Hi all - Advice on Java

I am from a long VB and Database development background.
I am now starting to syudy Java.
I wnet to the book store and bought the Java 2 in 21 days by Sams Publishing.
Now i have visual studion and currently got Visual J++ ver 1.1.
Now i have gone to www.java.sun.com and downloading the JDK 1.1.8 kit.

Now which is recommended to develope my applets in , what is the best enviroment and are they same (Capabilitie wise)
Imagine i have been stuck in a dungon somewhere and only surfaced now to learn about this new thing they call Java (lol :0) any helvice will be very welcome

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dotandConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Craig,

No one wanting to learn should be considered a fool, least of all by himself.

A word of explanation:
Java Development Kit (JDK for short) is a bare bones compiler and testing enviroment (it has jdb for debugging and can run applets and applications). It is not an enviroment suitable for development of massive projects or even small ones if they involve lots of GUI (unless you have the patience of a saint or work in a limited choice OS enviroment. If you use a Microsoft OS you are not in that position).
So why does Sun make the JDK? It's the common denominator test, if the JDK can run it when you supply the correct libs than it's probably "Kosher". The JDK is also free and serves as a last resort, it can also be counted on to generate 100% compatible code.

Now for designing graphical user interfaces. This would require a graphically hosted enviroment similar to the VB one you are familiar with.
There are several such enviroments for sell/use. Some are very expensive but give you everything save for the kitchen sink, some are less expensive (or free) but make you code more on your own. Either way all such packages tend to be a bit behind the latest releases of the JDK because updating plus testing takes a while.
Which envirment is best fitted to you is something you are the sole person able to decide. Cost will doubtlessly come into matters as well.
Here are a few reccomendations:
1. NetBeans - www.netbeans.com. It's free for non-  
   commercial use and the download is only 6 megs.
2. Visual Age for Java - www.ibm.com/Java - last time I
   browsed their page yuo could download the beta release of
   version 3. Pretty big though at 96 MB.
3. JBuilder 2 - absolutely no experience of my own but
   a friend swears by it.
3. Java Workshop - ver. 2 was pretty lousy debugging wise.
   Don't know how version 3 behaves. A try before you buy
   version is probably available.

Hope this helped you out,
just one word 'stay away from VJ++ if you want real Java :)'

you'll hear a lot of different opinions about Java IDEs ...
my favourite is Kawa (not a visuual IDE, but a nice editor) which supports external compilers.
(btw. it's shareware)
CraigLazarAuthor Commented:
Hi there HeyHey
little question?
what is the difference between the JDK 1.1.8
and the SDK Java 2 1.2.2 ?

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There are tons of differences between JDK1.1.8 and Java 1.2.2.
You are correct that if you are developing applets that have mass appeal (ie you cant control plugins etc on the users system) then 1.1.8 is for you (and dont use the Swing classes that are extensions in that version).  Most browsers (4.0 IE and NS) have 1.1 capabilities.
You can view Java1.2.2 applets (with Swing classes) if you download the Java plugin from SUN.  Although everyone who views your applets will have to do the same.

If I were you I would get the latest JDK (1.2.2) and if you are creating an applet be aware of what methods (and classes) you use. It says in the documentation what version each method is included in.  Make sure you get the documentation also and put in on your local workstation (its a big download but VERY worth it)

Just because you compile in JDK1.2.2 doesnt mean you can write 1.1 applets/applications in it.  You just have to be careful what methods you use.
I would test it with different browsers before you mass distribute though.

Personally I would stay away from all visual environments (im sure someones gonna flame me for that) and just have a good editor.  That way if something goes wrong I KNOW that its my fault.
heyhey_ uses Kawa (so its GOTTA be good ;) )
i use UltraEdit and love it.
Good Luck

CraigLazarAuthor Commented:
Thanx guys for the imput
but now i am getting confused , sort of got the feeling i am a bull in a china shop.
as far as what i can understand from this book is that the JDK is not a visual tool interface object orientated lets say like VB. but you write your code or scripts in plain text documents and then call the compiler thru dos to copile your applet or application. The SDK is that the visual enviroment and the one u suggest i stay away from ?

I know these are really dum questions, it's just i have a few bad experiences in the past were i have gone of on an absolute tangent on trying to learn something because u know there r big mouths on every turn and of course there way is the best and the only way (I do not think so) Anyway so i am a little confused and appologise for the idiot questions, like i said earlier i have been in a dungon with VB Access Lotus Notes and SQL Server , never heard of the internet and coffee beans (lol)

thanx in advance guys
CraigLazarAuthor Commented:
Ok i have just installed the Download Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment 1.2.2
is this ok ?


Most of us are a little (or a lot) anti-Micro$oft (hence platform-independent Java).  J++ shoves platform dependent code down your throat (or so ive heard).

You learn more and understand things alot better if you hold off on visual programming.

Heres the steps you will probably follow:
1)  write code in some text editor. (case sensitive)
public class HelloWorld  {
     public static void main(String args[])  {
2) Put the code in a file with a java extension
HelloWorld.java (case sensitive)
3) Compile the file with javac.exe (have <INSTALLDIR>\jre\bin in your path)
javac HelloWorld.java (case sensitive)
4) This will create a .class file in the same directory.  To run the program use java.exe
java HelloWorld  (case sensitive)
(Have i mentioned everything is case sensitive? hehe)
It will simply put "hello world" in the console.
Good Luck
one that dotand forgot to mention is Symantec's Visual Cafe
UltraEdit is my favoutite text editor.
but Kawa is more Java oriented ... it support some kind of project management, and you can configure several 'compiler + interpreter' configuration (my favourite is jikes + IBM JRE 1.1.7 :) and there are some other extras (I don't think I use them :)

nothing visual ... (at least I don't use it :)

you have to try it :)

the best (online resource for Java)
The Java Tutorial

I'll have to try kawa out... Thanks for the tip :)
Yeah ,
Kawa for Java.......

It's cool.
U can see the output on Java Console and never  have to use the Command Line ever again.

Using jikes can give u the power of incremental compilation.i.e it compiles and adds to the class file only those parts of code which have chnaged (either added/deleted).

CraigLazarAuthor Commented:
Thanx every one for there imput :0)

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