The Sun One Studio Java IDE
You can develop Java applications by typing code into Windows Notepad and executing
them from a DOS prompt. But sooner or later you will want to become a more productive
programmer, and that requires use of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
One reason you might want to start learning Java by typing your programs into Notepad
is that, at the same time you are climbing the Java programming learning curve, using
an IDE presents a steep learning curve. It's easier to climb one learning curve at a time.
An IDE provides the following benefits:
1. A custom text editor that aids in debugging by marking lines that contain errors.
2. A means of managing source files and resources on a project basis.
3. A way to easily add graphical user interface (GUI) elements to the application.
4. A way to run and debug the application without leaving the IDE.
Sun Microsystems has combined the Java Software Development Kit with the "Sun One Studio"
IDE. Sun One Studio was derived from an IDE called "Forte for Java", which is built
on Sun Microsystems NetBeans platform. If you have JDK 1.3 or higher you can download
Forte for Java from www.netbeans.org.
JDK stands for
"Java Development Kit", which is the same thing as "Java Software Development Kit".
Besides creating absurdly long file names, Sun likes to create confusion by renaming
things for no reason at all. Kind of like a department store that rearranges the
merchandise to confuse the customers into thinking they have new inventory.
The reason you might want to download Forte is because Sun's combined IDE and SDK is
a whopping 90 MB download. Apparently Sun thinks everybody has a broad band connection.
The download time for a 90 MB file with a 56 Kb Modem is about 12 hours, if you're lucky.
The Forte download weighs in at about 30 MB. If you don't already have the JDK 1.3,
you can download the 37 MB j2sdk 1.4 separately from
website. You need both Forte and the SDK (or JDK).
Another option is to order the Sun ONE Starter Kit from Sun Microsystems website.
The DVD is $20.00, the CD set is $30.00. It contains the Sun One Studio IDE, the
j2sdk 1.4, along with extensive documentation, code samples, and how-tos.