Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

  • (5 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Last »

60 Replies - 26196 Views - Last Post: 06 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

#16 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

  • MrCupOfT
  • member icon


Reputation: 2271
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,499
  • Joined: 29-May 08

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Have you seen that lecture by Alan Kay on A powerful idea about teaching ideas
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#17 xclite  Icon User is offline

  • LIKE A BOSS
  • member icon


Reputation: 916
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,208
  • Joined: 12-May 09

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

I think maybe a HelloWorld in notepad to show that program source is just text. This demonstrates the relationship between the compiler/interpreter and the source.

I prefer to use an editor with syntax and paren-highlighting in everyday work. I really dislike *needing* autocompletion, but I understand that a lot of APIs have a lot of breadth and that autocomplete fills that gap.

I try to avoid the likes of Eclipse because it hides a lot of stuff and it makes poor design easier. I liken a newbie relying on Eclipse to a fourth grading following all of the autocorrect suggestions in Microsoft word. It's a great tool, but it's dangerous unless you know what you're doing.

Show off that it's just text, then a thin editor (perhaps that links into the compiler a la JCreator). I'd prefer if Eclipse/Netbeans weren't shown until they were comfortable with the features of the language.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#18 trevster344  Icon User is offline

  • The Peasant
  • member icon

Reputation: 224
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,511
  • Joined: 16-March 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:54 PM

From my own experience, an IDE is a much better start for the newbies, though compilers likes Visual Studio 2012 and others can also hinder progress for newbies, it's only for a short time. This kind of exposure though allows them to adapt to their environments quicker as they move from language to language using different compilers. When I first began programming I started with VB6. The compiler I found to be overwhelming with the amount of features, buttons, etc. After a short amount of time though I adapted and even learned to prefer a compiler such as Visual Studio, or Netbeans. When I started learning Java, the book I had, irritated the hell out of me cause they wanted me to type everything in notepad. They also didn't mention any good debugging techniques, so from the beginning it was a headache. Finally a friend pointed me to a website with all sorts of compilers for it. Suddenly my learning curve went from a complete hill climb to a cross country track run. Quick, and easy. It's like all things though, you've just got to get used to them.

This post has been edited by trevster344: 30 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#19 jjl  Icon User is offline

  • Engineer
  • member icon

Reputation: 1112
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,619
  • Joined: 09-June 09

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

Vim > Any IDE
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#20 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 864
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,653
  • Joined: 29-July 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:21 AM

Isn't it amazing how millions of .net developers managed to learn .net languages without using a plain old text editor? It boggles the mind...

This post has been edited by farrell2k: 01 December 2012 - 01:21 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#21 Jstall  Icon User is offline

  • Lurker
  • member icon

Reputation: 434
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,042
  • Joined: 08-March 09

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:12 AM

I think a text editor (Notepad++ gedit etc) and creating console apps is the best way to go for beginners. Using an IDE ESPECIALLY ones that allow you to drag and drop controls (Visual Stuido, Netbeans) do far too much work for you, there is a ton of IDE generated code that you are shielded from and you really don't know how your program is working.

Introductory programming should be just that. Learning the basic concepts of programming - logic,variables, loops, conditional statements, methods/functions, classes. Creating console programs (you can make fancy ASCII graphics!) keeps the learner focused on the code.

To those that say that using a text editor instead of an IDE can cause new programmers to become frustrated , my response is : good! Learning how to read error messages and then fix them in code is an essential programming skill. Getting a compilation error and hunting down the cause helps you hone this skill. If someone learning to program gets frustrated by this to the point of quitting that is most likely a good thing as they are not going to enjoy a career as a programmer anyway. A significant part of programming for a living involves staring at your screen and going "why the fu*k is this not working!?!" , might as well get used to it :) .

After one has a firm grasp on the core programming concepts(I would say 4 months with a text editor and console programs at a minimum) they can start using an IDE. By then you have an idea of the work the IDE is doing for you e.g "ahhh so dragging a button onto the screen instantiates a button object". I think it is important that programmers have at least a general idea of what is going on under the hood.

Just my two cents :)/>

This post has been edited by Jstall: 01 December 2012 - 04:14 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#22 CasiOo  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 1424
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,166
  • Joined: 05-April 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:28 AM

I like my teachers approach the most :)

He has made his own application called ProgrammingStudio which allows you to hide everything confusing to the new programmer

Classes, imports, ..., and methods are all hidden away until you are ready to learn about them :)
The first thing you get to learn about when programming are the primitive types. ProgrammingStudio lets you write and run a program with ONLY this code
int a = 5;
int c = 10;
println(a + c);


That, I think, is a huuuuuuge plus!


We moved over to using Eclipse when we were ready for it, and I'm happy we didn't start out using Eclipse :)

This post has been edited by CasiOo: 01 December 2012 - 07:29 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 3
  • +
  • -

#23 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10809
  • View blog
  • Posts: 40,288
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

View Postfarrell2k, on 01 December 2012 - 03:21 AM, said:

Isn't it amazing how millions of .net developers managed to learn .net languages without using a plain old text editor? It boggles the mind...

