New to Mac, What Java development tool to use?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by ScottieNY, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. ScottieNY macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2006
    Hi I've just purchased my first mac product, a macbook pro. I would like to learn java, I'm not sure which development tool to use. I believe the two leading tools are xcode and netbean? Are there any suggestion as to which one to use and why? Thank you for your help!
  2. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    XCode is the one made by Apple directly, so that may be a good choice.

    Eclipse is a cross platform JDE available on both Windows and Mac OS X.
  3. jalagl macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2003
    Costa Rica
    I recommend Eclipse. The builds after 3.1 have good performance on OSX.
  4. rtharper macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2006
    Oxford, UK
    Are you new to programming? If so, my advice: Stay away from integrated development environments, especially at first. When you're more experienced you may want to start using them, but they totally distract you from the actual programming, initially. All you need is javac and your favorite text editor, mine being AquaMacs (an Aqua version of emacs). A lot of people like TextEdit and vi, as well, though vi has a bit of a learning curve =)
  5. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    I second Eclipse. It has basically become *the* development environment to use for *any* platform. It's Java based itself, so the interface looks the same whether you're on OS X, Windows, or Linux.

    P.S. I'm a professional Java programmer and Eclipse is what I've used on my last 2 jobs (spanning almost 3 years).
  6. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    This is also good advice. But for a simple text editor I would choose jEdit. It's basically just gives you syntax coloration and it has a quite nice interface. For simple programming, jEdit is definitely your friend: it does syntax highlighting for every language imaginable.
  7. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    If you have never done java before then BlueJ is a good place to start.
  8. fred_garvin macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2003
    I've been a Java developer for close to 10 years. I taught a week long development course in the late 90's. Using nothing but a text editor and command line javac is very good advice for the beginner. Yes, it is tedious and much less productive than an IDE, but it forces you to deal with all aspects of Java. Do that a few months, then move into an IDE.

    There are 4 choices of IDE. Do not use XCode unless your goal is to be a Mac Developer. Most jobs will want you to develop while using a PC.

    Eclipse - Free. Main draw, has a plug in API and tons of available plug ins. (Much like Firefox) Drawback is that base Eclipse is barebones and you need many plugins to create a full featured IDE.

    Netbeans - Free. Has some nice tools. Was way behind, but Sun is really improving the latest versions.

    Oracle JDeveloper - Free. Good if you do much database centric code on Oracle.

    IntelliJ IDEA - Corporate license $499. Personal license $249, educational license $99. Tons of refactoring support, intelligent code analysis and completion.

    All 4 IDEs are built in Java and are cross platform.

    Eclipse and IDEA lead the market by a wide margin. I find IDEA to be much better. Message boards have the two IDEs split close to 50/50 in terms of favorite. Companies prefer Eclipse often simply because it is free. Developer productivity tends to be better in IDEA.

    Once you are ready for an IDE, also learn ANT for doing your compile and builds. All the IDE's support ANT. You just create an xml build file and ANT will compile, create jars/wars run unit tests, create javadoc, whatever you want. ANT is an open source tool from Apache.
  9. ScottieNY thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2006
    Thank You!

    Wow, this has been very helpful, especially Fred's post. I will look into Eclipse since I don't want to spend much time using VI or a text editor. Once again thank you all for your responds.

  10. ryee macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2006
    JDeveloper on MacBook Pro

    Did you ever pick a development tool? I've been using JDeveloper for the last few years. Since you have a MacBook Pro, I was wondering if you could try installing JDeveloper (the latest version) and see if you have any problem with using the space and delete keys. I'm trying to reproduce a problem that I've been having on another MacBook Pro.


  11. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK
    Hi Scott

    If you are going to be developing command line tools, packages or servlets then X-Code is fine.

    b e n
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I just have to drop in the obligatory option to Eclipse... Sun's own Java IDE Netbeans. That's what I use.
  13. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I second Eclipse (though I don't use it anymore myself, since starting at a C++ development job :) )

    Also agree that if you've not yet experienced with Java programming, learning how to use the command-line tools (javac) and a text editor are mandatory fundamentals.

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