Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 1
Getting Started
Java Programming
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Chapter 1: Getting Started
First Thing First: Syllabus
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Chapter 1: Getting Started
A First Look at Programming
• Have you programmed before?
• Programming is everywhere
– Set an alarm
– Configure your AC
– Can you program your boyfriend/girlfriend?
• Program (a dictionary definition): to encode
specific operating instructions into (a machine or
apparatus)
• Before we learn programming, we need to know
some basic concepts of computers.
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1.1 What Do Computers Do?
• A computer system is an integrated collection of
hardware and software components.
• Hardware refers to the electronics inside a
computer.
• Software consists of programs that tell the
hardware what to do.
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Types of Computer Systems
• Some computer systems are embedded within
other objects. These are called embedded systems.
• Other computer systems are intended for direct
use by humans (users).
• Some systems support multiple simultaneous
users, while others are limited to one user at a
time.
• Systems in the latter category are usually called
personal computers, although high-end singleuser systems are often called workstations.
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Hardware
• Processors
– Central processing unit, or CPU
– Specialized processors, such as a graphics processor
• Memory
– Main memory, or RAM (random-access memory)
– ROM (read-only memory)
– Hard disks, floppy disks, and other storage media
• Peripheral devices
– Provide an interface to the world outside the system
– Include keyboards, mice, monitors, printers, and modems
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Software
• Software consists of programs that instruct the
hardware how to perform operations.
• A program is a step-by-step set of instructions.
• Categories of software:
– Operating systems. A collection of programs that interact
directly with the computer’s hardware.
– Applications. Programs designed to perform useful tasks for
humans.
• An operating system serves as a bridge between
hardware and applications.
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Platforms
• The combination of an operating system and a
particular type of CPU is often called a platform.
• Software usually works only on a single platform.
• Java programs, however, will run on multiple
platforms without change.
• Most of the time, a computer system has only one
operating system but many applications.
• Applications are usually designed for one
particular version of an operating system.
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1.2 Ways of Interacting with Computers
• Most applications need to communicate, or
“interface,” with the user by displaying
information for the user to see and accepting
commands from the user.
• Primary types of user interfaces:
– Graphical user interfaces
– Text-based interfaces
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Graphical User Interfaces
• Most applications now rely on a graphical user
interface, or GUI (pronounced “gooey”) built out
of visual components.
• When a GUI program is run, it displays a window
on the screen.
• The window is composed of thousands of tiny
pixels (picture elements), each with its own color.
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Visual Components
• Within a GUI window are visual components that
display information to the user and allow the user
to perform actions.
• Common types of components:
–
–
–
–
Buttons
Menus
Popup menus
Text areas
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A Microsoft Word Window
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Dialog Boxes
• Performing certain actions will cause other
windows to appear.
• These dialog boxes or dialogs are used to display
information to the user and/or accept input from
the user.
• One type of dialog box is called a file dialog box
or a file dialog.
• A file dialog allows the user to choose a file.
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A File Dialog Box
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Window Operations
• Basic window operations:
–
–
–
–
Minimizing
Maximizing
Restoring
Closing
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A Restored Window
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Origin of the Graphical User Interface
• Graphical user interfaces were developed during
the 1970s at Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto
Research Center.
• Apple Computer incorporated the GUI approach
into a computer called the Lisa, which flopped.
• Apple tried again and made a success of the
Macintosh, the first widely used computer to
support a graphical user interface.
• Microsoft Corporation later developed Windows
for the IBM Personal Computer and its clones.
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Text-Based Interfaces
• Before the advent of graphical user interfaces,
programs used a text-based interface, in which all
input and output consisted of characters.
• In a text-based interface, no graphics are
displayed, and user commands are entered from
the keyboard.
• Text-based programs are normally run from a
command line.
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Command-Line Prompts
• Typical Unix command-line prompt:
%
• Typical DOS command-line prompt:
C:>
• The DOS prompt is often configured to display the
“current directory”:
C:\WINDOWS>
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DOS Windows
• Operating systems that provide a graphical user
interface may still allow the user to run text-based
programs from a command line.
• In Windows, the user can open a “DOS window,”
which allows programs to be run from a DOS-like
command line.
• A DOS window is normally capable of displaying
up to 25 lines, with each line limited to 80
characters.
• Several DOS windows can be open at a time.
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A DOS Window
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Running Programs in a DOS Window
• A text-based program can be run within a DOS
window by simply typing the name of the
program.
• For example, DOS provides a program named
edit that can edit files.
• To run the program, type edit and press the
Enter key.
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Running EDIT in a DOS Window
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Chapter 1: Getting Started
1.3 What Is Programming?
• Programming means writing down a series of
instructions that tell a computer what to do.
• Properties of these instructions:
– Computation proceeds in discrete steps.
– Each step is precisely defined.
– The order in which steps are performed may be
important.
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Algorithms
• A set of instructions with these properties is said
to be an algorithm.
• The steps in an algorithm are not always short and
simple.
