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Thread: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

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    hamzah83 is offline Member
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    Default Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    I have a question - am currently learning Java - through Netbeans which is a GUI. But if i want to land a career in Java progamming or Android development - then is it best to ONLY learn Java using the command line? or do most professional developers and employers demand & create their progams using GUI's e.g. Netbeans or Eclipse etc? Or is the industry mainly reply of progammers using mainly Command prompt actions?

    Can i actually be a good java developer whilst only learning Java whilst using only a GUI such as Netbeans? Or should i ALSO learn and create JAva programs using solely the Command Line actions?

    I just want to know as for a career wise i dont know which is a better way to learn and be professional in learning Java in the long term GUI's? or Command Prompt?


    Thanks- would appreciate replies.

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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    The short answer is that you're going to have to learn both.

    Doing things from the command line lets you understand what's going on under the hood, how classpaths work, how deployment and jars work, how the compiler works, etc. IDEs abstract those things away. That can be great, but it can also make it hard for beginners to understand what's going on. For example, what happens if you move your project to a different computer and you get a ClassNotFoundException? If you've been working from the command prompt, you'll have a better idea of how to fix it. If not, you'll have no idea what's going on- just look at how many posts on these forums are about this exact problem.

    That being said, you'll also want a working knowledge of the IDEs, as most production-level code is written with them. But be ready to address issues outside of your IDE as well.

    Also, I always say that programmers should use a basic text editor with little more than syntax highlighting (JEdit, for example) and compile from the command prompt until they really understand what's going on under the hood. Relying too heavily on an IDE, especially at an early stage, actually hurts a person's programming ability. If you can't write a basic gui without using any automatic features, you should probably not be using an IDE yet. Just my two cents, but I think many people who are smarter than me agree with the idea.
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    Tolls is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Netbeans is an IDE.
    A GUI is the bit of whatever app you're writing that is a graphical user interface.

    Most industry development is done in IDEs.
    However, if you're just learning Java then you'd do well to use a good file edite (something like Notepad++ that has syntax highlighting) and the command line for compiling and running. This will allow you to understand how Java compilation and execution works, especially classpaths.
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    NetBeans is an IDE*, not a GUI (of course, it has a graphical user interface, as do most programs).

    Pretty much all commercial development is done using an IDE; often the choice of IDEis dictated by company policy. So yes, you do need to learn to use an IDE, but at the early stages of learning it's good to stick to the command line and get the fundamentals straight. It will also give you the ability to go back to the command line and get a job done when an obscure configuration change or update makes your more sophisticated tools misbehave.

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    hamzah83 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Hi there, thanks for the reply, apologies for the late response as i have been really contemplating how to and when to study java as well as how long it may take. I might start some Command prompt then go on to netbeans. btw whats the difference between a IDE and GUI?

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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    HI thanks for the reply, sorry for the late response. Do you think that in commercial development also sometimes need to use command prompt? if so for what reason could it be better than an IDE?

    Thank you. Btw i think you removed my previous question on android - is there another place on the forum where i can place it as i need it answered?
    Thanks for understanding.

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    hamzah83 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    HI, sorry for the late response. Thanks for the reply. Am still trying to get around this forum as im not very used to using or navigating through forums. What is notepad++? is that different from notepad that is included with windows? Also do you think an intermediate knowledge of java is required to start to learn android? or do i need to learn beyond the book "Java how to program" from Dietel? Do you think this book would give me enough material to begin android?

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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    And IDE, as Darryl explained, is an integrated development environment. Think of it as a text editor for programmers. A GUI is a graphical user interface, which is basically anything you can see and interact with (with buttons, text boxes, etc). IDEs have a GUI, but not all GUIs are IDEs. Powerpoint has a GUI, but it's not an IDE. Eclipse is an IDE, and it has a GUI. You can also create a GUI in Java, through an IDE or just a basic text editor, which itself is a GUI.

    I strongly recommend you use a simple editor and the command prompt, at least until you're a little more familiar with how things work. Commercial development requires that you are familiar with the underlying basics of how Java works, but IDEs like eclipse or netbeans hide that stuff from you. That's why using a basic editor and the command line can be "better" than using an IDE.


    You can google notepad++ for its website.
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    hamzah83 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    OK thank you for your reply. Most books that that teach java only teach with an IDE so i wanted some book or a reccomended online tutorial that can teach me ajva from the command line. Thanks for your reply.

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    Wnt2bsleepin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    I would stick with an IDE for now. They are great learning tools and can really help you get a good grasp of the language.

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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wnt2bsleepin View Post
    I would stick with an IDE for now. They are great learning tools and can really help you get a good grasp of the language.
    Again, I disagree with this, for reasons stated above. Beginners should use basic editors and the command prompt. But it's really up to you.
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    Wnt2bsleepin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Again, I disagree with this, for reasons stated above. Beginners should use basic editors and the command prompt. But it's really up to you.
    I actually reread what you wrote, and I agree with you. When you're first starting out, it's best to know how things work down to the basic level. Manually typing things also enforces things in your memory. I got passed all that at some point, and prefer using Eclipse for the reasons I stated above. I was able to figure out the relationships between classes and how they can interact with eachother. Method calls and data manipulation became easier. Spell check is nice as well

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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Yeah, once you have the basics down, eclipse is fantastic. But getting the basics down can be a very long process- in fact, I used notepad for the first year of programming, then JCreator (basic syntax highlighting, and a compile/run/debug button) all through college. I think that helped me understand the lower level basics immensely. Now if somebody is having trouble creating a jar, or dealing with a classpath issue, I know exactly how to fix that. Had I been "raised" on eclipse, I'd have no idea because it abstracts those things away from you. Also, relying too heavily on things like auto-complete can make you too dependent. It's pretty painful to watch somebody who only knows how to program via auto-complete and copy-pasting. Using a basic editor, a link to the API, and a command line forces you to be a better programmer.
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Using a basic editor, a link to the API, and a command line forces you to be a better programmer.
    I beg to differ here: it only helps you to understand your tools better; nor a command line shell, nor a complete IDE help you with the core algorithms; only the wetware between your ears and a lot of studying can be of help here.

    kind regards,

    Jos
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    I beg to differ here: it only helps you to understand your tools better; nor a command line shell, nor a complete IDE help you with the core algorithms; only the wetware between your ears and a lot of studying can be of help here.
    Fair enough. Perhaps it would be more accurate for me to say "using a basic editor, a link to the API, and a command line helps prevent you from becoming a certain kind of terrible programmer". The kind that can't write hello world without copying and pasting code from another project, can't do a System.out.println without waiting for eclipse's autocomplete, and fixes errors by taking eclipse's first suggestion.
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    Default Re: Starting Java - GUI or Command Prompt?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Fair enough. Perhaps it would be more accurate for me to say "using a basic editor, a link to the API, and a command line helps prevent you from becoming a certain kind of terrible programmer". The kind that can't write hello world without copying and pasting code from another project, can't do a System.out.println without waiting for eclipse's autocomplete, and fixes errors by taking eclipse's first suggestion.
    Yep, I'm with you; I normally summarize it as: the kind that can't program themselves out of a wet paper bag; there are already too many of them, due to the 'low threshold' of Java and its tools ...

    kind regards,

    Jos
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