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Recommended Java IDE for a beginner?

 
Greenhorn
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Wow..Thanks for the quick responses to my "Where's the command promt?" question. Now that I'm "racing" along past the Hello World program, can anyone recommend a free IDE that I can download off the web to help me learn JAVA? I was told that it may be a little easier starting out and learning the basic Java concepts and terms by using an IDE. Please keep in mind that I'm obviously a raw beginner and I'm on page 5 of a book.
Thanks again
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Ranch Hand
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notepad.
 
Andres Gonzalez
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To refine my answer. At this stage, you're still learning, and you need code a lot and practice, without any help.
now, if you want to cheat a little bit , try BlueJ or Gel. Once you feel more confortable, you can move to eclipse
good luck
 
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I come from a Microsoft background, and so I'm very familiar with Visual Basic and how Microsoft lays out their stuff. Before I recommend, though, I'll agree that you want to use something VERY stripped down at first like Notepad or TextPad (maybe first month or two, depending on how serious you are about this). I liked TextPad because it would at least highlight key words and things like that, making it easier to figure out what I did wrong. This approach forces you to get to know the compiler on a command prompt level, a skill any Java programmer worth his salt has.
Once you understand the compiler and can figure out what it's trying to tell you at the command prompt, you might want to play around with an IDE. I tried BlueJ but didn't like it or understand quite how to use it. I'm sure I was making it more complicated than I needed to. I then used JDeveloper, which I really liked, and just recently moved over to JBuilder 9, which I REALLY like. Using an IDE AFTER you learn some of the language at the command prompt/Textpad level helps because the editor will 'pop up' all the methods, variables, and contructors available to you. That really sped up my learning curve, because the names were so intuitive that I could either immediately use it or look it up quickly by name to know what it did. Without this help, you are limited to what you can memorize quickly as you are learning. Anyway, hope that helps.
Yes, both are free.
 
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You might also want to look at jGrasp from Auburn University. The learning curve is a little easier than jPad, and the price is right (free).
The debugger is a little clunky, but gets the job done. That said, I second the notion that a text editor and the command line is the best way to learn Java. I still use Edit+ (a shareware programmer's editor) and the command line for most programming. Most of the time, a few well placed println statements locate logic errors faster than stepping through the code in a debugger.
 
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Another vote for a text editor and command-line compile. IDE's like Eclipse (I use WSAD at work) do so much for you it's easy to get a bunch of code that you don't understand. Then frustration sets in. The great thing about many open-source programmer's editors like JEdit is that they have a large user community that submit add-in modules, so as you feel more comfortable with your code and move to bigger projects, your editor can grow with you. JEdit (and many other programmer's editors) are not language specific, so if you are like me and end up using JavaScript, Python and shell scripts on a regular basis your editor is up to the challange.
 
Sheriff
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I also would recommend just a basic text editor at this stage.
That said, this discussion really belongs in the IDE's and other tools forum, so I'm going to move it over there.
 
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To start off at university they recommended a product called Edit Plus3. It is basic and consists of the basic ingredients to help you get started!
Check it out on google!
 
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