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  1. #1
    meun is offline Member
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    Question Where to start learning java / programming?

    Hi!

    I decided to learn programming and I think I'm totally lost already + confused + don't really know why. So please forgive me, if I start rambling a bit...

    I browsed several beginners tutorials, but they all were sort of useless, going on and on about simple things without teaching me anything. So next, I grabbed lwjgl and wrote a small program that creates a display and lets me control a small circle with wasd and makes it "jump" sinus-style with space. Then I went looking for libraries that let me import svg paths to add a "floor", but while I was doing that, it occurred to me, that I probably shouldn't be implementing collision detection, "jumping" and all that stuff on such a level but instead should search for libraries that can handle sprites + physics + collision detection and such stuff in a way that doesn't bring every cpu to its knees.

    So... then I installed playN and created a template to start with in netbeans. And realized, that I have no idea what to do with playN and that there does not seem to be any sensible documentation (or even any info on what it actually DOES) anywhere and I have not been able to figure out how I should have my "jumping circle" drawn. I tried to read the man pages but I didn't find anything that looked like it was useful at this point.. just infos for cross-compiling + stuff like that. I figured out how to cross-compile my "empty display that doesn't do anything"-program for android which wasn't really what I wanted to achieve...

    Which is why I dumped playN and grabbed slick. After a while I had my jumping circle again, using mostly the same commands I had used with only liblwjgl, just with some multithreading stuff and the display drawing thing "detached" from the thread that handles position and acceleration of things so they don't run in the same loop any more. The application looked pretty much the same as before. While I was trying to figure out how to import a path or something for a floor and implement collision detection, I realized that I probably shouldn't be implementing that manually... aaaand also that I'm going in circles :3


    Any hints? What should I be doing / reading & where should I be looking?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by meun; 03-31-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
    FlyNn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    It seems that your question is more of "How to use this and that library?" rather than "How to learn Java programming?". Which one are you trying to achieve? Do you have any previous programming experience?

    To answer your question "Where to start leaning java/programming?", I would advise pick-up a book. The book I would recommend is "Head First Java". Learn OO,
    Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.

  3. #3
    DarrylBurke's Avatar
    DarrylBurke is offline Forum Police
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    Moved from New to Java

    db
    If you're forever cleaning cobwebs, it's time to get rid of the spiders.

  4. #4
    meun is offline Member
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyNn View Post
    It seems that your question is more of "How to use this and that library?" [...] Which one are you trying to achieve?
    I think I might be stuck a few steps before that. I'm not sure what libraries I should be using... and I need to have those to learn how to use them... and I need to learn to use them to learn java... and I need to know java to figure out what libraries I should be using... aaand it seems I'm stuck in an infinite loop there :/

    I guess I could use something like a more elaborate "display server class" for a start... like a framework that I can use to wrap around all the other things I'm playing around with while I'm trying to learn. Or am I supposed to find libraries that register displays and windows etc with my native window manager instead of creating something similar inside of the java vm? I started trying to write something that lets me have one of those liblwjgl displays and one of those standard java window things in the same application, but it felt like reinventing the wheel (or a messier and less round variant thereof), so I stopped...

    Do you have any previous programming experience?
    Not really... just basic random computer knowledge mostly related to managing files and fixing stuff that I broke. Guess you could call some of it "scripting"... zsh and copy+pasting random python/php/perl/c/c++ snippets that are small enough to be used from an interactive shell.... mostly just the sort of random stuff that you're bound to pick up over the years if you're notoriously unable to stop fixing several linux machines that weren't broken before you tried to fix them.

    I would advise pick-up a book. The book I would recommend is "Head First Java".
    That might help, thanks! It's easy to miss useful information though, because there's so much redundant stuff around. P.e. in chapter 1, the only important Information I found was how the "main" method is the first thing called etc... That totally explains why some of the things I've been trying refused to compile / run before I started wrapping everything into a "random" dummy class xD. The rest was more or less in detail descriptions of obvious functions where I can just look up the man pages when I need something. But I'll guess the Information will get more useful later in the book...

    Is there a list of important / small chunks of informations like that "main-method-thing" somewhere - without much clutter around - so I can get a head start before I continue reading whole volumes? What I need to know about arbitrary naming conventions... and things like that...?

  5. #5
    FlyNn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    Quote Originally Posted by meun View Post
    I guess I could use something like a more elaborate "display server class" for a start... like a framework that I can use to wrap around all the other things I'm playing around with while I'm trying to learn. Or am I supposed to find libraries that register displays and windows etc with my native window manager instead of creating something similar inside of the java vm?
    I think this is where the problem appears. You are thinking to a way too low level programming at the start of learning how to program in Java. Forget the "elaborate display server classes, frameworks" for now.

    Learn the Java syntax, variable types and how they are used, how OO works, How to read/write files, how to build simple GUIs that accept user input (idea: Celsius to Fahrenheit and vice-versa converter).

    I would also advise going through the Java Oracle Tutorials: "Hello World!" for the NetBeans IDE (The Java™ Tutorials > Getting Started > The "Hello World!" Application)


    DMan

    EDIT: Java Basics http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/index.html
    Last edited by FlyNn; 03-31-2013 at 03:46 PM.
    Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.

  6. #6
    meun is offline Member
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    Hmm.... Haven't found anything useful / new there. Most of it works just like a basic shell oneliner, only that I'm supposed not to put everything into the same line. I've been reading "useless" stuff and trying "exercises" all day yesterday and got non the wiser... I'm sure there's fundamentally important Information between all of those examples but I just can't find them between all the redundant Information.

    Like: I'm aware there's a class for reading files somewhere. And that I'm going to have to take a look at the man page the first few times I want to use it and every time after that when I haven't used it for a week or so until I have used it on a regular basis for quite some time. Don't see how using it some more right now would help me learn how to write programs. Stuff like that is just really easy to look up ad-hoc whenever I need it. Or am I doing that wrong?

    edit: oh, that last "java basics" link looks sort of promising though. There might be some important theoretical stuff there that I missed the first time around, thanks!
    edit2: Still sort of much redundancy though and I'm beginning to see, why I skipped over so many articles there the first time. Is there a more compressed overview of those sorts of things? Less examples, more facts? I'm not too good at writing english, but don't usually have problems reading text with high information density.
    edit3: Meh... not enough Information.
    Last edited by meun; 03-31-2013 at 06:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Raslar is offline Member
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    Default Re: Where to start learning java / programming?

    ok idk bout the other guy's here but i too am new but i have found this channel on youtube called "TheJavaHub" I think that you would greatly benefit from it as well and he has umm i think other tut's as well not really sure but i am certain that he has a java tutorial and has began a LWJGL tut as well so i would actually recommend that you start there :) hope this helps you out greatly
    Last edited by Raslar; 09-01-2013 at 07:49 AM.

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