Java IDE for Computer Science Student

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Shahrum, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Hey there,

    This coming up Spring semester (starting Jan 23) I'm taking Computer Science 310 which is basically a Java programminig class. This is also the first semester of college in which I'll be using my powerbook. I used to have a Dell 700m and used Visual Studio to do C++ programming/compiling in prior classes.

    What do you all recommend for me to use as either a free or pay solution for developing, compiling, etc. Java applications for my CS course? Thanks!

  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Eclipse (
    Free, extensible, and probably as close to an "industry standard" Java IDE as you'll get.

    Dog slow, though.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2002
    Washington, DC / Rochester, NY / Lexington, NC
    If your class doesn't require a lot of programming, you might find it easier just to stick with Subethaedit and do the compiling on your own. I find IDEs excessively overkill for most first year Computer Science classes. The only real use for IDEs, as far as I'm concerned, is for projects, though. But aside from projects, if you're going to dabble with some new test code of something you learned in class, it's probably easier to just have a template Java class with the main method already stubbed and fire away.

    However, I second the recommendation for Eclipse. Too bad it's a bit of a resoruce hog, but oh well. It's an excellent IDE. It can even do other languages if configured.

    Just my thoughts.
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I like jGrasp a lot because it supports Java and Objective-C along with C and C++. It's also light so it doesn't take long to get it going and you don't wait forever for things to happen.
  6. macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I hate to recommend this but:

    I thought I should mention JBuilder Foundation. It's free and somewhat easy to use. I think they are providing documentation for the Mac Version now. You can get it here:

    I can't really recommend it over any of the other IDE's mentioned here. But IMO it was a little easier to use than Eclipse
  7. macrumors 68030

    Mar 30, 2004
    If you are going with Eclipse, which is pretty used by most Java developers I know (and I am one of the users), be sure to load up RAM. I recommend minimum of 1 GB, ideally 1.5 or 2 GB.

    You could also use xCode, but it's pretty lame as far as Java is concerned.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    If you are going to be developing applications based on JNI, AWT, Ant or SWING I'd say use XCode. Here's a pic of what apps XCode can do via Java.
    That's just my suggestion. I'm going to try a SWING app and see if I can create my own Interface using Interface Builder... Nope no luck yet. I'd say XCode

    Attached Files:

  9. macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2003

    I just finished my CS degree and have been working for about 6 months. In college I used Emacs. Alot of my programming assignments were straightforward and simple. Thats a good time to learn a good editor and Emacs has been around forever.

    Now that I'm working, we use JBuilder (Enterprise). I find that it helps alot with refactoring your code. Emacs just doesnt have that kind of functionality. I prefer it with Emacs style key bindings for moving around and searching.

    Pragmatic programmers recommend Emacs. The choice is yours though.

    Since your still in school, I'd pick up Emacs.

  10. macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I'd be interested to know what IDE you eventually setteled on and why.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    The best IDE is called Terminal, and you'll find it in Applications/Utilities.

    Use a text-editor with syntax coloring (like XCode, e.g.) if you want, but do all of your compiling and running from a command line. Keep in mind that's how your profs and TAs will run your assignments, so make sure to do it the same way.
  12. macrumors member

    May 4, 2005
  13. macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I second that. Netbeans is great. Make sure to check that text antialiasing is off if it runs slow.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
    I second/third/whatever Eclipse. It's awesome. Best free Java IDE i've ever used. (and I've only used free ones)
  15. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    For a beginner's course in JAVA just using a simple text editor like TextWrangler and compile/run the apps using Terminal is your best choice.

    If you really want (or are required to use) an IDE, then BlueJ is the absoulte best for a beginner. That's made to be educational and is very easy to start using. (Once you out-grow that, then go for Eclipse.)
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
    I disagree. I don't like using vi, or text editors with syntax highlighting. I prefer either Eclipse or Xcode, because they offer auto-complete, and in Eclipse at least checks your code as you type it. It'll smash you in the face with a frying pan and a nice note that says "YOU FORGOT A SEMI-COLON HERE STUPID!". You can also install C/C++ plugins and use it to write in those languages, which is also very neat.

    there are GUI visual editor plugins, but I couldn't get them to run on mac. Eclipse it's self is very slow on my iBook, which is why I use Xcode, but on an Athlon 64, eclipse = teh win.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    New York, NY
    I am currently taking AP Computer Science at my high school and I use BlueJ. Its good for beginners and I would recomend it. The rest of my class uses JBuilder though. There are a lot of free solutions out there, you just have to try them and see how you like them....
  18. Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    And that's excactly why it's not a good idea (pun intended) for a beginner, you will not learn as well by using an IDE that generate half the code and then nurses you through the rest. You learn a lot more by starting with small "hand coded" example apps that you debug yourself when the compiler screams at you.

    This is how I (as the only one at my college) got 100% (grade 1.0) on my final exam in JAVA 101 (that year, out of about 100 students), without any prior programming experience... ;)
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2005

    I give two additional thumbs up for

    It's a very professional tool. I work for a third-tier java development company, and they use eclipse as the main programming platform. It is also supported by IBM, so you have a good "dad" too. It's very intuitive.

    Oded S.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2007
    Deep in the heart of Reddest America
    Of the Java project types I see in XCode 2.5, most will build as soon as they are created by XCode. The "Java JNI Application" fails, complaining of "reference to undefined _printf". Anyone have a clue as to why that happens or (more to the point) what to do about it?
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2006
  22. macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    That is really bad for someone learning to program as they end up relying on the program to point out their mistakes rather than being able to debug their own code. What happens when you go and work for a company that does not allow the use of these types of IDEs? You'd be up the proverbial creek.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Having completed the first year of Computer Science this is precisely how we were taught, and it works well.

    TextWrangler > BlueJ > Eclipse.

    Eclipse is rather daunting when you first open it, but proves invaluable later on, after you've got the general gist.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I agree with many of the other posters in that you should start with a simple text editor like TextWrangler and compile your code from the command line, and then move your way up to Eclipse.

    I'm a 2nd year CS student, and Eclipse is absolutely the way to go for a great IDE. Bloated though it may be, with built in compilers, syntax coloring, compiling on save, SVN support, etc. It's the only IDE I've used for the past year or so. :)

    Edit: Wow I just realized this thread is from 2 years ago. :rolleyes:
  25. macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2008
    Eclipse. That's what we use in class and is the standard IDE of the College Board.

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