12 Replies - 1042 Views - Last Post: 24 June 2013 - 10:11 AM

#1 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:58 AM

A little background info - I started with HTML when I was 13, making basic pages and such.

I took a course where I trained in a very old language, don't remember the name but it involved basic logic and drawing on the screen with Pen Up and Pen Down functions.

In middle school I would spend my algebra class programming games on my TI-83 calculator. I even made a little maze with sprites and collision ... it was messy and used a ton of space, but it was fun.

I took a week long summer course where I learned the basics of C++.

Later I had a class in high school which pretty much taught the same basics in C++ again.

In college I went for a degree in computer science. I had basic courses on C and Java and a LOT of work with theory, algorithms, operating systems, and networking. Most of my college experience did NOT involve hands-on code work and I consider it to have been mostly a waste of time and money.

I did some C++ on my own but I got a little lost when coming to Windows programming and DirectX.

Out of college, I have been working at a large company in New England that creates medical software (for hospitals, etc). Unfortunately, they use all their own proprietary stuff... so I have 2 years experience in languages that don't transition anywhere.

I say all this to convey 1 point: My programming experience, although lengthy, is a bit of a mess.

I recently started getting into Java again seriously. As of last night, I am getting into creating GUI's. I find everything makes sense and is cleverly done. However, my main concern is in how powerful the language is. I have always been interested in game design. While I don't know if I will ever work for a large company, I still have a strong interest to work on my own projects (at least for now). I'm sure Java is just fine for 2D games. I'm sure Java can handle 3D graphics. But it seems to be widely known that Java is not used for large scale graphic-intensive projects.

I'm ok with that *for now* as I will not be touching any of that. However, in the future, should I want to venture into new territory, I'd rather not need to transition to a new language simply because Java isn't able to handle it.

So.. the questions. (Also the TL;DR .. although if you're answering, I'd prefer if you'd specify if you read the above or not)

1) Is it worth learning all the in's and outs of Java, getting proficient in it and able to complete projects even if I will never be able to do anything too powerful?

2) Is it possible that Java will progress in such a way that it will someday be comparable to C#/C++ in terms of 3D graphics and performance?

3) If no to #1 and #2, where should I turn?


Thank you for reading

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Replies To: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:02 AM

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1) Is it worth learning all the in's and outs of Java, getting proficient in it and able to complete projects even if I will never be able to do anything too powerful?

Java is a powerful language. If you're judging "power" by "is it the industry standard for game programming?" then that's not a good metric. Java is used in a lot of industry and enterprise grade applications. I work as a Java developer, as do a lot of people on DIC.

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2) Is it possible that Java will progress in such a way that it will someday be comparable to C#/C++ in terms of 3D graphics and performance?

It's on par with C# already. In a lot of cases, it can match C++. This isn't the 90's where Java was very slow.
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#3 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:03 AM

I guess there's no "Edit" button, so I'll have to reply - sorry.

I just wanted to specify that I will be focusing primarily on the PC platform, Windows specifically. I think it would be neat to someday get into Android stuff but .. not today.
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#4 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:08 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 24 June 2013 - 09:02 AM, said:

It's on par with C# already. In a lot of cases, it can match C++. This isn't the 90's where Java was very slow.


Huh. That's really good to know. I've been looking through articles all morning that repeat over and over: "Don't use Java, it will not come close to what C++ can do". Some of the articles were somewhat dated (anywhere from 2-6 years ago) but I couldn't seem to find anything more recent.

It's good to know Java has progressed quite a bit. It also seems like many job openings specifically mention experience in Java ... I do not plan on working for my current company for too much longer.
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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:11 AM

View PostJTG2003, on 24 June 2013 - 10:58 AM, said:

1) Is it worth learning all the in's and outs of Java, getting proficient in it and able to complete projects even if I will never be able to do anything too powerful?

2) Is it possible that Java will progress in such a way that it will someday be comparable to C#/C++ in terms of 3D graphics and performance?

3) If no to #1 and #2, where should I turn?


Skipped most of the post, honestly.

1) Yes, it's always worth knowing a system in depth. This helps you learn other systems in depth. Also, in terms of raw crass commerciality, there's a bazillion jobs in java in any given city, and this will probably be true for your working lifetime - if that's interesting to you. The question you wanted to ask is, is there something that's more worth doing. The answer to that depends on your priorities. Sorry, but it's about you. If you want to program games (why? it's not like playing games...) then no, Java isn't in great demand for game programming.
2) Will Java become a hot game programming language? Not likely, IMO. A game programmer would have a better outlook on this, but I don't see game programmers crying out to work in Java.
3) My gut feeling is, you're looking for a tool that will solve your problems for you. No such tool exists. You will not solve anything by bouncing from tool to tool - instead, learn a language deeply, get what you can out of it, and find the limitations. Once you understand those limitations, and why they exists, you can look for a language that has different limitations.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 24 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:16 AM

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I took a course where I trained in a very old language, don't remember the name but it involved basic logic and drawing on the screen with Pen Up and Pen Down functions.

