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Brand New To Java - What JDK Should I Download?  RSS feed

 
G notImportant
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Hello,

I am just starting to teach myself Java. I went to the download page, but I am not sure which download I need. I think it should be Java SE 7u25, but I also see JDK 7 + NetBeans, and then I went to another download page and saw Java EE 7 SDK with JDK 7 U21 and stuff about a glassfish server which I really don't think I need. Can anyone help get me started in the right direction?

 
Joe Areeda
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G notImportant wrote:Hello,

I am just starting to teach myself Java. I went to the download page, but I am not sure which download I need. I think it should be Java SE 7u25, but I also see JDK 7 + NetBeans, and then I went to another download page and saw Java EE 7 SDK with JDK 7 U21 and stuff about a glassfish server which I really don't think I need. Can anyone help get me started in the right direction?


I'd vote for NetBeans with Java. I find it a very capable IDE and it makes writing Java programs much easier.

Joe
 
Ivan Jozsef Balazs
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The evergreen caution against relying solely upon an IDE without getting to know the underlying gory details (classpath and the like) applies.

Otherwise I agree with the recommendation.
 
ankit ramola
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go with the latest one i.e jdk 8beta
 
Tony Docherty
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ankit ramola wrote:go with the latest one i.e jdk 8beta

I'm not sure about recommending a Beta version especially to an absolute beginner.

@OP I'd stick with the latest stable version of jdk 7.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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G notImportant wrote:I am just starting to teach myself Java. I went to the download page, but I am not sure which download I need...

First: Right now, I'd download the version without the IDE. That way you won't be tempted to use it. The latest stable version (like Tony, I'd avoid anything that says "beta") is usually the first one you'll run into.

Next: If you don't have it already, download a copy of Notepad++ (or similar). It's a great little text editor that you can configure to highlight Java source with a couple of mouse clicks.

And start playing. Personally, I'd give yourself at least a couple of months just using the command line. Frustrating as it can sometimes be, get familiar with Java's native commands for compiling, running and jar-ing, and how to specify classpaths properly. An IDE hides all this from you, so if you start out with one, you may never learn how they work - and they're important.

When you've had plenty of practise, then download an IDE. By this time, you'll probably have discovered that there are lots of them, so I'd actually download more than one and try them out.

Good luck and have fun.

Winston
 
Joe Areeda
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:
First: Right now, I'd download the version without the IDE. That way you won't be tempted to use it. The latest stable version (like Tony, I'd avoid anything that says "beta") is usually the first one you'll run into.



Winston has a good point. I disagree with it, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

The debate of whether to start with and IDE or to start with the command line tools and a simple text editor usually comes down to what we see as the basics. It's a lot like the top-down vs bottom up implementation techniques.

In the IDE corner, we say that the important thing for someone new to the language is to learn the language then the underlying process. An IDE hides the build process, has an easy to use built in debugger. It's a complicated program but only a few features are needed to get started.

In the command line corner, we say IDEs are nice but they hide too much. The basics here are how the programs are built and run once they are written. Just look at the number of threads on this forum for how many people say "my program runs in the IDE but nowhere else". Also IDEs are big complicated programs that take a lot of work to master which makes it hard to switch from one to another.

It really all depends on what you want to do first. Sooner or later if you stick with it you'll have to do both.

Joe
 
G notImportant
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Thank you all for the help and suggestions. After reading all of them, I think the winner will be the JDK 7 without the IDE. If I get completely frustrated then I may go with your suggestion Joe and go with Net Bean. I'll give it a shot this weekend and see how it goes. Again thank you all, your insights have been invaluable and I'm sure this won't be the last question you see from me. (haha)
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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