Getting started in VW is likely easier than this - after you get it downloaded and installed. None of this:
First question: "what's a PATH"? I indulged in a brief description of command processing shells. This only led to obvious follow up questions which quickly forced me to confront the fact that, despite ten years of experience with computers, this teenager had never spent any time typing commands at the DOS shell. That's because he never needed to. Returning to the key question of how exactly to "add Java to your PATH" I was greatly relieved to find out that my student had already found a likely looking chat forum, asked about doing this, and within a few minutes recieved the proper incantations. Which was a good thing, since my memory of hacking the DOS PATH has me struggling to edit a long line of crytpic text through a small window in some kind of shell environment editor dialog mess. For the last N years I've been using Cygwin and bash and although that's more familiar to me, I'd hate to have to try and convince a teenager of its charms.
As fate would have it, the fun was only beginning. Our Java programming book began with the legendary "Hello World" example. Creating the text in WordPad was easy enough, but where to put the file? No, not in the C:\J2DSK Folder (what's Java doing there anyway?), and not at the top level in the "My Documents" folder. I advised creating a HelloWorld subfolder for the app. More confusion about getting the "Command Prompt" started in the correct working directory and then (finally) typing:> javac helloworld javac: invalid flag: helloworld
With hands waving I explain that javac isn't going to just guess that the file you're referring to is "HelloWorld.java". Software that can't be relied upon to DTRT isn't common in the teenage world of game consoles and web sites and chat clients; but we persevered. Sadly, it feels like climbing up a steep hill with a backpack. And the backpack just got heavier.
heh. VW - in a workspace, type: Transcript show: 'Hello World'. Highlight with the mouse, pick 'Do it' from the pop up menu. Yes, there are issues with getting started in Smalltalk
- The download/install experience needs work
- You can get buried in the blizzard of classes
However, the latter is true if Java as well, and the former - we are working on. In the meantime, we don't have the arcana seen above...