Kris' Java Diary

Last Update: 26 March 2004

>Kris' Java Diary
COBOL to Java: Tips and hints for learning Java
Kris' Java Exercises
Kris' JSP Exercises
CIST2535 Class Homework


26 March 2004 - Preparing for the SCWCD
Yep, it's almost a year later. Once again I am preparing for a Sun Java certification exam. This time it's the Java Certified Web Component Developer Exam (SCE 310-080). Blech blech blech. I HATE studying - so I often wonder why I am doing this. After my Java class, I took a JSP and Servlets class. That class was not geared towards this exam in particular, but gave me a good start. I have been using the book by Hanumant Deshmukh and Jignesh Malavia to prepare for the exam. Wish me luck! Here are some flashcards that I prepared using their book. The cards are based on Appendix E "Exam Quick Prep". You really need the book to understand the material, so go buy it. To print the flashcards, download both Word documents. They are set up to print on 4x6 cards. Use the front document to print the front of the cards, then run the cards through the printer again and print the backs.
Front of cards, back of cards.

26 May 2003 - My first JSP
JavaServer Pages are basically HTML with embedded Java. The source is saved in ".jsp" files which run on the server (not in the client/browser). You need to run them on a website where JSP is supported, or locally on your pc in a environment which supports JSPs. Apache Tomcat is available to do this in both environments!

I tried to run my first JSP. It's from "Sams Teach Yourself JavaServer Pages in 24 Hours". It didn't run locally on my machine under OS X because I don't have a local environment which supports JSP. It didn't run online either. The link to the ".jsp" file generated a "404 Resource Not Availalbe" error. Turns out my webhost had to enable JSP for my account. Now it works. Check out Kris' JSP Exercises. I'm rolling!!

22 May 2003
Passing the exam got me an "A" in my Java class, and I got to skip the last two classes and the final as well. Woo hoo! On the downside I still couldn't code a Java program for my life. I do think that I know enough to go on by myself for a while. This summer I plan to take a JSP & Servlets class, and sometime after that I hope to take a Websphere class.

1 May 2003
Today I became a Sun Certified Java Programmer (310-035). Heh. I haven't written an original Java program in my life, but I'm good at tests. Taking a C++ course at the a technical college helped me get object oriented coding into my head. I read chapters 1-3 in David Flanagan's "Java in a Nutshell" to learn Java syntax. Then I prepared for the exam by studying Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027). Once you get a little bit familiar with the Java syntax (see Nutshell), this review book has everything you need to prepare for the exam - and the self-study questions very closely match the difficulty of the exam. I was getting about 70-90% correct on the self study questions for chapters 1-6, but only hitting the 40-60% range for chapters 7, 8, and 9 (inner classes, collections, threads, etc.). It was good enough for me to pass the exam with a fat margin of safety. I carefully read chapters 1-9 in the Sierra book twice. I also took practice exams I found at,but beware that those seem to be geared towards a previous version of the exam. The practice exams include topics which are no longer covered, and exclude topics which have been added in the new version. All told, I probably studied for 60 hours.

2 March 2003
I've had about 7 classes so far. Here is one of the example programs I typed in from my textbook. Description: create two-dimensional array of students' grades. Display information about the grades. Program Source: Run the program: DoubleArray.html. Again, it doesn't seem to work online. It does run on my machine locally. I need to look into this...UPDATE 24 May 2003: It may be a problem with the version of java supported by my browser. The program does run for some people.

January 2003
This article was key to finding my way how to write Java on the Mac. You need OS X which includes a Java compiler and run time environment; you need to know how to open TextEdit, this is where you will edit plain text java source code; and you need to know how to start a terminal window, this is where you will enter your compile (javac) and run (java) commands. In order to get around in the terminal window, you need to know some basic Unix commands including how to run and use the Unix text editor "pico". If you plan to upload your work to the web for your own personal use or for a class, you may need to know how to do command line FTP, or SFTP, or Telnet/SSH from Mac OS X. If you plan to write and run applets you will also need a web browser in which

You can find simple instructions on the web for how to find and use these tools, or beg and plead for help from your geekier friends.

