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Using Visual J# in a first programming course.

P: n/a
I'm considering using VJ# in a first programming course in addition to or in
place of
JBuilder and the J2SE. Given install problems other students have had, VJ#
seems like a nice alternative.
I expect criticism. But:
1. Most of my students are using WinXP.
2. VJ#.Net Express is free and has an outstanding GUI.
3. Code written in VJ#, via the Mono Project could always be ported to other
platforms.
4. Java compiler source seems close to moving into Open Source - I think!

What is the groups opinion
TIA
Bob
Jan 4 '07 #1
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6 Replies


P: n/a
>I'm considering using VJ# in a first programming course in addition to or in
>place of JBuilder and the J2SE. Given install problems other students have
had, VJ# seems like a nice alternative.
Don't call it Java if you do so, though - be clear to your students
that VJ# is a different language than Java, and you're using it because
they're too dumb to install the real thing.

Actually, you're probably better off teaching C# if you want to show off
Microsoft developer technologies. It's pretty good, well-supported, and has
LOTS of documentation. J# is loved by nobody and has no reason to exist.

For me, I'd rather teach or learn Java, but I wouldn't bother with JBuilder or
any other IDE. If you're teaching intro programming, teach command-line
tools. Edit with whatever editor they like, compile with javac, run with
java.

A lot depends on what you want the course to teach. If it's "show some people
some cool, easy, stuff to do with computers that's kind of like programming",
then C# is almost certainly what you want. If it's "prepare for life as a
grunt developer who doesn't really understand what programming is", then Java
or C# are fine, depending on what job you want them to seek.

If it's "learn data structures, computational complexity, and how to write
and debug computer programs", then Java or C# are good choices (as would be
Python, C++, or any modern OO language in wide use), but don't use a
development environment. Use a command-line compiler, and give assignments
that can be done using whatever editing tools the students like.
>1. Most of my students are using WinXP.
2. VJ#.Net Express is free and has an outstanding GUI.
3. Code written in VJ#, via the Mono Project could always be ported to other
platforms.
Sure. All of these apply to C# as well, and it's a language that may actually
be useful to students. Or to Java, for that matter. J# has the advantages of
neither.
>4. Java compiler source seems close to moving into Open Source - I think!
Even if it does, the Java trademark will likely be retained by Sun, and only
applicable to implementations of the JLS. Which .Net isn't.
--
Mark Rafn da***@dagon.net <http://www.dagon.net/>
Jan 5 '07 #2

P: n/a
Thank you Mark for your comments. I also support a C# course in the course
offerings.
From your reply, I suspect that you think most Java developers spend most
of their time writing applications without the use of an IDE with GUI
support.
If this is true, what is your basis ? ... Just curious!

I appreciate your comments on using an editor, javac and java.
I on the otherhand appreciate the power and felxibility of IDEs. To each his
own.

Again, thanks for your input.
Bob
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Mark Rafn" <da***@dagon.netwrote in message
news:9o************@hydra.dagon.net...
I'm considering using VJ# in a first programming course in addition to or
in
place of JBuilder and the J2SE. Given install problems other students have
had, VJ# seems like a nice alternative.

Don't call it Java if you do so, though - be clear to your students
that VJ# is a different language than Java, and you're using it because
they're too dumb to install the real thing.

Actually, you're probably better off teaching C# if you want to show off
Microsoft developer technologies. It's pretty good, well-supported, and
has
LOTS of documentation. J# is loved by nobody and has no reason to exist.

For me, I'd rather teach or learn Java, but I wouldn't bother with
JBuilder or
any other IDE. If you're teaching intro programming, teach command-line
tools. Edit with whatever editor they like, compile with javac, run with
java.

A lot depends on what you want the course to teach. If it's "show some
people
some cool, easy, stuff to do with computers that's kind of like
programming",
then C# is almost certainly what you want. If it's "prepare for life as a
grunt developer who doesn't really understand what programming is", then
Java
or C# are fine, depending on what job you want them to seek.

If it's "learn data structures, computational complexity, and how to write
and debug computer programs", then Java or C# are good choices (as would
be
Python, C++, or any modern OO language in wide use), but don't use a
development environment. Use a command-line compiler, and give
assignments
that can be done using whatever editing tools the students like.
>>1. Most of my students are using WinXP.
2. VJ#.Net Express is free and has an outstanding GUI.
3. Code written in VJ#, via the Mono Project could always be ported to
other
platforms.

Sure. All of these apply to C# as well, and it's a language that may
actually
be useful to students. Or to Java, for that matter. J# has the
advantages of
neither.
>>4. Java compiler source seems close to moving into Open Source - I think!

Even if it does, the Java trademark will likely be retained by Sun, and
only
applicable to implementations of the JLS. Which .Net isn't.
--
Mark Rafn da***@dagon.net <http://www.dagon.net/>

Jan 5 '07 #3

P: n/a
Bob Palank wrote:
Thank you Mark for your comments. I also support a C# course in the course
offerings.
From your reply, I suspect that you think most Java developers spend most
of their time writing applications without the use of an IDE with GUI
support.
If this is true, what is your basis ? ... Just curious!

