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  Rethinking the Java Curriculum: Goodbye, HelloWorld!
Subject:   What HelloWorld is good for
Date:   2002-08-22 15:27:38
From:   ljagged
I think that you're missing a couple of the good points of HelloWorld.

1) It's small. It's about as small as you can get and still have some working code.

2) It provides feedback to the user. By actually printing something to the screen, the user -- a newbie by definition -- gets immediate feedback that s/he did something right.

3) It's friendly. It's hard not to feel good when you see the cheerful 'Hello World!' staring at you from the terminal window.

I agree with you that HelloWorld doesn't teach good OO practices, but I think the purpose of HelloWorld is to show the user that everything is set up correctly for some real programming to occur. It's more of a system check than a model of the RightThing.

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Showing messages 1 through 2 of 2.

  • What HelloWorld is good for
    2003-04-21 09:54:22  anonymous2 [View]

    So why not write an OOP version of Hello World
    such as

    public class HelloWorld
    public void displayMessage()
    System.out.println("Hello World");

    Now create a HelloWorld object in BlueJ and
    invoke its displayMessage method.
  • Daniel H. Steinberg photo I thought I said that in the article
    2002-08-22 18:42:32  Daniel H. Steinberg | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Not to be argumentative -- but I said that HelloWorld "is a short, simple-to-write program with an immediately observable result." I believe those address (1) and (2).

    As for point (3), I admit I'm at a loss. I don't find the words 'Hello World!' staring at me from a terminal window as being cheerful or friendly.

    I also agree with your final point that HelloWorld is a system check and note in the article that this program is where the novice user first learns to use the editor, compiler, and first runs a Java application.

    In other words, given all of the traditional benefits of the HelloWorld program, I am still suggesting that it is not the best way to start a course in object oriented programming.