I've run across a few intro to .NET teachers that have their students turn off Intellisense in Visual Studio, making it essentially a fancy text editor for the purpose of the class. I'm a big fan of this approach, as it forces students to learn to read the docs as well, which is a very important skill.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#24 chinchang  Icon User is offline

  • Indie Game Developer
  • member icon

Reputation: 192
  • View blog
  • Posts: 725
  • Joined: 22-December 08

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:47 AM

I believe in 'First do it, then do it right, then do it better'. So anything, IDE or text editor, which gives a new programmer the quickest jump start to write and run his first piece of code is the best in my opinion.

He shouldn't have to worry about anything except writing his code and clicking a button to make it run. When he advances to a more comfortable level, he may switch to other tools that require some sort of intervention/tweaking to run a code so he understands what goes at the backend when a code runs and use other features to make his code better.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#25 trevster344  Icon User is offline

  • The Peasant
  • member icon

Reputation: 224
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,511
  • Joined: 16-March 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 01 December 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

View Postfarrell2k, on 01 December 2012 - 03:21 AM, said:

Isn't it amazing how millions of .net developers managed to learn .net languages without using a plain old text editor? It boggles the mind...

I've run across a few intro to .NET teachers that have their students turn off Intellisense in Visual Studio, making it essentially a fancy text editor for the purpose of the class. I'm a big fan of this approach, as it forces students to learn to read the docs as well, which is a very important skill.


That's what VB6 was like for me when I started lol. I didn't have the MSDN documentation installed so the intellisense didn't work at all. Though having a seriously solid grasp on the fundamentals can also be helpful. Such as understanding that objects have properties. Helps you break down the documents you're reading.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#26 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

  • Pancakes!
  • member icon


Reputation: 8010
  • View blog
  • Posts: 13,716
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

*
POPULAR

It just seems like starting in the IDE gets things completely backwards.

When you're starting to learn to program, you're doing the easiest problems you'll ever solve: print something to the screen, calculate a value and print it to the screen, get input from the user and print it to the screen.
This seems like the natural time to get familiar with the details of how the language works. Putting this off to later seems like a false savings, since it means you're going to have to learn the hard stuff when you're working on the harder problems, and you'll be working on the harder problems without the understanding of the language which comes from having wrestled with the basics at the beginning.


But of course, this thread is an example of IDE thinking, isn't it?
"Let's just have this conversation once and get it over with, so we can point people to it and not have to have the conversation any more" - but the point of having a conversation is not to have everything be said, it's to engage in someone else's ideas and respond to them, in real time. You learn from the process of arguing, not from reading the argument. Just as the point of writing a program to print the words "Hello, World" on the screen, or output a triangle of asterisks to the screen is not to get to the finished program - it was precisely to engage in the argument with the compiler that ultimately results in the finished program.
Was This Post Helpful? 7
  • +
  • -

#27 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

  • MrCupOfT
  • member icon


Reputation: 2271
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,499
  • Joined: 29-May 08

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

An IDE isn't a learning environment, it's a tool for a programmer to make programs easier.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#28 k3y  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 36
  • View blog
  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 25-February 12

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:27 PM

Here is my stance on the discussion, and this is simply my opinion. I have tried a number of IDEs and have always returned to a basic text editor. I feel that IDEs can often be distracting because you have to learn how to properly use them in order to accomplish anything. Where as a text editor is very simple, bare-bones, and allows the programmer to write code in a more natural setting. An IDE has too many distractions, and can be confusing especially on top of learning a programming language. A text editor is simple to use, and therefore the new programmer can spend more time learning a language and not on how to use the IDE. Also a text editor enforces the programmer to stay awake and on top of a number of things, such as: indenting, overall formatting, and correct syntax. Where as an IDE will do all of this for you, ultimately creating lazy habits, and potentially sloppy code. This is my opinion on the matter
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#29 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 864
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,653
  • Joined: 29-July 11

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:24 PM

I think many of us have forgotten how easy an IDE makes learning a language like Java. I remember when I was first introduced to the language, having never programmed before, I made common mistakes that were discouraging, such as not naming a class file properly, forgetting an ending semi-colon, etc. These were all things that the IDE would have notified me of, instead of me trying to decipher console error messages. Let's also not forget the confusion in compiling class files vs running them, where one compiles a class by: javac myclass.java, but then runs it with java myclass, instead of java myclass.class. Then there's the path issues in windows, where new users will likely have to overcome the "javac not recognized" messages. While I can understand the importance of understanding how one can create and compile without an ide, there is no good reason not to always use one. You can read about how to do it without an ide, once you've learned how to use one.

This post has been edited by farrell2k: 01 December 2012 - 04:24 PM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#30 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular

Reputation: 37
  • View blog
  • Posts: 351
  • Joined: 22-May 08

Re: Text Editor vs. IDE For New Programmers

Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

I say it's as simple as this:

Do you want your students spending more brainpower memorizing, or do you want them to spend that same brainpower producing? ALA fundamentals vs high-end concepts

as a teacher, which is more important to you? As a teacher, your answer should be the one that benefits the students the most based on their needs. Generally, your students want to make money, so I would argue that practice at producing is more important than practice at memorization. do people actually work on production code in notepad?
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

  • (5 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Last »