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I understand the basics of Java and Object Oriented Programming so far, and am still working on refining my understanding of it. I have sought several different resources - two books and Oracle's own tutorials - but keep running into instances where the authors/tutorials explain things that assume understanding of the learner (like referencing arrays long before the basics are even finished being explained).

Throughout my efforts to gain a better understanding, I'm finding that visual presentations of the concepts and explanations (like trying to picture how the JVM is "thinking" through images).

It's difficult to summarize what I understand about programming, in general (I learned HTML and BASIC for the TI-83 calculators), but specifics to Java and beyond are, well, beyond me greatly. I need a resource, tutorial, IDE, or...something...that walks the learner through each step and makes little to no assumptions about the understanding the learner has about programming.

I'm also trying to see if there are any IDEs or drag-and-drop Android/Java programs (think Google's/MIT's App Inventor) that allow the programmer/learn to get started easily but still allows a great deal of flexibility in design while learning.

Last (and I apologize if this is a lot for one "question"), are there any advantages for me to be looking into an Android game engine at my level of Java programming skill (basically zero)?

Thank you.

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closed as not constructive by Nicol Bolas, Tetrad May 5 '12 at 19:05

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The "head first" series of books, Java is one, are very visual. They don't have the kind of IDE you're thinking of, though. I would recommend running line by line in a debugger but you'd had to have first written the code you don't know how to write and that's a bit of a problem. – Patrick Hughes May 5 '12 at 4:36
"Are there any" questions are something that is better answered by google. And without a specific problem to solve (i.e. "I'm trying to implement X and I'm not sure how, here's what I've tried"), this question is too open ended and not very suited for our Q&A format. I realize learning how to program is a daunting task, but this site is more geared towards people who are looking to solve problems in the general game development field. – Tetrad May 5 '12 at 19:05
Understood, Tetrad; thank you. I apologize for the open-ended nature of my "question". I tried to keep it to expectations, but I am still figuring things out. Just trying to find out what resources are out there. I appreciate your understanding of my situation, too. VERY kind of you to note that. Thank you, too, Patrick. I'll check out the "Head First" books. – Rhindon May 5 '12 at 23:13

No, there is not a drag-and-drop way to program, unless you're using a language specifically designed for drag-and-drop (which are not in any way easier than written programming, and can be nightmares).

No, you shouldn't be looking into making an Android game when you're an absolute newbie to programming in general and Java. Making a game isn't easy, so learn programming with more generic things first.

I can't answer your question about tutorials.

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Indeed, Android is not for the beginner, same goes for a game, start with super simple console based applications. Also, drag and drop anything is never a good way to learn to code. Those things produce the ugliest auto-generated code. – Byte56 May 5 '12 at 5:44
If I could learn how to THINK in Java, that would make things so much easier. I've already made some steps into Google's/MIT's App Inventor, which is the closest to drag-n-drop that I'll probably ever find for Java. I was starting to make some headway in the way Java syntax is set up...syntax being a major topic I wish to understand more of. @Byte56, what would you suggest for a "super simple console based app"? – Rhindon May 5 '12 at 23:17
@Rhindon Thinking in Java isn't a thing that happens. Thinking in terms of OOP, etc, is a thing that can happen. Also console based app? ANYTHING. Something simple. Input two numbers and output the sum of them. Input a string and it outputs it in reverse. Something which calculates the the Fibonacci sequence up to a certain number. Blackjack. You're overcomplicating this. – doppelgreener May 6 '12 at 0:38
@JonathanHobbs Indeed, I'm sure I am. For better or worse, that's just how I process things. I like to see the nit-picky details as much as I like the big picture. When I said "thinking in Java", I meant in terms of "seeing" the flow of data between objects and methods, etc. I do get the concept behind OOP, but what I'm also after is seeing how the computer/JVM reads the codes (granted, the Java source code is what WE read; the bytecode is what the computer reads). Anyway, I'll keep plugging away. If anyone has any other suggestions, thank you. – Rhindon May 6 '12 at 19:02

Besides the already mentioned great "Head First" book, you might also want to take a look at Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java". You already mentioned the Oracle Java Tutorials which are a good source of information in my opinion. Also take a look at the Javadocs of essential Java classes and try to read, understand and learn from the source code of existing Java projects. A book I always recommend when it comes to programming Java is "Effective Java" by Joshua Bloch, which will not help you at your current level, but will greatly improve your programming style after you understand the basics of Java.

Instead of using an IDE to help you learn programming in Java (I wouldn't know of such an IDE anyways), I'd rather recommend you to start using Java with a simple text editor (syntax highlightning should of course be supported). This way you have to do the essential stuff by hand - and that's the way to learn it.

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Thank you. :) I've actually begun reading Eckel's book, but he still tends to go into "basic" topics as if there is already an understanding of them while discussion other basic concepts. It's difficult to follow along sometimes because there's so much MORE to Java than I'm already familiar with (like the aforementioned TI-version of BASIC...which, I know, is nothing like Java). I've already got Eclipse, BlueJ, JCreator & NetBeans IDEs on my laptop. I like JCreator and NetBeans best so far... – Rhindon May 5 '12 at 23:27

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