Hello World is ubiquitous in computer programming.

It’s a bit like saying, “Testing, one, two, three,” into a microphone. When testing out a programming language, you write a tiny program that merely prints out the words “Hello world.”

 

The dark panel on the left is Terminal, Mac’s version of an app-type commonly referred to as the command line, or console, or, less-frequently, shell script editorThe panel on the right is Atom, a text editor for writing programs. To run a Java program, you have to save the .java file somewhere on your computer, open Terminal, navigate to that file, compile it, and run it.

 

REAL LIFE NOTE:  These tasks sound simple, and they are — I promise once you know what you’re doing, they really are — but for a first-timer, simply being told to log in to a new computer can be daunting. Trust me, I’ve been the student, and I’ve been the teacher in the comp sci department at my university. I can’t recall exactly, but it’s very possible that our first 50 min lab consisted of simply creating and running HelloWorld.java.

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  • Thank you! Yes, I did ponder the significance of Hello World. Every time I saw it I felt like a freshly hatched baby bird.

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