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  I'm a noob to Java, can you point me in the right direction?  (Read 6215 times)
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Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Posted 2012-02-20 16:17:21 »

Hello all Smiley

I'm new to Java, and I want to learn, where are some good resources to learn from, whether they are free or paid, I don't mind. You should tell me what makes each resource good as well. My friend says I should watch YouTube videos by 'thenewboston', what do you think of him, because I read somewhere that he isn't very good. Also, if there is a way (tell me how), I will make a poll on this thread to gather my results and so that other noobs like me can see. Eventually I want to work with LWJGL also link me to resources that will teach me to use that too Smiley

Thanks Smiley
Offline evilfrenchguy

Junior Member


Medals: 3



« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-02-20 17:02:54 »

Welcome to JGO!

For learning the language itself, I recommend 'Head First Java.' It pretty much speaks for itself. You can check it out here: http://www.headfirstlabs.com/books/hfjava/

After that, get comfortable with games programming with Threads and the game loop and work in the javax.swing and java.awt packages for a while. Try making a couple simple games like Pong or Tetris at this stage.

Stay away from IDEs like Eclipse or Netbeans while you're learning so you don't get used to having that crutch. Notepad is fine, but a simple IDE is Textpad. (textpad.com)

Write all of your own code too (no external libraries).
Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-02-20 17:04:47 »

Thanks, is Java for Dummies any good? Also, for a basic IDE, are TextMate or TextWrangler any good (I have a mac)?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline StonePickaxes

JGO Coder


Medals: 4
Projects: 2


Nathan Kramber


« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-02-20 17:15:25 »

Either eclipse or netbeans. Those are the 2 best IDE's. I personally like eclipse better.

-Nathan

Check out my website!
Offline elamre

JGO Coder


Medals: 17
Projects: 1


hitar!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-02-20 17:21:00 »

Either eclipse or netbeans. Those are the 2 best IDE's. I personally like eclipse better.

-Nathan

Not for learning the basics in my opinion. I used BlueJ at school. Really useful tool, easy to debug with. Also easy to see what actually changes if you make changes in your code.

My projects:
Tower Defence!]http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/iconified/25690/view.html]Tower Defence! [lll.......] 30%!
Lightsnakerider! [llllll....] 60%!
Offline Z-Man
« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-02-20 17:22:20 »

Thanks, is Java for Dummies any good? Also, for a basic IDE, are TextMate or TextWrangler any good (I have a mac)?
Those aren't IDEs, they are text editors. The programs StonePickaxes suggested are IDEs.

I clicked the appreciate button instead of quote >_> so... Have a free medal Cheesy
Offline Beamery

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-02-20 18:30:16 »

I would suggest starting out writing command line stuff with simple console input and output and become comfortable with the basic concepts before you jump into AWT or Swing. 
Offline elamre

JGO Coder


Medals: 17
Projects: 1


hitar!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-02-20 18:34:16 »

[snip]
Those aren't IDEs, they are text editors. The programs StonePickaxes suggested are IDEs.

I clicked the appreciate button instead of quote >_> so... Have a free medal Cheesy

In that case... Quote me as well please Cheesy.
Also totally agreed with Beamery, and you should start working OO from the beginning in my opinion. Might be hard to work with in the beginning, but later on it will be so much easier to work with! Smiley trust me Wink.

My projects:
Tower Defence!]http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/iconified/25690/view.html]Tower Defence! [lll.......] 30%!
Lightsnakerider! [llllll....] 60%!
Offline gouessej
« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-02-20 19:08:25 »

Try making a couple simple games like Pong or Tetris at this stage.
I agree with evilfrenchguy. Start with something really simple, not with an MMORPG.

Stay away from IDEs like Eclipse or Netbeans while you're learning so you don't get used to having that crutch. Notepad is fine, but a simple IDE is Textpad. (textpad.com)
I agree with him again. You should understand how Java works underneath before using IDEs so that they really help you to become more productive without making you waste some time when something does not work as expected.

Finally, maybe have a look at JogAmp (JOGL + JOCL + JOAL).

Offline Beamery

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-02-20 20:17:37 »

Try making a couple simple games like Pong or Tetris at this stage.
I agree with evilfrenchguy. Start with something really simple, not with an MMORPG.

Stay away from IDEs like Eclipse or Netbeans while you're learning so you don't get used to having that crutch. Notepad is fine, but a simple IDE is Textpad. (textpad.com)
I agree with him again. You should understand how Java works underneath before using IDEs so that they really help you to become more productive without making you waste some time when something does not work as expected.

Finally, maybe have a look at JogAmp (JOGL + JOCL + JOAL).