Once you have your tools lined up, check out this article to see how to write your first Java program in Mac OS X:

Tools to get started writing Java on a Mac:

Tools to get started writing Java on a PC running Windows:

20 January 2003
My first applet. HelloWorld. Uh, it doesn't actually WORK, but I needed to do this test to find out.

18 January 2003
I found a local technical college offering a "Java Programmer Certificate" for taking 4 classes. The first class in the program was C++ which I completed in December 2002. I just started Java Programming 1. Looks like I'm finally on my way!

4 September 2000 (Monday-Labor Day)
Well, it's been quite a while since my last crack at Java. Java is a compiled language so you need to 1) own a Java compiler and 2) know how to use it before you can 3) write any Java. It was just too difficult to learn a new set of development tools at the same time as trying to learn a new language. I did buy MetroWerks CodeWarrior, but I have no interest in reading the online documentation which came with the package. Unfortunately, all the "Learn Java" books seem to assume working knowledge of some kind of Java software development package. Ha! Or they help walk you through a package like the Sun JDK (or whatever it is called), which is not available for the Mac. It doesn't help any that all third party book are geared towards PC and the software available for them but I'm on a Mac.

A friend recommended Barry Boone's "Learn Java on the MacIntosh" which is specifically geared towards development using CodeWarrior. Turns out that this book came on my CD when I bought CodeWarrior. I HATE online documentation. Did I mention that? Having the paper book is helping some. It got me looking through the CodeWarrior online docs where I found a programming tutorial for Java. I'm limping my way through that before I can return to the "Learn Java" book to continue with the exercises. I had to resort to looking through the CodeWarrior CD when, not surprisingly, the book itself was not helpful enough. Hopefully I won't also have to go through a CodeWarrior online doc for the IDE (interactive development environment?) before I can return to the exercises in the book.

Will Kris ever learn any Java? Stay tuned!

21 May 1999 (Friday)
I'm trying to teach myself Java. Why? Well...I could make my personal website a little bit more interesting. And because Java would look good on my resume. That might lead to more interesting work and keep me from becoming a technical dinosaur (50 and unemployable - my nightmare. 50 and retired - my dream). If I am able to do more interesting work, then maybe I could open my own company. I know a graphic designer and we've talked about the possibility of doing business. Man! Have I got a long way to go before I could sell commercial websites!

Back to the Java story.

April 1st, 1999 (irony intended) I quit my job as a faceless employee in the corporate world. COBOL, IMS/DB-DC, DB2, TSO/ISPF, Telon, etc. etc. Your typical COBOL programmer. My grand plan is to rejoin the workforce as a contract programmer. I dream of a 3-day week and hope to take off 2-6 months every coupla years. Why spend my entire life at work if I don't have to? During this first break I decided, for reasons described above, that it would be a good idea to try to teach myself Java. As you can see, I'm almost through my two months off. And frankly, I don't have any Java to show for it. I *did* buy two books, and under their direction I bought a Java compiler. I'm starting with "Java for the World Wide Web" by Dori Smith, "Sams Teach Yourself Java 1.2 in 21 Days" by Laura Lamay & Rogers Cadenhead. Baby's first compiler is Metrowerk's "CodeWarrior Discover Programming Edition Version 4".

I can't make head nor tails of CodeWarrior. Of course, I haven't tried very hard either. It sorta sucks that I need to learn how to use a new compiler before I can try any Java examples. It was easier to play with HTML because my husband figured out the hard parts like how to set up the browser (sheesh! he even had to find a browser before we could worry about how to set it up!), how to set up our new website, and how to transfer files up to the web. There's just a lot to learn before I have to worry about how to get my brain thinking in terms of object oriented programming.

I've given up on CodeWarrior for a coupla days. I thought I'd try to find a Java applet on the web to try sticking into my page. I surfed for about 1/2 an hour and haven't had any luck finding a ".class" member, much less downloading one. Well. Off I go to try again!

Check back later and see whether I ever do learn Java.


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