Tools of the Trade

There are many options for Java development environments, ranging from the traditional text editor and command-line tools to a whole slew of advanced IDEs, including IBM's Eclipse, Sun's NetBeans, and Borland's JBuilder. (Both Eclipse and NetBeans are open source projects and can be downloaded for free as well as found on the DVD accompanying this tutorial.) The examples in this tutorial were developed using Sun's no-frills Java Development Kit (JDK) on, at various times, Solaris, Windows, and Mac OS X platforms. The JDK includes the basic tools needed to compile, run, and package Java apps, and we will describe these tools in this chapter. But there is no reason you can't use your preferred IDE to follow along with the examples in this tutorial. The source code for all of the examples can be found on the CD-ROM. For an introduction to the Eclipse IDE and instructions for loading all of the examples in this tutorial as an Eclipse project, see Appendix A. In , we introduce the NetBeans IDE with our discussion of the JavaBeans component architecture, so you will get little GUI development environment flavor there.