Posts Tagged tutorial

Learning Languages: Java

The first thing you’ll need to consider is the development environment you want to use primarily. This is important as it will have an impact on how you run through tutorials and examples later on.

Environments can be broken down into two broad categories; command-line or a visual IDE. Both have their merits and you’ll eventually need to be familiar with both (especially if you expect to be releasing production code or participating in any well-maintained development environment).

The most common command-line environments are Maven and Ivy. Both come with a somewhat steep learning curve (which, unfortunately is unavoidable) but both are well worth investigating as they are both very common in production environments.

Starting out, however, you’ll most likely find that using a visual IDE will help you get right down to learning and compiling example code fairly quickly.

There are several common IDEs; IntelliJ, NetBeans, and Eclipse are all great ones that I’ve seen used in production. My favorite hands-down is Eclipse, especially since it also has configurations to help you develop in other languages such as PHP (Aptana) and C/C++.

For general basics and a broad overview of Java; I would recommend you take a look at the Java Beginner site.

There’s also several handy video tutorials (mostly using Eclipse) on YouTube such as this one:

Once you get the basics down, I’ve found that working on a full project helps. A great place to start would be to help our with an existing open-source project like JSword.

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Writing a “punch the monkey” Flash application

Recently I was asked to develop a simple “punch the monkey” type game for an Augusta-based radio personality Austin Rhodes who apparently garners as many enemies as fans1. Both, it seems, wouldn’t mind taking a swing at him, though, even if its only a virtual one.

Not wanting to spend a whole lot of time on this project and remembering the plethora of “punch the monkey” Flash applets that used to plague us2 in the early days of the internet. I figured it would be pretty easy to simply modify one of them to fit our needs.

So here’s a simple 3 step process you can use to create your own “punch the monkey” game for that special someone in your life.

Step 1, rogue a base game from Sucker Punch Saloon. You’ll need to download the compiled  Flash binary, the .swf. I liked the look of the one with President George Bush because it seemed clean and easy enough to modify.

Step 2, decompile the compiled Flash binary (.swf) using something like Sothink’s SWF Decompiler or one of the countless others. Sothink’s decompiler is my favorite, though, since it has managed to consistently handle the latest versions of Flash.

Step 3, take the decompiled .fla and open it in Flash and replace the images you need with the ones you create. For the game I chose to modify, this meant swapping out 3 images in all along with the advertising at the bottom.  I also threw in some free sound effects from findsounds.com just to make the game more interesting. Additionally, this tutorial came in handy when it came to adding blood to the image (well, something that remotely resembles blood anyway).

Well there you have it. Quick, simple, and painless. Here’s the finished product, knock yourself (or Austin, rather) out.

  1. sort of like a local Rush Limbaugh []
  2. before ad blockers largely toned them down that is []

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