Richard G Baldwin (512) 223-4758, NRG Room 4238,,

ITSE2321 Object-Oriented Programming

BlueJ, Greenfoot, and Processing

Spring 2011

Revised: 12/21/10

The official web page for this course is ITSE2321.htm

In my opinion, some of the most interesting approaches to teaching and learning OOP using Java are provided by the Greenfoot and BlueJ IDEs developed by Michael Kölling.

I'm not referring to the Greenfoot or BlueJ textbooks (although they may be excellent textbooks). Instead, I am referring to the concept that is embodied in the Greenfoot and BlueJ IDEs, which can be downloaded for free here (Greenfoot) and here (BlueJ).


To jumpstart your OOP learning process, I strongly recommend that you download and work through the Greenfoot tutorial and the sample chapters from the Greenfoot textbook. (You can download a zip file containing the textbook scenarios here.)

A "quick intro" to Greenfoot is available here.

I also recommend that you watch all of the Greenfoot tutorials that you will find here. (The video tutorials are also available on YouTube but the quality is better here.)

The Greenfoot Programmers Manual is available here and the javadoc documentation is available here. A documentation overview is available here.

Some useful classes that you can incorporate into your Greenfoot programs are available here.

To enhance your Java learning experience and encourage you to think more broadly about programming, I recommend that you become involved in the Greenfoot Gallery. (I also recommend that you take a look at Processing, which I will briefly discuss later.)

The Greenfoot Gallery is a community of programmers worldwide that use the Greenfoot IDE to create and share Java programs that use animation, sound, etc., to make the programming experience more enjoyable.


A discussion of the differences between Greenfoot and BlueJ is available here.

Installation: You can download and install the version that is compatible with your operating system for use on your home computer. The installation of this software is similar to the installation of most other software.

You should be able to download and use the version identified as "all other systems (executable jar file)" for use in an ACC lab that doesn't have BlueJ installed.

Although I haven't tried to do it, you should be able to download that version and install it on your USB drive when the drive is plugged into a computer in an ACC lab that has the standard Java software installed. (If the lab on your campus doesn't have standard Java software installed, ask the lab manager to first consult with the lab staff at NRG and then install the Java software.)

To install BlueJ on your USB drive, enter the following command at a command prompt (where the numbers represent the BlueJ version) and then follow the instructions:

java -jar bluej-304.jar

Execution: Among other files, this will cause a file named bluej.bat to be created in the target directory. Execute this batch file to start the BlueJ IDE running. If you are unfamiliar with batch files, the lab tech should be able to assist you.

BlueJ tutorial: A BlueJ tutorial is available that explains how to use the IDE, and also explains some important OOP concepts. The tutorial refers to example projects that are provided along with the BlueJ installation.

There is a wealth of free information available on the BlueJ website, including all of the projects from the BlueJ Textbook. A few sample chapters from the BlueJ textbook are available here.


Processing is an open source Java programming environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. (I just noticed that a JavaScript version has also been released.) I will let the Processing web page speak for itself. Be sure to look at some of the sample animation programs that come with the download.


File: ITSE2321BlueJ.htm