I don't think we should jump too far ahead right from the beginning.  You have to know and understand the basics (i.e. command line applications) before you can even consider looking at graphics libraries.  Rather than starting with Pong or Tetris (which can be quite daunting tasks for a Java beginner), start with something really basic, like a number guessing game.  Now of course, this doesn't apply if you've had a good deal of programming experience prior to Java, but from a true beginner's perspective, one must understand and have a solid base in the fundamentals before jumping into graphical applications.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 346
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-02-20 20:23:56 »

Hey Skridovaste and welcome to JGO!!

This post should give you a general view of the whole java gaming scene.

Good luck! Smiley

EDIT: I saw you on the #jgo IRC channel, and you mentioned a book: Java, A Beginner's Guide, by Herbert Schildt? I absolutely recommend this book because, coincidently, that book is what taught me Java Grin If you do get it, get the 5th edition.

Offline evilfrenchguy

Junior Member


Medals: 3



« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-02-20 20:57:03 »

Yeah, most certainly go through some kind of general Java primer first. Head First Java is awesome because of how it's written. They make bad 50's and 60's culture references to grab your attention. The whole book is designed so you retain the information.

I did get a bit ahead of myself--make text games first.
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-02-21 04:17:07 »

Don't use IDE. Use simple text editor, can be notepad++, jEdit or else. Feel the pain and every single taste of exception. You'll be guru in no time* Cool

*) more than 10,000 hours still.

Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-02-21 16:26:04 »

The only good reason to not start with an IDE is so that you understand the java build system.  Mind you it's a good reason, but once you understand how classpaths work and how to modify them without the assistance of the IDE, and similarly how to launch an app without the IDE helping out, there's no reason other than masochism to not use an IDE going forward.
Offline gouessej
« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-02-21 23:23:33 »

I don't think we should jump too far ahead right from the beginning.  You have to know and understand the basics (i.e. command line applications) before you can even consider looking at graphics libraries.  Rather than starting with Pong or Tetris (which can be quite daunting tasks for a Java beginner), start with something really basic, like a number guessing game.  Now of course, this doesn't apply if you've had a good deal of programming experience prior to Java, but from a true beginner's perspective, one must understand and have a solid base in the fundamentals before jumping into graphical applications.
I agree with you, I suggested him to have a look at it, I didn't suggest him to start using it for his first project.

Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #15 - Posted 2012-02-22 10:29:12 »

You're all saying 'Don't use IDEs yet, use simple text editors.' I have a Mac with 4text editors installed; TextWrangler, TextMate and a Mac port of Notepad++   and the default TextEdit. Which would you say is best to use? Also, I found a copy of Java for Dummies in a library, would you say that is any good to use?

Thanks Smiley
Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #16 - Posted 2012-02-22 16:44:10 »

Most Mac users I know swear by TextMate, but the best text editor is the one you're most comfortable with.

Library copies of books tend to be really obsolete.  From what I can see from the Amazon summaries of Java for Dummies, the only one that I'd even bother with is the most recent edition (previous editions were using JCreator of all things).  You're probably better off following the java tutorial trails on oracle.com
Offline elamre

JGO Coder


Medals: 17
Projects: 1


hitar!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2012-02-22 16:46:27 »

Most Mac users I know swear by TextMate, but the best text editor is the one you're most comfortable with.

Library copies of books tend to be really obsolete.  From what I can see from the Amazon summaries of Java for Dummies, the only one that I'd even bother with is the most recent edition (previous editions were using JCreator of all things).  You're probably better off following the java tutorial trails on oracle.com


Second that, the tutorials at oracle are very useful! And not just the drawing ones, but also the ones about streams events etc.

My projects:
Tower Defence!]http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/iconified/25690/view.html]Tower Defence! [lll.......] 30%!
Lightsnakerider! [llllll....] 60%!
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #18 - Posted 2012-02-23 02:59:00 »

@OP: IMO notepad++ is the best.

Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #19 - Posted 2012-02-23 09:50:00 »

Most Mac users I know swear by TextMate, but the best text editor is the one you're most comfortable with.

Library copies of books tend to be really obsolete.  From what I can see from the Amazon summaries of Java for Dummies, the only one that I'd even bother with is the most recent edition (previous editions were using JCreator of all things).  You're probably better off following the java tutorial trails on oracle.com


The one in the library happens to be the newest one, so I went and picked it up. Also I checked out the Java tutorials on oracle.com, and it seemed to be very complicated and sophisticated. I looked around in Java for Dummies and it was a lot easier.

