Java interpreters

Miguel Paraz saw my TODO on finding a Java
interpreter and he pointed me to
Beanshell. I’ve been thinking about
using a Java interpreter in my introductory computing class in order
to help my students grasp Java concepts more easily. Students can use
the Beanshell interpreter to explore arithmetic expressions,
variables, input (through JOptionPane), Boolean logic, ifs, loops, and
even a little bit of object-oriented programming.

It’s an experimental technique, and I have some concerns regarding the
transfer of knowledge. I need to make sure that they’ll be able to
work with standard Java programs well.

Another interactive Java environment I want to explore is
BlueJ. It’s explicitly designed for introductory
computing and it emphasizes object-oriented programming.

With only a few days before the start of classes, I do not think I’ll
be able to prepare well enough to use either environment next sem.
However, I would like to experiment this summer, if we are still
offering CS21A then.

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