Chris Rothburn

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since Dec 14, 2011
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Recent posts by Chris Rothburn

I certainly learned more from that, in a fraction of the time, than I did from the first couple of chapters of Head First Java!

Some people just have the knack of presenting concepts. Silliness can work.
9 years ago
I am also finding "Head First Java" a bit hard to follow, as they use terms they have not yet explained in certain code examples, and are not exactly clear on the uses and purpose of much of the syntax they present.

I've found that if I just keep reading, then go back after I have absorbed later material, the points become more clear. But read and reread make for slow progress. I suspect there are books that make learning Java easier, but this is what I have so I am trying to work with it. One option I am contemplating is also using some of the on-line tutorials available. I suspect having different authors explain concepts in different ways may make the learning process easir, but fear it may just lead to confusion.

Anyway, as another beginner at the same point in the learning process, using the same material, I certainly sympathize with your frustration at the unclarity of the text...
9 years ago
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.

9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
Well, when the law tells you something, it's best to listen. And when a Sheriff and a Marshal both say the same thing, you'd better do it right quick.

So, I ran to Google after reading these posts and got me a shiny new jEdit.

Then struggled with the same command pathways I had trouble with before.

Turns out, you can't (or at least I can't, using Windows XP Professional) direct a command prompt to a folder with a two part name, such as "source files". Once I changed the folder name to "sourcefiles", all my problems disappeared. Just for the benefit of all those other newbies out there...
9 years ago
John Simer.

Any effort to help is appreciated!

I'll try saving with quotes and see if that resolves the problem in some text editors when simply saving as "All Files" is insufficent or not an option.
9 years ago
Struggled a long time with the same issue yesterday, also on Windows XP. Although I don't really know what I am talking about, here are some suggestions:

First, go to the file ( and right click it.
If this gives you the option of a command prompt, open the command prompt and input


This will create a class file in the same folder. To run it, from the same command prompt input

java -classpath . Hello

If you cannot open a command prompt on the file, then open the command prompt on the folder (hello) by right clicking the folder. Then the commands become

javac hello/

java -classpath hello Hello

If that doesn't work, read my recent thread on unwanted file extentions, as your text editor may be appending a hidden file extention to your file ( or suchlike.) But do read it to the end as there are a lot of red herrings thrown out (due to my inexperience) before I finally resolved the problem.
9 years ago
"Who told you whitespace is generally ignored?"

Chapter one, page ten of "Head First Java", 2nd edition, under "Syntax Fun":

"Most white space doesn't matter."

I seem to have mis-interpreted that statement...
9 years ago

John Jai wrote:Avoid using Word. Use any simple text editor like TextPad.

In Notepad / TextPad -> Paste the code in the editor -> Click Save - and select "Save as Type->" as "All Files" and give the name of the class as "".

I'm going to have to admit to being an idiot here...

In the end, John Jai's advice proved to be correct. In notepad, saving as type- all files does indeed leave only the file extension you choose- in this case, .java

It turned out my real problem, after I had switched to notepad, was only being able to open a command prompt onto a folder, not a file. At that point I was incorrectly formatting my file path. I just needed to read a little bit further to figure out where I had gone wrong.

Just as a reference for other newbies who may experience the same frustration, the output of the command format that worked was:

And while I read somewhere that blank space is generally ignored in Java, the spaces here all proved essential.

Who would have thought that I could be so happy to get my screen to read "mooooooooooo" after only six hours of effort?

Thanks again for the help, and I apologize that my ignorance cause me to offer so many red herrings...

(Edit- By the way, the reason the JAVA_HOME and PATH enviromment variables were not saved proved to be because when it said, in "How to Create Your First Java Program at JavaRanch", under Windows XP, Item 8, "Click OK and close all remaining windows" I clicked OK in THAT window and closed the remaining windows using the typical "x" in the upper right corner. What was really needed was to click OK in ALL of the windows, thereby closing them. May I suggest an edit?)
9 years ago
"Get a decent text editor, eg jEdit, NotePad2, NotePad++,..."

Yes, I am beginning to come to the realization that a different text editor is the solution.

Considering the hours I have wasted trying to use Word and Notepad, I wish I had just gone straight to getting something different, before my frustration level reached its current point!

Why was it so much easier to compile FORTRAN programs back in 1976, my most recent programming experience? It seems like I am fighting Windows every step of the way, trying to get the processor to do what I want. I would have thought that things would have gotten easier. Even punch cards didn't give me this kind of frustration!

Anyway, thank you, everyone, for your help!
9 years ago
Went back, redid everything from square one, found that my environment variables had not been saved- still can't open a command prompt on the source document, but I was able to open one on the folder it was in, then specify the folder and document, which resulted in the following 53 error message which I will annoy everyone by posting in full- was this because it was in unicode rather than ANSI? And if so, how can I save an ANSI document on notepad without the .doc extension? (Back to my original question...)

9 years ago

John Jai wrote:Avoid using Word. Use any simple text editor like TextPad.

In Notepad / TextPad -> Paste the code in the editor -> Click Save - and select "Save as Type->" as "All Files" and give the name of the class as "".

By switching to notepad, saving as "all files", and changing the encoding to "unicode" I was able to crate a file with just the .java extension (saving as ANSI created a .doc (Word) file). However, I still can't open a command prompt directed to the file- if i try to open a command prompt directed to the folder it is in, I get

The system cannot find the path specified.

If I try to enter the suggested input "javac" (without the quotation marks, I assumed) it says
'javac' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file.

When I try to do the same for, it does not give me the option of a command prompt- the same problem I had using Word.

However, now, when I try to open, which is now shown as a JAVA file, I get the "Windows cannot open this file...Windows needs to know what program created it" error message, and if I ask it to look it up on the web it tells me it is a JAVA source file.

So I guess the question has become (am I allowed to ask a "new" question on the same thread?) why can't I open a command prompt on this JAVA file? (If I right-click a folder I am given the option of a command prompt- that took some doing in itself...)

9 years ago
Trying to follow "How to create your first Java program at JavaRanch"

I can't send MooseGreetings to the compiler, because I can't open a command prompt directed to the file. I think the issue is a hidden file extension on the cut and pasted program, which I tried to save as

I copied it onto Microsoft Word, my text editor, and tried to save it as plain text, a Word document, and RTF- pretty much the only options I have.

Although the extentions are hidden, I believe the file is being saved as,, and This is preventing me from opening a command prompt on the file.

I've spent a few hours trying to figure out how to eliminate these unwanted extensions, including Windows Help (useless), Beginning Java FAQ, searching this forum, etc., and finally just decided to ask.

Thanks in advance for your help!
9 years ago
Thanks, I'll download the x86 version and give it another shot...
9 years ago
My first question, answered by the first post! Thank you.

I downloaded the 64, assuming it was less sophisticated than the higher 86, and it didn't work on my 32-bit 2002 Windows XP Professional, service pack 3.

Does anyone know if the x86 will function on this system, with a 2.26 GHz processer and 1GB of RAM?

(Hey, it was "top of the line" in 2002! And I got it for free...)
9 years ago