The Advantage of Using Eclipse IDE for JAVA Programming

Creating and Running "Hello World!" without ECLIPSE

The details of the program itself are not important at this point as we will cover them in future tutorials. What is important is the sequence of steps necessary to produce the output, that the string, "Hello World!" is written to the console.

This example of creating a Java executable without an IDE such as ECLIPSE involves some steps which may vary from user to user such as a choice of editor, location of source files, etc.These decisions point to some of the problems. For the development of a single module or program the problem may appear to be insignificant. As single programs evolve into larger development projects keeping track of details can become a significant amount of workload overhead.

The tutorial which will follow this one will illustrate some advantages of utilizing the ECLIPSE IDE for large scale development.

Step 0: Locate and Download the JDK (Java Development Kit)

In order to create Java executable code from source code you need the Java Development Kit. From a web browser, enter the search argument "JDK downloads" and the search results will list a number of download sites. I used the oracle site:

Step 1: Choose an editor and enter the code.

This example can be created in any standard text editor. It should NOT be attempted in a word processing system such as Microsoft Word, Keeping it simple for Windows Notepad is a bare-bones beginning editor. Notepad++ does have some advanatge in that it is a relatively "smart" editor and has add-ons ("plug-in") which can assist in detecting syntax errors.

At this point the syntax is unimportant. Future tutorials will go into the details. You can cut and paste the following text into your editor's window:

class firstclass {
public static void main(String args[]) {
System.out.println("Hello World!");
}
}

A System Environment change is necessary to locate JAVA

Before we can compile and run our program we must make a modification to the Path. In Windows. from the Start Menu select Control Panel. Next select "View basic information about your computer" found under System and Security. Click on Advanced System Settings. Now click on the Environment Variables tab. Under the user variables section click new and enter the word "Path" for the Variable name and the path to the Java Development Kit for the value. The following screenshot outline this.

Open a Window for execution

From the start menu open a window by typing "cmd" in the "Search files and programs block'.

Type javac followed by the name of the program file you created. My file was saved as "tutorial1.java with a class name of firstclass.


As one can see... it can be complicated!

As one can see this process involves a number of factor. A developer must know how to setup environmental variables, must choose an editor in order to enter the code, and have access to the JAVA development tools.

The issues become more complex if a team of developers are working together. There are no assurances that all users are at all times using the same development versions. There is no standardized repository for code. There is no version control.

ECLIPSE eliminates much of the issues nor only for a single developer, but also for a group in a number of ways:

  • environment setting can be more easily standardized.
  • source code creation is assisted in a number of ways including an editor which can point out coding errors intermediately, provide coding hints as a developer types
  • code is aggregated in a standard place, the workspace.
  • code changes and versioning issues can be handle through a revision control system setup within the ECLIPSE framework.
  • developers can leverage other developers' work through the use of software packages which the ECLIPSE framework makes available.

As we progress through these tutorials the advantage of the use of ECLIPSE IDE will become apparent. Our next tutorial will show how much easier this simple "Hello World!" progrm is to create.



Java first introduced in 1995 by Sun is now used from in applications from data center to phones.
Java first introduced in 1995 by Sun is now used from in applications from data center to phones. | Source

What's Up Next?

Our next tutorial we will show how to build the "Hello World" program and get a glimpse of how the ECLIPSE IDE creates a self-containing environment

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