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Thread: Need help understanding Java

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Need help understanding Java

    Plz help me (WARNING I am pretty much lost here)! I want to get into Java programming but i'm kinda confused on a couple of things: First of all can someone explain what JDK does. I've read some forms on programming Java and i keep seeing JDK. Then I see using it with notepad or notepad++, so how do i do that and how come you need to do that? Then i see things like IDE's which I also dont understand. That's what I remember I have to ask (I probably have more but i forgot).

    I know i seem clueless but i am kinda new to programming (i know basic programming for python) so if there is more info you have (other info about Java, good tutorials, software preferably free, or any other helpful info I would appreciate it greatly)! So thank you in advance. Detailed answers are really helpful.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator pbrockway2's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Need help understanding Java

    The JDK is the Java Development Kit, and it contains the Java compiler. The compiler takes the source code you write in ordinary text and turns it into class files. These class files are binary files that are later executed when you run your program.

    The general steps are
    * write your code in a text editor (Notepad, Notepad++, or TextPad on Windows or Kate on Linux - my favourites - or any of the zillions of others)
    * compile your code using the compiler supplied by the JDK
    * run your code using a Java runtime. (For completeness the Java runtime is often called the JRE. That's the thing users have to download to run your code, or run stuff in their browsers etc. It doesn't include a compiler.)

    Notepad and Notepad++ are text editors for Windows. So you would use them to write the source code which you later compile and run. Integrated Development Environments are pieces of software that combine a text editor with the ability to do the compile and run steps. (and much more). I don't recommend you bother with an IDE until you are comfortable with what is involved in compiling your source code, ie can compile what you want from the command line using the JDK compiler.

    A very good place to start is "Hello World!" for Microsoft Windows near the start of Oracle's extensive Tutorial.

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