Also, Head First Java seems to be very old, so is it suitable for learning the most up to date version of Java?
Offline Roquen
« Reply #20 - Posted 2012-02-23 10:37:04 »

Yeah, don't use an IDE.  Also don't use any preexisting libraries or tools...write everything from scratch.  While you're at, start by writing your own text editor that does exactly what you want...after learning assembly and memorizing the low-level spec of the JVM.  Get back to us in 20 years and we'll give more advice on how to actually start on programming your game.  Or go with option 2 (doing the exact opposite of the previously stated) and ask more questions tomorrow...or today if you're motivated.
Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #21 - Posted 2012-02-23 11:13:46 »

I know now that I need to start off by not using an IDE, so now can you recommend some books and tutorials? Thanks Smiley
Offline Roquen
« Reply #22 - Posted 2012-02-23 11:24:24 »

Re-read what I wrote.  Not using an IDE is really really bad advice.
Offline Damocles
« Reply #23 - Posted 2012-02-23 11:49:21 »

there is a difference between USING an IDE and LEARNING with an IDE.

When you never did something outside an IDE it can make you think there are little trolls and goblins preparing and running the program.
When some problem occurs (build, package, run procedure, dependencies), you will have a hard time finding out the reasons, as you are not familiar
with the underlying procedures.

Starting out without an IDE lets you learn the fundamentals, and getting a propper overview.

You can basically write a program using notepad, and compile-run it the commandline or a selfmade .bat file.
This is an important step to get secure enough in understanding what is happening behind the scenes.

Once you understand all this, you can move to a propper IDE (such as Eclipse) or use at least a propper Editor+Ant (notepad++).
Though I think only using a pure editor makes more sense when you mainly adapt already existing classes with well known logiccomponents.
(Codemaintainance), or browse specific sourcecode.

Offline Skridovaste

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #24 - Posted 2012-02-23 13:56:20 »

Sorry, my brother got onto here and post something, so now I need to cover it up with this Smiley
Offline Roquen
« Reply #25 - Posted 2012-02-23 16:31:07 »

@Damocles:  Personally I use an IDE about 10% of the time.  For a beginner?  All the things you list are additional PITAs that you really don't need.  The only upside is learning to manually create a build-system.  Big deal.  Don't bother until you actually need one.  The downsides are a very long list.  Use an IDE and only bother working with a single program..done.
Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel


Medals: 346
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years


I'm the King!


« Reply #26 - Posted 2012-02-23 19:29:13 »

@Damocles:  Personally I use an IDE about 10% of the time.  For a beginner?  All the things you list are additional PITAs that you really don't need.  The only upside is learning to manually create a build-system.  Big deal.  Don't bother until you actually need one.  The downsides are a very long list.  Use an IDE and only bother working with a single program..done.
I completely disagree with you and I completely agree with Damocles.

Those things are only PITAs if you don't know how to use them and are eventually invaluable in the long run.

There is nothing sadder than seeing computers getting dumber and more fool proof rather than people getting educated...

Offline sproingie

JGO Kernel


Medals: 202



« Reply #27 - Posted 2012-02-23 20:14:57 »

My attitude is "learn how classpaths work, learn how basic command line options work", and I really don't care if that's done concurrently with an IDE or not, but the only reliable way I've seen of imparting this knowledge is to take away the tools that automate this basic skill for a little while.

Generally, I'm not one of these silly "you need to learn assembly to learn how your computer works" people, but I think having at least passing familiarity with one level of abstraction below your comfort zone, as well as one above, is a good idea.  As your comfort zone expands, move the levels.  If there's no higher level left to learn that you know of, start thinking about making one.  If there's no lower level, I know of a few scientists in Switzerland who'd like a word with you...

Offline Roquen
« Reply #28 - Posted 2012-02-25 07:42:56 »

Those things are only PITAs if you don't know how to use them and are eventually invaluable in the long run.
Someone just getting started out doesn't need to worry about the long run.  They need to make some progress and not get bored and quit.  Not using an IDE for them is just throwing unneeded hurdles in their path.  And once they're stumbling along with a bunch of programs, their progress is much slower.  Edit, switch programs, compile..dang error, switch programs...where's the docs on this methods...repeat.

Java having fantastic tools is about the only thing that makes it interesting to use.
 
Quote
There is nothing sadder than seeing computers getting dumber and more fool proof rather than people getting educated...

An ACM poll showed that 90% of professsional programmers know nothing about floating point numbers work.  That seems conservative to me.  Fewer and fewer programmers understand how hardware works (memory model being very important).  Problems of this type are real problems.  Not knowing how to create a make system is not.  That's trival to learn...and it's boring.
Offline Carl Sagan

Innocent Bystander





« Reply #29 - Posted 2012-02-25 11:54:02 »

If you wish to make a Java Game from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
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