Appendix A. Using the Java Development Kit

  • Choosing a Java Development Tool
  • Configuring the Java Development Kit
  • Using a Text Editor
  • Creating a Sample Program
  • Setting Up the CLASSPATH Variable

To spur development, Oracle offers the Java Development Kit, a free tool to write programs with the language. The Java Development Kit is a set of command-line programs that are used to create, compile, and run Java programs. Every new release of Java is accompanied by a new release of the development kit: The current version is Java 2 JDK version 5. Although more sophisticated Java coding tools such as Borland JBuilder, IntelliJ IDEA, and Eclipse JDT are available, many programmers continue to use the Java Development Kit. I've been using it as my primary Java coding tool for years. This appendix covers how to download and install the Java Development Kit, set it up on your computer, and use it to create, compile, and run a simple Java program. It also describes how to correct the most common cause of problems for a beginning Java programmer—a misconfigured Java Development Kit.