Please bear with my long winded build up to my question, it is certification related. I want to get certified as a Java programmer. I am going out today to buy the Khalid book and start my learning process for the test. I am new to Java (less than 6 months). I have 15 years of programming experience in non Object oriented languages. Currently, when I program in Java, I do it from the Command line prompt in Windows 98. In another window, I have the API specification from Sun open for reference. A friend recently showed me JBuilder 4 and I have played with it a little bit. I plan to do lots of coding examples prior to the exam. Question: Keeping in mind that I want to gain as much java knowledge as possible, does JBuilder4 as an IDE, help or hurt the learning process? Does it make a programmer lazy? (Example: Showing the methods available for a class or is this an asset?) Thanks.
In my humble opinion, JBuilder will help your learning experience. As an IDE, JBuilder (and also Visual Age for Java by IBM) create shortcuts for making graphical interfaces in AWT or Swing, and this is a great help! I have much experience in making GUI the long way in Java, and what a pain it is! Try making a successful GridBagLayout the first time around, it is sooo complicated and long. If you use JBuilder, the advantages I see are for example code completion (great when you are looking for a method), easy handling of packages, less fooling around with the classpath, etc. JBuilder might be an IDE, but it still does not work like VB or HTML editors, these types of IDE's do all the work for you, however and IDE in Java does not save too much time and you need to know the language to advance. Hope this helps answer your question
<b>Greg Georges</b><br /><i>Sun Certified Java Programmer for the Java2 platform (SCJP)</i><br /><i>Sun Certified Java Developer for the Java2 platform (SCJD)</i>
JBuilder's a great IDE for developing code on a project. It saves time. As far as learning the code though for the certification, I would suggest using textpad or notepad (something small which doesn't suggest methods). There's no substitute for constantly looking something up and typing it yourself to drum it home. You only have to write small snippets of code anyway to prove points relevant to the exam. You shouldn't be writing more than 20 lines of code to learn the points directly for the exam (I hate advocating learning java for the exam instead of learning java for a practical perspective, but there is a difference). An IDE isn't necessary for a 20 line code snippet.
I agree with Trevor. In fact, I also recommend against using the IDEs for compiling and running the programs for beginners. The point is IDEs make mundane tasks (like managing packages, compiling etc.) much easier. But this deprives you of the knowledge/concept involved in doing those things. Managing packages is a classic example of this. IDEs like VAJ make this task a breez but running a class (which itself is in a package) from command line that uses other packages is not a trivial task for a beginner. But doing it the hard way makes you realize, understand and appreciate the logic behind it. Once you know what's going on you can use IDEs to increase your productivity. As far as the Layouts and GUI development is concerned, I hate using IDEs for it. The code generated by IDE (I use VAJ) for even a moderatly complex panel is cryptic, hard to read and extremely inefficient. Master GBL and you'll understand what I am saying.
An IDE should save you time and make things clearer. If you're studying for certification then you won't benefit from some of the snazzy features of an IDE. Things like code completion will speed up the coding you do, which should be everything anyway when you're studying. I'd recommend you go for a Java-specific coding editor like jEdit, you still have to code everything but it's less painful and quicker to write the mundane stuff.
Hi Scott, For the purpose of studying I'd strongly advise you to avoid an IDE. They often optimize the code and correct minor errors without your knowledge. Use a simple text editor. Editor99 is not bad, it's free and provides color syntax for Java. You can probably find a few other freebies if you search around. Hope that helps. ------------------ Jane Griscti Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform [This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited June 30, 2001).]