We call that 'Logo'.
https://en.wikipedia...ing_language%29
http://logosim.blogspot.com/


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In college I went for a degree in computer science. I had basic courses on C and Java and a LOT of work with theory, algorithms, operating systems, and networking. Most of my college experience did NOT involve hands-on code work and I consider it to have been mostly a waste of time and money.

I doubt it was a waste of your time.. but then again that is why it is the science of computing and not some sort of two year techincal certificate that slams a fist full of languages at you, tests you on syntax, and kicks you out the door. Comp Sci doesn't end at *just* syntax, you know? If you had issues seeing why stepping out of the synatx was important and necessary for a comp sci degree then.. well, you are right. It was probably a waste of time and money.

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I did some C++ on my own but I got a little lost when coming to Windows programming and DirectX.

Let me guess - tried making a video game?

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Out of college, I have been working at a large company in New England that creates medical software (for hospitals, etc). Unfortunately, they use all their own proprietary stuff... so I have 2 years experience in languages that don't transition anywhere.

yeah, but you applied the mechanics of programming, right? This proprietary language had variables, loops, required state diagrams, logic, etc? Don't get all hung up on the syntax.


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However, in the future, should I want to venture into new territory, I'd rather not need to transition to a new language simply because Java isn't able to handle it.

Sure, but you probably will, right? I mean languages are just tools to get to an end. Trying to button up your work to a single language silo is just.. silly.


Quote

1) Is it worth learning all the in's and outs of Java, getting proficient in it and able to complete projects even if I will never be able to do anything too powerful?

Sure.. especially if there are jobs in your area or you would think about making Android apps.


Quote

2) Is it possible that Java will progress in such a way that it will someday be comparable to C#/C++ in terms of 3D graphics and performance?

Barring the required "anything is possible" - no.

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3) If no to #1 and #2, where should I turn?

Is this just in the context of video games? If so then C++.. get into DirectX, OpenGL, etc. If it is context for a career in the business world then you need to start providing more information on what you plan on doing, where you plan on being, where you are having issues in performance reviews, etc.
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#7 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:18 AM

Some games exist in Java.

The famous "Minecraft" is written in Java.

But yes, Java isn't exactly known for rendering 3d graphics well directly. You'd have to connect into hardware acceleration via something like OpenGL or DirectX. There is many libraries to facilitate hooking java into OpenGL... not so many for DX though (DX is windows only, java is cross platform, if you want to do DX... use a language more suited for it, like C++).

This means though that you'd have to write your game engine from the ground up... or use one of the very few Java based game engines. And seeing as Java isn't a common language used for game dev, there aren't many, and they aren't as fully featured as in other places.

Most game engines out there tend to be written in C++ and has a scripting language on top of the engine. The scripting language might be proprietary, like 'unrealscript' for the 'Unreal Game Engine'. Others might be common languages ran in the runtime, like Unity uses the mono runtime to allow scripting with either C#, Boo, or a variation of javascript called 'unityscript'.




I'd also like to point out that tethering yourself to a single language isn't good practice. A good programmer doesn't think in a specific language, they think like a programmer, and should be able to use multiple languages. The programming language is just the tool they use to write the program they want to write.

Like how a carpenter has a workshop full of tools. It depends on the task they are working on to decide which tool to use. And they'd never restrict themselves to only 1 or 2 of those tools (unless they were in an entertaining mood and just wanted to challenge themselves).
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#8 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:30 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 24 June 2013 - 09:11 AM, said:

Skipped most of the post, honestly.

Thanks for the honesty :)/>

Quote

1) Yes, it's always worth knowing a system in depth. This helps you learn other systems in depth. Also, in terms of raw crass commerciality, there's a bazillion jobs in java in any given city, and this will probably be true for your working lifetime - if that's interesting to you. The question you wanted to ask is, is there something that's more worth doing. The answer to that depends on your priorities. Sorry, but it's about you. If you want to program games (why? it's not like playing games...) then no, Java isn't in great demand for game programming.


I actually enjoy creating games more than I do playing them. I have no idea why, it's just how I am. I even take the proprietary language I work with at my job that was designed for creating interfaces for hospitals and I turn them into games.

