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What program should I use ?

 
Nick Dillan
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So I am probably going to start a bachelor in computer science and ofcourse I will be programming a lot. Since I am REALLY new to programming I was wondering wich method would be prefered ?

If I use a program like ecplise it corrects a lot of stuff for me like indentation, brackets and stuff. I can imagine if I have exams in college we only get to use a really simple notepad without these features ?

How should I aproach this ? Should I just use N++ and turn of every help functionality the progam gives me (if that is even possible?) ?
 
Mohamed Sanaulla
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There have been a lot of discussions before regarding the use or abuse of IDEs. I think you will find a lot of them if you search in the forum.
 
Jesper de Jong
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If you're just beginning to learn to program in Java, it's preferrable to start with a simple text editor such as Notepad++, because it might become overwhelming if you have to learn Java and the IDE at the same time - IDEs are very powerful tools, but you you do have to learn the way of working of the IDE to use it effectively. For example, one of the concepts you'll need to know when working with Eclipse is its way of organizing windows and views using perspectives.

It looks like you're asking the question because you are worried that an IDE will make you lazy - that it will correct and show errors so that you don't learn to see them yourself. Maybe that's another good reason to try coding without those IDE features. I don't know how it works in exams at schools, but I doubt they are going to ask you many tricky exam questions where it's only about simple things like the placement of brackets.
 
Chris Rothburn
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For what it is worth, the beginning programming books I am looking at recommend NOT using an IDE at first, as it can (as you feared) lead to you not learning basics that you may need to know.
 
Rumesh Eranga
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If you have never programmed, try to use notepad first. When you feel that you are comfortable with the programming language, move into an IDE..

Good luck
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Not NotePad, which has all sorts of bad habits, but NotePad++ as Jesper said, or NotePad2, jEdit, etc.
 
Vishal Hegde
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Try using Notepad first because initially we make lots of mistakes and we most of the time ignore reading the compile errors... This will be a good practise for you to make mistakes, recognise it and reduce it..go for notepad itself
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Disagree. Not plain NotePad which comes with Windows®, but one of the other text editors I named. NotePad has confusing habits of its own, eg adding “.txt” to the file name while you aren’t watching, so you get something which won’t compile.
Notepad2 and Notepad++ (which are very similar to each other) support automatic indentation, bracket highlighting, syntax colouring, etc., which make programming easier, without all the complications of an IDE.
 
Palash Nandi
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I guess your answer is pretty much answered. But since you are starting your studies i would recommend Notepad. I suggest you use it for 2 - 3 days and then try out these : TextPad, Notepad++(a bit heavy)... etc etc
You will actually be able to identify the practical difference. At this stage an IDE is a strict NO NO for atleast a year :P. (ok may be months...).

Just keep the latest Javadoc handy with you. You can get one with the search functionality with .chm extn from here http://www.allimant.org/javadoc/ and you are good to go . The javadoc is something novice programmers overlook and if you know it, it will get you a lot of brownie points in class.

Best of luck !!.
 
Chris Rothburn
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I downloaded both jEdit and Notepad++ (both free), and while I am still playing with them, so far find Notepad++ easier (for me) to use.

 
Randall Twede
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all i can say is when i was last in college, they didn't care if we used an IDE or not. they sometimes did require specific formats(packages etc)
in CC they recommended a simple IDE which i really liked a lot called BlueJ. i would be using it now except their site said it only worked with basic JDK and not with EE or with netbeans included.

i recently got notepad++ as well. i haven't really used it yet but i know i will like it a lot better than windows notepad. it just bothered me that when i post code here at javaranch that i wrote in notepad it comes out all ugly because of mixing tabs and spaces
 
Stephan van Hulst
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For projects that contain more than one or two classes, I enjoy NetBeans, but for a beginner it's definitely best to start with a simple text editor that maybe has some basic syntax highlighting and maybe code folding as well (like Notepad++).

For tiny projects I still prefer UltraEdit (which unfortunately isn't free), because NetBeans lacks simple word completion and column mode.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Palash Nandi, welcome to the Ranch and we seem to be in agreement.
 
Rob Spoor
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Randall Twede wrote:it just bothered me that when i post code here at javaranch that i wrote in notepad it comes out all ugly because of mixing tabs and spaces

That's one of the main reasons to simply not mix tabs and spaces. Most modern text editors allow you to replace tabs with spaces as soon as you enter them. This way you will only get spaces and no tabs, and the indentation will look the same everywhere (as long as you use a mono spaced font).
 
Randall Twede
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well i looked in windows notepad and couldn't find that functionality. that is why from now on i am a proud user of notepad++
 
dennis deems
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At my school we used BlueJ. It is a simple, very lightweight IDE. The editor provides syntax highlighting, but I don't remember whether it auto-formats code.

Note that you can easily disable Eclipse's code formatter.
 
Randall Twede
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i remember liking BlueJ a lot when i was in school as well.
 
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