I appreciate your comments on using an editor, javac and java.
I on the otherhand appreciate the power and felxibility of IDEs. To each his
own.

Again, thanks for your input.
Bob
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Mark Rafn" <da***@dagon.netwrote in message
news:9o************@hydra.dagon.net...
>>I'm considering using VJ# in a first programming course in addition to or
in
place of JBuilder and the J2SE. Given install problems other students have
had, VJ# seems like a nice alternative.
Don't call it Java if you do so, though - be clear to your students
that VJ# is a different language than Java, and you're using it because
they're too dumb to install the real thing.

Actually, you're probably better off teaching C# if you want to show off
Microsoft developer technologies. It's pretty good, well-supported, and
has
LOTS of documentation. J# is loved by nobody and has no reason to exist.

For me, I'd rather teach or learn Java, but I wouldn't bother with
JBuilder or
any other IDE. If you're teaching intro programming, teach command-line
tools. Edit with whatever editor they like, compile with javac, run with
java.

A lot depends on what you want the course to teach. If it's "show some
people
some cool, easy, stuff to do with computers that's kind of like
programming",
then C# is almost certainly what you want. If it's "prepare for life as a
grunt developer who doesn't really understand what programming is", then
Java
or C# are fine, depending on what job you want them to seek.

If it's "learn data structures, computational complexity, and how to write
and debug computer programs", then Java or C# are good choices (as would
be
Python, C++, or any modern OO language in wide use), but don't use a
development environment. Use a command-line compiler, and give
assignments
that can be done using whatever editing tools the students like.
>>1. Most of my students are using WinXP.
2. VJ#.Net Express is free and has an outstanding GUI.
3. Code written in VJ#, via the Mono Project could always be ported to
other
platforms.
Sure. All of these apply to C# as well, and it's a language that may
actually
be useful to students. Or to Java, for that matter. J# has the
advantages of
neither.
>>4. Java compiler source seems close to moving into Open Source - I think!
Even if it does, the Java trademark will likely be retained by Sun, and
only
applicable to implementations of the JLS. Which .Net isn't.
--
Mark Rafn da***@dagon.net <http://www.dagon.net/>

Bob because you do not want to spend valuable time teaching them how to
use a professional sized IDE. It is far far more important to
concentrate on the language. Hence, editor javac and java. If you
really, really want then to use an IDE then pick one that are developed
and used in the educational institutions.

Example: To teach the Java language with an OOD\OOP emphasis then look
at: BlueJ: http://www.bluej.org

Or another one would be JGRASP: http://www.jgrasp.org

--
Thanks in Advance... http://ichbinquotations.awardspace.com
IchBin, Pocono Lake, Pa, USA http://ichbin.9999mb.com
__________________________________________________ ____________________
'If there is one, Knowledge is the "Fountain of Youth"'
-William E. Taylor, Regular Guy (1952-)
Jan 5 '07 #4

P: n/a
Lew
Bob Palank wrote:
>4. Java compiler source seems close to moving into Open Source - I think!
How could that pose any difficulty?

Mark Rafn wrote:
Even if it does, the Java trademark will likely be retained by Sun, and only
applicable to implementations of the JLS. Which .Net isn't.
- Lew
Jan 5 '07 #5

P: n/a
Bob Palank <bo*@stlcc.orgwrote:
>From your reply, I suspect that you think most Java developers spend most
of their time writing applications without the use of an IDE with GUI
support.
Goodness, no! The vast majority of Java developers use an IDE. With good
reason - IDEs take a lot of hassle out of developing any but the tiniest of
projects.

For actual work, a good IDE about triples my productivity over using vi. I
use Eclipse every day, and others for specific tasks or when I'm evaluating
changing. I wrote a good portion of Weblogic Workshop when I worked for
BEA, and we spent a LOT of time thinking and experimenting about what
makes an IDE useful (and harmful, in some cases) for various types
of development.

I heartily encourage the use of an IDE for writing real code. I think it's
a horrible idea to use an IDE for an intoductory programming course. These
are not contradictory statements.

Using an IDE for a course where the students are writing a complete
application, with hundreds of classes, lots of dependencies, and a lot of
complexity is quite reasonable. But you wouldn't do that until they knew
enough about programming and the Java language that they can choose whatever
IDE they like, and install and maintain it without it being part of the class.

For an intro class, you'll be covering the basics, each of which requires only
a few source files, with simple commandline compile and run. Even if you
wanted to include IDE use in the class (as one of the later lessons), you'd
want to do an overview of a few of them rather than picking one and forcing
everyone to use it.
>If this is true, what is your basis ? ... Just curious!
My basis is that the IDE hides a lot of complexity, and that hiding is good
only AFTER the complexity is understood well enough for the programmer to know
when and how to un-hide it.
--
Mark Rafn da***@dagon.net <http://www.dagon.net/>
Jan 5 '07 #6

P: n/a
Mark Rafn...
For an intro class, you'll be covering the basics, each of which requires
only
a few source files, with simple commandline compile and run.
A good IDE I recommend for all who just started programming in Java
http://www.bluej.org/download/download.html
It is used at Colleges all over the world.

--
Joanna
Feb 25 '07 #7

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