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Old 09-07-2004, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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the wonders of java

i've been teaching myself c and c++ for about 8 months because the university i was planning on transferring to had the computer science courses centered around these languages. needless to say, i was more than a little dismayed to find out that the first semester i started taking courses there, they had JUST switched their core programming focus to java. i was a little concerned that my total lack of experience with java would leave me trailing in the dust behind my classmates, but once i actually started using the language, i was amazed. i've never had such an easy time creating and manipulating classes with object oriented programming. java is the easiest language i've worked with to date, just wondering if anyone else had had similar experiences, or, dare i say, revalations
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Java's an easy language to learn and use, especially if you're building GUI apps and crossplatform software. This is the main reason a lot of universities are making the switch from C++ to Java. Easy learning curve for the students, no messing about with makefiles and crossplatform compatibily. It was exactly the same at my university.

Too bad Java's worthless once you get out into the real world. A little tip from the front trenches: keep learning C and C++ if you're aspiring to become a "real" programmer and want a job in the field. If you don't care for becoming a code monkey, and just need to pass your programming courses, stick with Java only and spend the time you'd save by not learning C drinking with your mates.
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you really think that majority of universities would switch to a language if they didn't think that it would be useful in the real world. Big call, but I would say no. There is a multitide of companies out there building good stuff with java and as I see it, its only going to get bigger.

I think its a bit rich to be implying that anybody how doesn't code C and C++ isn't a real programmer. I hope that you (roboshark) have something to base these accusations on and are not just taking a cheap shot at the language because you dont code it.

Ive come across a lot of C/C++ programmers that think highly of java as a language and can see real potential in the field. Im not saying to become a pure java programmer, but I certainly wouldn't write it off. IMO, if you wanna do well in this field, you need to get as many languages under your belt as possible and keep up the practice.
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxx0r
Do you really think that majority of universities would switch to a language if they didn't think that it would be useful in the real world. Big call, but I would say no. There is a multitide of companies out there building good stuff with java and as I see it, its only going to get bigger.

I think its a bit rich to be implying that anybody how doesn't code C and C++ isn't a real programmer. I hope that you (roboshark) have something to base these accusations on and are not just taking a cheap shot at the language because you dont code it.

Ive come across a lot of C/C++ programmers that think highly of java as a language and can see real potential in the field. Im not saying to become a pure java programmer, but I certainly wouldn't write it off. IMO, if you wanna do well in this field, you need to get as many languages under your belt as possible and keep up the practice.
I do really think universities are capable of doing this. Half of the subjects they thought me at CS at the UNI were a pure waste of time. I had to take 2 subjects on functional programming, using Haskell? Who ever heard of Haskell? Nobody. It's an academic thing.

I'm not putting down Java as a language. I'm just being practical. Java's been around for almost 10 years now. Given all the hype, I can't say it has really delivered on its promise, so to speak. It just hasn't caught on. Microsoft are pushing C-Sharp, almost everything, including games is coded in C or maybe C++ with heavy reliance on C. Some stuff is made in Java, I won't disagree. I'm just having trouble coming up with a product's name right now.

As for the "real" programmer thing: I didn't put quotes around "real" for nothing. I wasn't implying a real programmer uses C. I guess I meant a "real world" programmer, again in the practical sense. I learned to code in Java before I learned any other language. Yet I haven't had the need to code in Java in 6 years. Job interviews? Nobody cared if I could write Java. Or Haskell for that matter.

I agree that knowledge of several programming languages is a good thing. It's just a matter of being practical in the end what you choose to do. I wouldn't advise you to learn Haskell, though.

This is just my experience, obviously.
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Old 09-08-2004, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the biggest benefit of java is platform independence. If you only want to live in the M$ world, then maybe it isn't that important.

There are huge companies (Oracle for one) who deliver quite a bit of their functionality via java...
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Old 09-08-2004, 02:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roboshark
I do really think universities are capable of doing this. Half of the subjects they thought me at CS at the UNI were a pure waste of time. I had to take 2 subjects on functional programming, using Haskell? Who ever heard of Haskell? Nobody. It's an academic thing.
I did my fair share of lame subjects at uni, but I believe that more thought goes into their choice of programming languages then some of their other units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roboshark
Some stuff is made in Java, I won't disagree. I'm just having trouble coming up with a product's name right now.
What about most mobile phones on the market? To my knowledge, a great deal of them ship with java.
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Old 09-08-2004, 03:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duxx0r
I did my fair share of lame subjects at uni, but I believe that more thought goes into their choice of programming languages then some of their other units.

