Chapter 1. Introduction

Before entering the world of open source tools it makes sense to pause and consider what exactly constitutes a “tool” and what “open source” means. This will provide the reader with a context for examining these tools, and it may define ways to use them more effectively.

On Tools

When you think of a tool, you probably picture something like a hammer or a screwdriver—a device that aids in the process of turning raw materials into a finished product. This construction metaphor is useful because the ultimate goal is to make something new out of a collection of algorithms and ideas and Java classes. However, the strict sense of tool is applicable only to a Java compiler. To make the definition useful it will have to be expanded. ...

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