– Some steps may involve a series of smaller steps.
– Some steps may involve making decisions.
– Some steps may repeat.
• Algorithms are common in the real world.
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A Real-World Algorithm
Melt slowly and keep warm:
1/2 cup butter
Barely heat:
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, dry sherry, or tarragon vinegar
Have ready a small saucepan of boiling water and a tablespoon with which to
measure it when ready. Place in the top of a double boiler over—not in—hot water:
3 egg yolks
Beat the yolks with a wire whisk until they begin to thicken. Add:
1 tablespoon boiling water
Beat again until the eggs begin to thicken. Repeat this process until you have added:
3 more tablespoons water
Then beat in the warm lemon juice. Remove double boiler from heat. Beat the sauce
well with a wire whisk. Continue to beat while slowly adding the melted butter and:
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few grains cayenne
Beat until the sauce is thick. Serve at once.
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The Recipe (Reformatted)
1. Melt slowly and keep warm: 1/2 cup butter.
2. Barely heat: 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, dry sherry, or tarragon
vinegar.
3. Have ready a small saucepan of boiling water and a tablespoon with
which to measure it when ready.
4. Place in the top of a double boiler over—not in—hot water: 3 egg
yolks.
5. Beat the yolks with a wire whisk until they begin to thicken. Add: 1
tablespoon boiling water.
6. Beat again until the eggs begin to thicken. Repeat this process until
you have added: 3 more tablespoons water.
7. Then beat in the warm lemon juice.
8. Remove double boiler from heat.
9. Beat the sauce well with a wire whisk. Continue to beat while slowly
adding the melted butter and: 1/4 teaspoon salt; a few grains cayenne.
10.Beat until the sauce is thick.
11.Serve at once.
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The Recipe as an Algorithm
• This recipe satisfies most of the requirements for an
algorithm:
– It involves discrete steps.
– Each step is more or less precisely defined.
– The order of the steps matters, at least to some extent.
• Some steps require making decisions and repeating
actions.
• This recipe is detailed enough for an experienced cook,
but it might pose problems for a novice.
• Computer algorithms need to be much more precise.
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Computer Algorithms
• Computer algorithms often involve obtaining input,
performing a calculation, and producing output.
• An algorithm for converting from Fahrenheit to
Celsius:
1. Display a message asking the user to enter a Fahrenheit
temperature.
2. Obtain the input entered by the user.
3. Convert the user’s input into numerical form.
4. Calculate the equivalent Celsius temperature, using the formula
C = (F – 32)  (5 / 9)
5. Convert the Celsius temperature into character form and display
the result.
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Analysis of the Temperature
Conversion Algorithm
• It’s not clear how to display information to the
user and obtain the user’s input. That will depend
on whether the program is GUI or text-based.
• Step 3 (converting the user’s input to numerical
form) is a bit fuzzy: What action should be taken
if the input is not in the form of a number?
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Ways to Express Algorithms
• Natural languages. Allows anyone who
understands that language to read the algorithm,
but lacks precision.
• Programming languages. Precise, yet simple
enough for computers to understand.
• Pseudocode. A mixture of natural language and a
programming language. More precise than natural
language but less precise than a programming
language. Often easier to read (and to write) than a
programming language.
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What are needed in a program?
How to express the following statement?
Whenever you see me, smile 
•
•
•
Actions:  method, operation
• see; smile
Data associated with actions:  variables, attributes
• distance, degree of smile, duration of smile
Logic:  control structures
• condition (whenever); repeat (keep smiling)
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1.4 Storing Data
• Computer algorithms manipulate data.
• The term data refers to information, particularly
information that’s stored in a uniform and
systematic fashion.
• The Fahrenheit-to-Celsius algorithm deals with
several items of data, including two numbers (a
Fahrenheit temperature and its Celsius equivalent).
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Numeric Data
• Humans usually write numbers in decimal (base
10), using the digits 0 through 9.
• Computers store numbers in binary (base 2).
• In binary, numbers consist of bits (binary digits),
each of which is either 0 or 1.
• Inside a computer, each number is represented by
a fixed number of 0s and 1s.
• Typical representations of –97 and 31.125:
–97
31.125
11111111111111111111111110011110
01000001111110010000000000000000
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Numeric Data
• The encoding scheme for integers is different from
the one for nonintegers.
• Numbers that contain a decimal point are often
called floating-point numbers, because they’re
stored in a form of scientific notation that allows
the decimal point to “float.”
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Character Data
• Characters are stored as numeric codes.
• There are several codes in common use; the one
that Java uses is named Unicode.
• In Unicode, each character has a 16-bit code.
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Character Data
• How “Susan Cole” would be stored in Unicode:
S
u
s
a
n
space
C
o
l
e
0000000001010011
0000000001110101
0000000001110011
0000000001100001
0000000001101110
0000000000100000
0000000001000011
0000000001101111
0000000001101100
0000000001100101
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Bytes
• Most computers group bits into larger units called
bytes, which usually contain eight bits.
