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Thread: Ideas for beginner projects?

  1. #1
    kkid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Ideas for beginner projects?

    I am going to university to study computer science in September and wanted to spend my time before then learning more programming.

    I am a beginner programmer, I made a very basic GUI theatre bookings system for coursework this year but it was extremely basic (Just JButtons, text fields, basic swing and stuff like that).

    Can somebody possibly set me a program to make that is within my abilities but will help me learn?
    I would like some sort of introduction to using external files (Not just the java files - maybe an external .txt file to store data) and I would also like to venture into at least importing a couple of images into a java program.


    If anybody has suggestions. I would be grateful, thank you.

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    ShadowWalker is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    I am in the same situation.. try to make programs that you all ready have in your computer.. for example create your own notepad with images buttons (Save , Save As) with File-Handing System , Calculator ... if all this are easy for you .. then go ahead for more advance staff like connecting java with SQL..
    or why don't you try a mini game.. like pacman or snake?

    i hope i gave you some ideas ;)

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    DarrylBurke's Avatar
    DarrylBurke is online now Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Moved from new to Java

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

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    kkid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowWalker View Post
    I am in the same situation.. try to make programs that you all ready have in your computer.. for example create your own notepad with images buttons (Save , Save As) with File-Handing System , Calculator ... if all this are easy for you .. then go ahead for more advance staff like connecting java with SQL..
    or why don't you try a mini game.. like pacman or snake?

    i hope i gave you some ideas ;)
    I'm going to do the notepad suggestion as I think I can get through it in a couple of days but more importantly it will be a perfect example for me to learn importing/exporting text to other files.

    Never thought about recreating existing programs - thats a great idea!



    Any more suggestions anyone?
    ShadowWalker likes this.

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    jim829 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Why not try implementing some of the JDK interfaces such as Map, and List. You can research what a hashtable is to get an idea. Try implementing a binary tree and practice traversing it in pre, in, and post order. These types of activities, especially those involving data structures are very beneficial. Some find them boring but I find them extremely interesting.

    Regards,
    Jim
    The Java™ Tutorial | SSCCE | Java Naming Conventions
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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    My favorite: create a game of hangman. You seem to know your way around a GUI a little, so perhaps you can even create a graphical version. I like ShadowWalker's recommendations also, but those are a little more difficult.

    Creating little games is fun, the fun factor will help you to retain what you learn and to push yourself a little to create something polished.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    kkid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim829 View Post
    Why not try implementing some of the JDK interfaces such as Map, and List. You can research what a hashtable is to get an idea. Try implementing a binary tree and practice traversing it in pre, in, and post order. These types of activities, especially those involving data structures are very beneficial. Some find them boring but I find them extremely interesting.

    Regards,
    Jim
    Honestly, I didn't understand 90% of what you just wrote. Unfortunately I think I need a little more experience before attempting all those. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    My favorite: create a game of hangman. You seem to know your way around a GUI a little, so perhaps you can even create a graphical version. I like ShadowWalker's recommendations also, but those are a little more difficult.

    Creating little games is fun, the fun factor will help you to retain what you learn and to push yourself a little to create something polished.
    Not a bad idea. May give it a go.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    I like the idea you have on you similar other thread more though!
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    jim829 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkid View Post
    Honestly, I didn't understand 90% of what you just wrote. Unfortunately I think I need a little more experience before attempting all those. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    Well, the terminology may be unfamiliar, but the concepts are pretty straightforward. You could also web search the terms. In any event, if you are going to major in computer science then you will certainly be exposed them. But here is another suggestion for a fun game and it involves graphics.

    Imagine a 3 x 3 grid of circles or squares. Some are filled in and others are not. You may only click on a filled in circle. When you do click on a filled circle, all the other circles which are vertically or horizontally adjacent, regardless of their state, switch states. So filled in circles become clear and cleared circles become filled in. The idea is to get the border circles filled in with the center one clear. But there is a trap for the player (which you will discover if you write the program). The following summarizes the color changes excluding the circle clicked.

    1. corner circles - two changes (adjacent horizontal middle and vertical middle)
    2. side circles - three changes (adjacent corners and middle)
    3. center circle - four changes (all middle sides).

    This is not my idea. I read it in a magazine (possibly Byte magazine) well over 20 years ago. I can't be certain about the reference.

    Regards,
    Jim
    Last edited by jim829; 07-29-2013 at 09:10 PM.
    The Java™ Tutorial | SSCCE | Java Naming Conventions
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  10. #10
    kkid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    That sounds good too.

    So many games to program! :)

    I'lls spend only 10% of my time coding and 90% playing these creations!

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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim829 View Post
    Imagine a 3 x 3 grid of circles or squares. Some are filled in and others are not. You may only click on a filled in circle. When you do click on a filled circle, all the other circles which are vertically or horizontally adjacent, regardless of their state, switch states. So filled in circles become clear and cleared circles become filled in. The idea is to get the border circles filled in with the center one clear.
    I had that game on my old Sony Ericsson k700i (might have been a download from GetJar, but I can't remember for sure), but you could 'click' any cell to toggle the state of that cell and the vertical/horizontally adjacent cells. All the circles started out clear, and all had to be filled in. And the grid could be set for 3 X 3 to 7 X 7.

    The 3 X 3 / 4 X 4 / 5 X 5 weren't too difficult, but once, just once, I completed the 6 X 6. And that took so long that I never seriously attempted the 7 X 7.

    You're right, programming something like that would be fun!

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

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    For a school project I also did a memory game - which ups the ante a little because it is a two player game which adds plenty of logic to your game. It was like a 5*4 grid of buttons and for the pictures I ripped the cards from Windows Patience (you can find them as downloadable packs of separate images now, no need to make your life difficult nowadays). So the game would display all the cards flipped with their back showing and you could click two to make them visible; if not a match the game would wait 2 seconds and then automatically turn them again. If a match the same player would be allowed to continue to play. The player with the most correct guesses would win the match.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    JosAH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Nine cards in the middle, numbered #1, #2 ... #9; two players take turns and take a card at each turn until one of them can form a sum of fifteen in hands. This game is equivalent to playing TicTacToe on a 3x3 magic square.

    kind regards,

    Jos
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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Ideas for beginner projects?

    Okay the suggestions are getting a little similar to each other now :) I have another fun assignment that is a good challenge for when you're already a little ahead. Again somewhat game related.

    Assignment:

    - create a Swing GUI that draws a maze in a grid. This maze is loaded from a simple text file containing 1 for a wall and 0 for a blank space.
    - how to build the maze is totally up to you; do custom painting on a JPanel or just do a grid of buttons. The size of the grid is also up to you, although it should not be too small
    - in the swing gui you can click two cells, a start point and an end point; the start point is green, the end point is red
    - the application will draw a yellow path from the start point to the end point
    - this path has to be the shortest route it can take; use the A* algorithm (A star) to be able to do that


    "One step beyond" to polish it:

    - make it so you don't need to restart the application to be able to draw a new path; for example, add a 'clear' button
    - make it so you can load a specific text file and have the application update itself to draw that new maze
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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