John Tabbone

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Top Stories by John Tabbone

"Hi, everybody!" the large programmer/teacher announces as he bounces into a class full of aspiring Java programmers. "Welcome to Java." My name is John Tabbone. I teach Java at NYU's Information Technologies Institute. ITI is a professional program and the students who enroll in my course typically have a diverse skill set. The usual makeup of a class includes C++ programmers, VB and PB developers, Cobol/Mainframe people and a few people whose only programming experience is seeing the new Java commercials. We run the gamut. But beneath the variety of technical backgrounds is the common desire to learn about Java. People take my class for one of two reasons: They are anticipating a life change or they need to learn something specific for a project they are working on. Regardless, I have found that to learn Java, there is a need to understand principles. Even the seas... (more)

Layout Managers

My last column covered Components, Containers and Events. The material discussed Java's different kinds of Components, the class structure, how Components generate events and how those events can be handled. We discussed the differences between Components and Containers. To recap, Component is the base class for all user interface widgets. A Container is a descendant of Component whose sole purpose is to hold other Components. For example, if you were to create a user interface and you wanted to add several buttons and text areas, you would create instances of the appropriate cla... (more)

Becoming Friends with GridBagLayout

My last column focused on several of Java's LayoutManagers, which are constructs used by developers to position Components within Containers using logic instead of pixel coordinates. We discussed all of Java's LayoutManagers except GridBagLayout, which is the focus of this article. Of all of Java's LayoutManagers, GridBagLayout offers the developer the most precision in positioning Components. This ability comes at a great expense, as GridBagLayout is the most complicated (and probably the most poorly documented) LayoutManager in the AWT. GridBagLayout works integrally with a hel... (more)

Polymorphism

My last column introduced you to object orientation and discussed how some of the principles are expressed in Java. In particular, we were working with a chess example. Also, there was an assignment. You were to think about the classes: mammal, human and canine, and how one might use Java notation and inheritance to describe this small taxonomy system. This column will continue with OO by reviewing the assignment and explain a powerful feature called polymorphism. Remember that the principal thrust of OO is to model a system. A system is composed of objects and the relationships... (more)

Welcome to OO part 1

"Hi Everybody," John Tabbone announces as he walks into a class full of aspiring Java students. "Today, we are starting a multi-part class on object-orientation, OO for short." The students lean forward as if they were engaged in a campfire story. "I have heard the term before; John said it is central to Java programming," thinks one typical student. "I read somewhere that OO will probably be the dominant programming style until the end of the millennium," thinks the first student's typical classmate. Object Orientation is a way of thinking. It is a tool used to model a system a... (more)