031898 earned 0 total points
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Go to borland's site and check out JBuilder - works for me
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