COBOL to Java: Tips and hints for learning Java
Last Update: 24 May 2003
Kris' Java Diary
> COBOL to Java: Tips and hints for learning Java
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This is a work in progress - I'm just getting started! Here is a list of tips and hints which I found helpful on my way from COBOL programmer, to becoming a Java programmer.
I have more than 15 years of mainframe, COBOL, DB2, IMS, programming and systems analysis experience. Several of the companies I have done work for have started retrofitting Java front ends onto legacy COBOL systems. IBM has made a commitment to Java, so it is only going to get easier to mix Java with legacy COBOL and databases.
I am trying to learn Java because I can use it both on my own website (here you are on it!) and also, hopefully, at work. Java is a good way to build GUI systems which are often (but not always!) nicer than old text-only systems. Since Java programs are stored on the server there isn't the issue of rolling out updates that there was for client-side GUI programming in Smalltalk and the like. And Java, at least theoretically, is platform independent so systems can be used by both local and remote employees, and also outside customers via the internet. Cool!
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|Getting Started||You do not need a fancy
development tool. Java can be coded in a basic text
editor, then compiled and run from a command line. You do
need to have a compiler. You can download the SDK or JDK
for free from Sun, or it is sometimes included on the CD
ROM with some Java books. Mac OS X comes with a built in
compiler. Fancy packages such as CodeWarrior and the like
add the problem of learning the tools on top of learning
Java. I recommend holding off on using development
environment packates until you know Java.
|Source Code||You can write and edit source code in any basic text editor. The filename you save must end with ".java". Eg: my_program.java. The program name should also match the name of the public class in the program, if any.|
|Compiling||From the command line type "javac my_program.java". The compile output will be a compiled class named "my_program.class".|
|Running||From the command line type "java my_program". Do not include the ".java" or ".class" suffix.|
|Books (programming)||David Flanagan "Java in a
Pay attention to the edition and the version of Java which is covered. As of 24 May 2003, I'm using the fourth edition which covers Java 1.4.
|Books (Sun Exam)||Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
"Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2
Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)"
|Websites (programming)||I found very little very basic, beginner level information available on the web for Java. Every book I found also completely skipped such basic details as how do you edit, compile, and run a simple program. Yeah, this information is in part specific to your machine since you need to have a compiler installed, but hey, without it you can't do anything so how can they skip that stuff?|
|Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 (Exam 310-035)||
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