Re: Using Visual J# in a first programming course.

Thank you Mark for your comments. I also support a C# course in the course
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
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

Again, thanks for your input.
"Mark Rafn" <dagon@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I'm considering using VJ# in a first programming course in addition to or
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
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

A lot depends on what you want the course to teach. If it's "show some
some cool, easy, stuff to do with computers that's kind of like
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
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
Python, C++, or any modern OO language in wide use), but don't use a
development environment. Use a command-line compiler, and give
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

Sure. All of these apply to C# as well, and it's a language that may
be useful to students. Or to Java, for that matter. J# has the
advantages of

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
applicable to implementations of the JLS. Which .Net isn't.
Mark Rafn dagon@xxxxxxxxx <>


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