What about most mobile phones on the market? To my knowledge, a great deal of them ship with java.
University people, at least in my country, live in an ivory tower. They do not pay attention to the market needs. Their job simply does not depend on it. They school people in the art of becoming an academic. Perpetuating their own kind.

Suddenly, Holland wakes up to the realization that our education system is not producing highly skilled technical people anymore. Suddenly it dawns on our government that maybe some cooperation with the commercial sector is required, so that curricula at Universities are better oriented towards the needs of the job market. But the Universities are in an uproar. "We can't have 'commercialization' of the educational system!" they holler. So they teach us Haskell.

But this thread is about Java.

Java is a wonderful language. I like the ease with which you can write complex programs, solve complex algorithms with a few lines of code, make an entire GUI based application that will run on any platform out there. Garbage collection is a bliss. The latest java interpreters are even almost fast enough to compete with compiled code.

It's just a shame it hasn't caught on. That was my entire point.
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Old 09-09-2004, 05:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been trying to look at a range of languages, not just learning a select few, and this way it feels like i am growing to know programming languages in general, the more i learn, the easier it is to pick up (at least the basics of) another language. Since i'm about to start university, three years later than i should have done, i'm finding that its quite a comfort to be able to pick up new programming languages quickly. I'm currently reading up on how Lisp and Python work after dabbling in C++, Java, VB, Pascal, SQL, PHP & ASP (web scripting) and I've also picked up HTML, XHTML and CSS for web authoring, i guess i could say i understand XML too. Its nice to be able to keep an open mind about programming languages and not "follow" a certain language e.g. I have read slightly less experienced people post messages in forums such as "(blah) is the greatest programming language and all the rest are sh*t!!". That really isnt the way to think although i'm sure corporations who create languages wouldnt mind. There are also a hell of a lot of articles out on the web comparing different languages but different languages are made for different purposes and to solve different types of problems so its really not that useful to compare them. But if you must, the best way to do it is to try them out yourself.

Getting back to Java, the most use i have gained from it is writing a game applet or two to make my website a bit more interesting. After using it for a while you kind of get to know that it really isnt easy to create a cross-platform piece of software with the latest version of the Java development package since only those who are "in the know" actually upgrade their java runtime environments and plugins. For applets, unfortunately, its best to use an older version of Java to write them. People (mostly newbies and technophobes) actually complain when i tell them they need to upgrade their java plugin. No one's/thing's perfect.
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Last edited by welshbyte; 09-09-2004 at 06:00 AM..
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Old 09-09-2004, 06:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think choosing what language you want to be taught really depends on what you want to be in the end.

Java is pretty good for general application that requires a database, especially information systems.

C++ on the other hand, is good for gaming, complex systems. I'm not sure where C++ extends to since I haven't touched it.

I'm not going to argue about which is easy, which is better, etc etc. But I'll tell you this, when I first started taking programming courses, I was worried about which language is better, which has more demands for programmers, which is widely used. But I realized that every language has its beginning and its ends.

Java is popular b/c its easy, sure, I agree.
C++ is popular because it has more functionality, sure, I agree.
Java is popular b/c it's cross-platform, sure, I agree.
Java is poular b/c it's easy to connect to SQL databse, sure, I agree.

The simple thing is, every programmer is each to their own. Some people prefer C++ over Java, Java over C++. Some even prefer other language over those 2.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for the feedback. i'm definitely going to keep going with c and c++, java is just my focus at the moment because of school. i'm not sure what i'm going to do when i get my degree, i'm more interested in networking than programming, but right now i'm declared as a double major in computer science with a focus in networking and security, information technologies with the same focus, and a minor in mathematics. i just wanted to shout out to java because it's so much easier than anything i've tried yet, and maybe to let out the buzz that it's a great language to start learning with
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you're looking for more conversations and advice about java i'd recommend the forums at http://forum.java.sun.com which i used to use and mostly just read through all the new posts. By reading a few requests for advice and trying to answer them i learnt quite a lot. The regulars have quite a sense of humour and are ruthless when people ask them for homework help, its quite funny. Of course, we're always here on tfp to help too
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