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Ask questions about Java Lab, The Neighborhood, The Theater, Code Reviews, teacher tools, etc.

Just wanted to report an error in the Java Lab documentation. In the Painter class documentation, the method signatures for isOnPaint and isOnBucket is repeated. Please check if that appears on your end as well. Thanks.

How do you access Java Lab development environment without going into a lesson?

@mfisher right now, there is no way to start a “blank” Java Lab project without going into a lesson. We have added “sandboxes” to the end of each unit where students are able to “free play” in the environments that they are familiar with until that point. Below is a screenshot of those sandboxes in Unit 5.

Thanks VJ! This has been fixed but it might take a day or two to go live!

There was a question from one of the participant teachers in our summer workshop. Is there any location where the entire Java code for the Neighborhood can be downloaded? I am under the impression that this teacher does not want to progress through all the lessons in Unit 1 but jump to specific lessons but finds the code missing. Any suggestions are welcome.

@vijayshree_sundar no, not at this time. I am not sure I fully understand the participants’ motivation here but I might suggest a few different options:

  1. Show them where the complete documentation lives (in the Help & Tips tab) or also here [link].
  2. Guide them to the “sandboxes” at the end of each unit for the the neighborhood. They can do whatever they want in these sandboxes.
  3. Point out the “Unit 1 Overview” which shows which lesson introduces which pieces of code. This can be found on the Unit Landing Page for each Unit in the drop down menu at the top. (see the screenshot below)

Hope that helps!

Looking forward to the training coming up this summer. Question regarding development environments … I know through code.org the students can use Java Lab Environment … but I am curious during the school year when teaching the class do you have them use other IDEs (i.e. Eclipse)?

I am asking because our students at my school interact with outside customers in developing systems and they need to be using other development environments so I wasn’t sure how other teachers included different IDEs into class room

@mfisher this is great question! One of the constraints we work around at Code.org is what technology schools have access to. We essentially want our curriculum and materials to be able to run on a chromebook so students don’t need to have anything beyond that.

Java Lab is intended to be a student-friendly tool for learning Java. We know that students who continue in CS after CSA will eventually use tools like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, Netbeans, or BlueJ or something else. If you have time and space to introduce students to a different IDE, that is great! Perhaps it is something students transition to after using our platform (I am just throwing out ideas here).

Speaking from personal experience, I taught CSA prior to Code.org and had students in BlueJ and it was fine… some experienced students wanted to use different IDEs that year, but for the most part no one said anything good or bad BUT students couldn’t take their projects home to work on them at all. This last year I taught CSA with students using the Code.org platform when it was in pilot mode. What I loved about the platform is that students would work on things out side of class. This was especially true for projects which they got really into. While I tried to make a lot of space in class for projects, I had some super excited students who wanted to add to their projects outside of class. Using the Code.org platform allowed them to do that because they didn’t need any special software at home. Additionally, after the AP test we moved to a different IDE and they did just fine. The transition was really smooth - I was even surprised by it a bit! They had developed a lot of resiliency and confidence throughout the year that I was actually able to throw a lot at them after the AP test and they rolled with it.

So, all this to say, we would love to know what you end up doing with your students! Ultimately your own goals for your students will drive the decisions you make for your class. We are excited to hear about it!

I go through each lesson before assigning it to students. Is there any easy way to reset my progress for the lesson in case I need to model something live? For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 2, Level 3, there is a multiple choice question that I answered, and now I can’t seem to get my answer to disappear.

@codydiliberto thanks for reaching out. Our engineers are currently working on making a “reset button” for this issue now! We are hoping to have it resolved by mid-September, so keep your eyes open for a “reset” button coming soon!

In the mean time, teachers have been minimizing the directions pane when showing work in classrooms to hide their answers. You can do this by clicking the arrow in the top left corner (highlighted below in red).

Thanks for reaching out and sharing this issue with us! It was teachers like yourself who let us know that this was an issue earlier this summer and it is really helpful to us to know what pain-points you have to help prioritize the changes to the website that will help teachers like you.

Thanks again,

Is there a way to remove items from the Backpack? I still have all of my code in there from the pilot last year, and would like to empty it. Thank you.

@david.herring not yet! We are hoping to have this feature done in October and will be sure to communicate it out to everyone when it is done!

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Question regarding Code Reviews: I set up a group and assigned all the students to the group, now they can all see each other’s code in order to conduct a code review. The problem is that I cannot see anyone’s code, any thoughts on what I am doing wrong?

@mfisher you should be able to see your students’ code through the teacher panel on the right hand side of the screen. When you pull this out, you will be able to click on individual students’ names to see their work and leave comments.

I thought I accessed their code using the code review tab like the students do, I just tested it out and yes what you described works for me so thank you very much.

We are getting into the Asphalt art project and as a class, I thought it would be fun to make painters do a random walk and make some art by changing the color painted the more times that a painter walks on a spot.

I am running into an issue that the java lab environment seemingly only lets the program run for a short amount of time. I get the warning.

[JAVALAB] Warning: your project will stop running in 15 seconds.

It’s kind of a bummer, any thoughts on this? I can post our program code also.

Hi @jold , I just wanted to commiserate with you about this issue. When running some of my students asphalt painters, the image was only half drawn in the 32x32 grid because it timed out as well. One thing I tried to help the issue was speeding up the turtle as fast as possible. It still didn’t finish but got me to half of the finished image. I will reach out to our dev team to see if there is a solution to this.

Thanks for bringing this up. The more we here from users of the curriculum the better it will continue to get.


Hi @jold, someone from the dev team got back to me and they are not apposed to increasing the time limit on JavaLab before it times out. Would you mind reaching out to support@code.org and share the project with them that you would like to run. The will use this to assess and determine a more appropriate time limit.

Thanks again for bringing this up. It’s really great to hear about in-action use cases with these tools.


Yay, thanks.
Here is the random walk project if anyone wants to take a look.

I’m also having issues with the share link. The project won’t run for me when I click on that link. It gives me.

[EXCEPTION] Level type mismatch: Neighborhood projects are not supported on a non-Neighborhood level.