• A number typically occupies four bytes (32 bits).
• A Unicode character occupies two bytes (16 bits).
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Variables
• Locations that are used to store data within a
program are known as variables.
• Variables are given names by the programmer.
• It’s best to choose a name that suggests what data
the variable stores.
Good names:
fahrenheitTemperature fahrenheitTemp
fahrenheit
Poor names:
fahr f a x temp
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Types
• Each variable stores a particular type of data.
• In the Fahrenheit-to-Celsius algorithm, the user’s
input will be a sequence of characters.
• The Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures will be
numbers, possibly with digits after the decimal
point.
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Temperature Conversion Algorithm
with Variable Names Added
1. Display a message asking the user to enter a Fahrenheit
temperature.
2. Obtain the input entered by the user and store it into
userInput.
3. Convert userInput into numerical form and store the
result into fahrenheit.
4. Calculate the equivalent Celsius temperature using the
formula
celsius = (fahrenheit – 32)  (5 / 9)
5. Convert the value of celsius to character form and
display the result.
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1.5 Programming Languages
• Creating programs requires that algorithms be
expressed in a highly precise language that’s
specifically designed for computers.
• Every computer comes with such a language,
known as machine language.
• Each CPU has its own machine language.
• Machine language is extremely primitive, making
it difficult to write even simple programs.
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High-Level Languages
• Most programmers use high-level languages that
aren’t tied to a particular computer.
• Common high-level languages:
– Ada (named for Ada Lovelace)
– BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction
Code)
– C
– C++
– COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language)
– FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation)
– Pascal (named after Blaise Pascal)
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History of Java
• Java’s predecessor was Oak, a language designed
by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems.
• Oak was given the more-marketable name “Java”
in January 1995.
• Java was officially announced in May 1995.
• The first official release of Java occurred in
February 1996, when Sun made available version
1.0 of the Java Development Kit.
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Writing and Executing a Program
• Writing a program in a high-level language
requires creating a file containing source code.
• Source code is not executable—there is no direct
way for a computer to follow the commands that it
contains.
• Executing (or running) the program requires
special software.
• Approaches to executing a program:
– Compilation
– Interpretation
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Compilation
• The program’s source code is given to a program
called a compiler.
• The compiler checks that the source code is valid
(obeys the rules of the language) and translates it
to machine instructions for a particular CPU.
• The compiled program is stored in a file, and it
can be run as many times as desired.
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Interpretation
• The program’s source code is given to a program
known as an interpreter.
• The interpreter executes the program without first
translating it to machine instructions.
• The interpreter itself is normally a compiled
program, so it can execute machine instructions
corresponding to the source code.
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Java’s Approach
• Java employs a combination of compilation and
interpretation.
• The Java compiler translates the original program
into bytecode instructions for a computer called
the Java Virtual Machine.
• The resulting bytecode program is then executed
by an interpreter.
• One advantage of Java’s approach is that
programs don’t need a particular CPU or operating
system.
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1.6 Why Java?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Simple
Object-oriented
Distributed
Robust
Architecture-neutral
Portable
Interpreted
Multithreaded
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1.7 The Programming Process
1. Write a specification for the program.
2. Design the program.
3. Choose algorithms and decide how data will be
stored.
4. Write the program.
5. Compile the program.
6. Execute the program.
7. Debug the program.
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Program Maintenance
• Most of the time, there’s an additional step in the
programming process: maintenance.
• Reasons for maintenance:
– Fix bugs
– Add enhancements
– Adapt to changes in the program’s specification
• Maintenance is often the costliest step in the
programming process.
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The Y2K Problem
• The Year 2000 problem (or Y2K problem) is the
biggest maintenance problem in the history of
computers.
• In programs that work with dates, years are often
stored as a series of characters.
• Prior to the 1990s, it was common for programs to
use two characters for each year.
• Programs that compare dates would be in danger
of confusing 2000 with 1900.
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1.8 What You Need to Know
• A file is a collection of related data.
• In many operating systems, a file name includes
an extension that indicates the type of data stored
in the file.
• Common Windows file extensions:
.exe (executable program)
.doc (document)
.gif, .jpg (image)
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File Operations
• Basic file operations:
–
–
–
–
–
Create
Edit
Copy
Rename
Delete
• A file can be created or edited by using an editor or
word processor.
• An editor is a program that can create or modify a file
containing text (ordinary characters).
• A word processor has the added ability to format text.
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Directories
• A directory is a place where files can be kept.
• Directories are also known as folders.
• Directories are normally organized in a tree-like
fashion, with a “root” directory that contains other
directories as well as files.
• Basic directory operations:
– Create a directory
– Move from one directory to another
– List the files in a directory
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Executing Programs
• In a GUI environment, a program is executed (or
launched) by clicking on an icon or by choosing
the program from a menu.
• In a text-based environment, a program is
executed by typing its name.
• A program that isn’t in the current directory can
still be executed as long as the operating system
knows where to look for the program.
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