Job market is an important factor, absolutely.

Quote

3) My gut feeling is, you're looking for a tool that will solve your problems for you. No such tool exists. You will not solve anything by bouncing from tool to tool - instead, learn a language deeply, get what you can out of it, and find the limitations. Once you understand those limitations, and why they exists, you can look for a language that has different limitations.


I am not looking for a tool to do anything for me. Quite the opposite. There are many software packages designed for easy game creation and I have avoided them all.

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View Postmodi123_1, on 24 June 2013 - 09:16 AM, said:

Let me guess - tried making a video game?


Not exactly - tried to do ANYTHING relating to graphics. All of my C++ experience is in console applications. I just wanted to represent something graphically.

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yeah, but you applied the mechanics of programming, right? This proprietary language had variables, loops, required state diagrams, logic, etc? Don't get all hung up on the syntax.


This is true. I keep trying to tell myself this. The real concern is when I apply for another job and say "No, I don't have X years in java/c++/etc but I DO have 2 years working with this language you've never heard of ... ".

Quote

Sure, but you probably will, right? I mean languages are just tools to get to an end. Trying to button up your work to a single language silo is just.. silly.


Yes. I know I will not be learning a single language and using it for the rest of my life. But with now with work .. it's hard enough for me to dedicate the time to learn another language in my free time. I just want to make sure it will be worthwhile (and if I can have some fun along the way, all the better).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Thanks for the replies everyone. I am going to stick with Java for now. I will learn it, make some neat 2D games with it and build up experience which I will use to land a better job. Sometime in the future, I will turn to another language and dabble around with some advanced graphics.

I feel like I may not have done a great job conveying my original points which led to some misunderstandings, but I appreciate everyone taking the time to reply.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:49 AM

View PostJTG2003, on 24 June 2013 - 11:30 AM, said:

I actually enjoy creating games more than I do playing them. I have no idea why, it's just how I am. I even take the proprietary language I work with at my job that was designed for creating interfaces for hospitals and I turn them into games.


Most game programming, as I understand it, is not about the creative side, the making up the game part. If you want to create games, you might really give some thought to Android development. It's very possible to come up with a small idea, develop it yourself, and release it for Android phones, and you can even make some money at it. Some of our members here have experience with that last part, and you can probably start a nice big bloody argument about the best strategies for monetizing an app, if you try. But first you should probably develop a game.

Android is typically (but not necessarily) programmed in Java, though there are a lot of differences between writing for the mobile and writing for a desktop machine.

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I am not looking for a tool to do anything for me. Quite the opposite. There are many software packages designed for easy game creation and I have avoided them all.


Failure of communication on my part, sorry. To me, a language is a tool, a tool for communicating my will to the computer. So jumping from language to language - a common urge, and one I'm very familiar with - is tool-hopping in my world.
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#10 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:06 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 24 June 2013 - 09:49 AM, said:

Most game programming, as I understand it, is not about the creative side, the making up the game part. If you want to create games, you might really give some thought to Android development.


I'm not sure what it is that drives me to enjoy game development, but there's never been a question about my enjoyment of it. Quite a bit of what I enjoy is simulation and automaton. Different functions working together independent of user interaction.. then throwing a user into the mix.

I've created many games (or half games) with this proprietary language. Most recently, I created a 2D map which simulates terrain deformation over time (creation of mountains, river, lakes, etc). I had a lot of fun making it. I've also created an infinite randomly generated dungeon complete with items, objects, and monsters. I say all this to stress the point that I am certain game development is a passion of mine. I love it.

I've thought about Android development, although never toooo seriously. I see Android applications as a great place to get some attention and possibly make some money out of it... and if money were the driving goal, I would probably start there. Right now I just want to delve in and be able to create some of the stuff I do in this proprietary language in a REAL language.

Oops, messed up the quote. Should have previewed it.

Forum really needs an edit button. :-/

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 24 June 2013 - 10:08 AM
Reason for edit:: Fixed quote tag

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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:08 AM

View PostJTG2003, on 24 June 2013 - 12:06 PM, said:

Forum really needs an edit button. :-/


Patience, grasshopper. Good things come.
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#12 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:09 AM

There is an edit button, but edit permissions were removed for members with less than 16 posts, and have are tightly restricted for most members with less than 50 posts. We made this change to stop people from getting help, then removing the contents of their posts.
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#13 JTG2003  Icon User is offline

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Re: Love Java so far .. but I'm concerned..

Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:11 AM

Good to know :) Thanks for fixing the post.
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