While your first Java program was written in a plain text editor and compiled from a command window, this is not a productive way of developing software. Professional programmers use one of the Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), which include an editor, a compiler, type-ahead help, a debugger, and a lot more (you’ll get familiar with these features later in this lesson). There several popular Java IDEs, such as Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, and RAD. Some are free, and some are not.
Eclipse is by far the most widely used IDE, and I’ll be using it for compiling and running most of the examples in this book. But switching from one IDE to another is a pretty simple process, and if you see that in some areas one IDE makes you more productive than the other, just use the best one for the job. For example, NetBeans IDE can offer great help if you’ll be developing the server-side Java EE applications explained later in the book (starting in Lesson 26).
Introducing Eclipse IDE
Eclipse IDE is an open-source product that was originally created with a substantial code donation by IBM to the Java community, and from that moment Eclipse was a 100% community-driven product. It started as an IDE for developing Java programs, but today it’s a development platform used for building thousands of tools and plug-ins. Some people are using its Rich Client Platform (RCP) API to develop user interfaces (UIs) for applications. Other Java languages are also supported ...