Java Training

farrightSoftware and s/w Development

Aug 15, 2012 (5 years and 9 months ago)


Java Integrated Development
Environments (IDEs)

Written by Jeff Smith


There are numerous good IDEs for Java development,
many of them free

IntelliJ IDEA may be the best and the non
profit license
version costs only $100

Here are three leading (free) IDEs

Borland’s JBuilder is (sort of) free

JBuilder 2006
Enterprise becomes JBuilder Foundation in 30 days.
They email you a license key for personal use.

Sun’s NetBeans


JBuilder and NetBeans include GUI builder, while Eclipse
has GUI builder plugins available

In this class, I’ve installed NetBeans 5 and Eclipse 3.2

Why Use an IDE?

IDEs allow for refactoring

rename a class or method, and all instances/references
to it EVERYWHERE are updated automatically

Code completion

You type in an object name and a “.”, and then the IDE
shows you all available methods (including signatures)


You just click on a line of code and execution stops
there, allowing you to quickly inspect variables

Code generation

IDEs automate some mundane coding tasks like
creating getter and setter methods for a field

JavaDocs (automatically creates much of it for you)

And on, and on….


The Eclipse IDE was largely developed by IBM

Very popular and free

Developed with SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit), not
Swing, so it works fine on many OS’s, but there have
been problems with Mac OS/X

Relies on plugins for GUI development (Visual Editor)

You can import existing projects (that use an existing
Ant script) into Eclipse

You can also create a “new” Eclipse project that will
automatically detect and include existing code
(packages) that you may have written

Eclipse is the backbone of the new AWIPS 2 project
being developed by Raytheon

Eclipse Help/Tutorials

Eclipse Help/Tutorials

Eclipse Help/Tutorials

Eclipse IDE

Eclipse IDE

Eclipse is highly configurable

Go to Windows menu, Preferences to configure the IDE,
how automatic code generation is formatted, colors, etc

Eclipse has different “perspectives” (or IDE window layouts)

Things look a bit different when you are editing code
(usually done in the Java perspective)

Or when you are debugging code (done in the Debug

There is a button for changing perspectives in the upper
right corner of Eclipse (and from the Window menu,
Open Perspective option

Eclipse IDE

Run Configurations enable you to specify different
configurations for running your program. Go to Run menu,
Run… option

A config can specify a main class (program starting
point), run time JVM options (like memory alloc), etc.

Eclipse and Hello World

Create a new Java program

File menu, New Project, Java Project (click Next)

Choose project name (e.g. test)

you can either let Eclipse put the project in the default

or you can specify your own directory

Choose "Finish"

Click on "Java perspective" button on upper right

Right click on "test" in the navigator window, and select new
Java class

can specify an optional package name (leave blank for now)

Eclipse and Hello World

Type in a class name in the box next to "Name:"

can specify an optional superclass

can specify optional interfaces to implement

check the create "public static void main(..." box

click the Finish button

You now have a class which you can edit

type the code in the main method:


Click on the Run menu, Run... Option

The class you just created should be your “main” class

Click on the New button on bottom left

Specify any optional arguments on the Arguments tab

Click on the Run button to run your program!

Eclipse and Hello World

Now add another couple of lines to your Hello World

String s = “This is a string”;

System.out.println(“s = “ + s);

Now run the program in debug mode and set a breakpoint
on the second line (above)

Execution should stop there and if you move the mouse
over the variable “s”, you’ll see the value in “s”

NetBeans IDE

NetBeans is very similar to Eclipse

Developed by Sun (the makers of Java)

Includes a nice GUI builder (called Matisse)

Also completely free (works on all OS’s)

NetBeans IDE

Which IDE to Use?

Since many people in this class will be working on AWIPS
related development (based on Eclipse), I will use Eclipse in

If you love NetBeans, I’ve installed it on every machine and
you are welcome to use it

There is no clear cut answer to the question, which IDE is
the best? Eclipse, NetBeans, and JBuilder are all
comparable (it is unclear, however, whether Borland will
continue to support Jbuilder)

IntelliJ IDEA might be the best of all (for $100)