An Introduction to Scientific and Technical Computing with Java
By Clark S. Lindsey
By Johnny S. Tolliver
By Thomas Lindblad
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2005
Online Publication Date:January 2010
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511615948.003
If you buy one of those do-it-yourself furniture kits, the best way to start is to just dump all of those screws, nuts, planks, tools and other odd looking widgets on the floor, group them into piles of similar looking items, and then go read the instructions. Even if you don't know what all of those widgets are for, it helps to pick them up and look them over so that you become familiar with them and can recognize them in the instructions.
So rather than dribbling them out over several chapters, here we dump out most of the basic widgets needed to construct Java programs. The goal is to start to become familiar with Java's symbols, keywords, operators, expressions, and other building blocks of the language with which to construct programs. We provide examples and starter programs (on the Web Course) that allow you to begin to write programs without needing to understand yet all of these language elements at a deep level. You should refer back to this chapter as you proceed and as your understanding of the language increases.
Note that in this chapter we occasionally mention the terms class, method, and object. If you are new to object-oriented programming, do not worry about these terms for now. We discuss them in detail in the following chapters.
We begin with a listing of the basic elements and then outline the structure of a generic program.