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To Java or Not To Java: Not Really a Question Anymore

Friday, October 29, 2010 | 12:59 pm

Well, I've decided to finally take the plunge and brush-up/relearn Java. It's been almost 9 years since I've even looked at anything Java, but it has become abhorrently apparent in recent months that I need to pick up the Java-cup and take a heaping slurp.

What prompted me to take on, yet another, language, you ask? Well, it seems that to have any kind of chance with large, corporate development you need to have Java on your resume. Sadly, since it's been so long, I can barely remember anything Java. I know I won't have an issue picking it back since I've been programming in some form of a C-language or C-derivative since I decided to leave the world of BASIC behind many, many years ago.

Also, since it has been so long, I've decided to just go back to basics. The bad thing about this is that I hate going back to basics. Even the phrase. But, go back to the beginning I must. Given that the language has most definitely evolved over the last decade warrants this, too. Even if I tried to jump in head-first, I'd most likely smack bottom and have a cracked skull.

A bad trait of mine is that I hate learning from a book. I've always had trouble with that. All the programming I've ever learned has been by doing and trial-and-error techniques. Thankfully, over the years, and through the trial-and-error, I've learned better programming techniques and practices which has helped me to better learn new languages. I've only recently tried to learn from a technology from a book. And that was my short foray into the world of 3D programming, but that's another post.

So, given my lack of patience to textbook-learning, I've done what I typically do and find some nice online sources. I love the internet, most likely the main reason why I'm in the business I am.

I've found a few Java IDEs that look to be nice, but until I actually get in them and play around, I won't know which one I'll be using from now on. The one that grabbed me as being the most familiar was NetBeans . That name just jumped out as something I remember from somewhere… but can't quite put my finger on what or where. We shall see.

Second, I found one that I couldn't tell if it was really a good IDE or not, but it seems to have some nice utilities and functionality that I will be able to use. It's from a company I've never heard of but, by the design of the site itself, looks to be made by good programmers. You can always tell how much of a back-end programmer someone is and how deep they are into coding by the lack of any creative design. I know, I know, that sounds harsh, and it is. It's from a company called JetBrains and the IDE is called IntelliJ IDEA . See what I mean by lack of creativity?

Now. I know you're thinking, "Man, saying that someone is a good coder by the lack of creativity is a really harsh statement." And, I agree with you. I, myself, have struggled for years (and still do) to have any kind of creative aspect to my site designs. My first designs were so devoid of creativity, they looked like Lego blocks stacked on a web page. So, when I say that, I'm not doing it without any personal experience.

Back on topic. Java development, yes.

I'm hoping to be able to find some decent examples, more tutorials and products to play with and learn more about Java as I go. If anyone has examples, links or just advice, please feel free to comment.

Learning the Ropes

Friday, April 16, 2010 | 5:27 pm

Well, for the last few weeks I've been trying to get some research done on Game Design. I picked up a few books off of Amazon (Game Engine Architecture , 3D Game Programming All in One & Game Coding Complete, Third Edition to be specific) a few weeks ago and I'm still on the first one (Game Engine Architecture) to help me get my head around the mechanics and typical design techniques of today's games.

To say the least, I've been a bad student. I haven't been doing my homework, putting off studying and just plain watching TV instead of doing what I should be doing. But no more , I say! Don't get me wrong, I haven't been lazy. I'm one of those people that, when I sit down to read a book, I get comfortable…. and subsequently fall asleep. Regardless of my interest in the book I'm reading, I go to the land of the sugarplum fairies.

I think I may have an answer for my predicament, though. I don't know if I'm going to enjoy my solution, but it has to be done. I'm going to sit on the floor. Simple, yes. Easy, not for my rear.

Granted, the first book I'm reading actually is a textbook. i.e. The book you would get if taking a class on Game Design & Architecture. So, cut me a little slack that I'm still on the first chapter. Plus, it is 864 pages long and that's not a small paperback book, either. It's a whopping 9.4" x 8.2" x 2" hardcover badass of a book. This thing could knock someone out if it fell off a second story window.

Why am I posting this, you ask? While I haven't been the most avid of posters, I may be posting less than normal… even for me. In the last year I have posted more and about more than in the past. But, there may be benefits from peaking into my den once in a while. As I explore these tomes of knowledge and try to wring every morsel of juicy goodness from them that I can, I will most assuredly be posting my experiments up here. The first ones I'll most likely leave off and allow them to whither in the dank, dark pit that they will most likely be thrown into on my machine since they will undoubtedly make me think, "What the hell was I thinking making that?" You know, kinda how Dr. Frankenstein thought when he made the Frankenstein Poodle. Nobody likes to speak of it.

So, if you share my enthusiasm for learning all that is game, check out the books I posted and, if you have any to suggest, please leave a comment.

Until next time!

New look

Sunday, October 11, 2009 | 2:10 am

Well, as I tend to do, I got bored with the old (new) layout. It was only about 4 months old, but I got tired of it kinda quick. So, I’ve spent the last couple days doing up this new look. Hopefully the navigation and overall look of the site is better for everyone… and my sanity.

There is a little less screen-space to use, but I was able to make sure everything fit into place without being cramped. But don’t worry, all of goodies that have always been here are still available.