Hi everyone. I'm new to the BBS and I saw you all talking about IDE's for Java. I'm learning Java now and I have found that the best IDE, atleast for learning purposes, is Kawa 3.2. It has a nice interface and works nicely with JDK 1.2. It also has a nice debugger. If anyone wants to try it out, its shareware, you can get more information at www.tek-tools.com/kawa. I really enjoy using this IDE and I just thought I'd pass it along... Doug
Yes, it requires that JDK is installed on your system. I'm using it now with JDK 1.2. By the way Paul, I just bought the book "Just Java 1.2" and am going to try and catch up with your assignments. I'm taking a course here at a college so I think I'll be able to catch up no problem.
Jikes is a Java compiler, written from scratch in C++, that translates Java source files as defined in The Java Language Specification (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Inner Classes Specification (JavaSoft, Release 2/10/97) into the bytecoded instruction set and binary format defined in The Java Virtual Machine Specification (Addison-Wesley, 1996). Its faster cause its written in C++. You can get more information at: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/formula/Jikes Doug
I have been using Kawa for one complete project and really liked it for its simplicity and for being 'light weight' (does not need a lot of RAM to run it) and a nice interface. I also like the fact that it does not lock you in on one particular JDK, so whenever Sun comes up with a new JDK, I can just set Kawa to use it. For $60 a pop, I think that's a steal. I do wish though that they would have a much stronger debugger. Their current debugger is somewhat adaquate but buggy at times. For some reason, the debugging cursor gets lost at times. I also found out that using Kawa with Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA) seem to stablize the debugger but even then, every now and then, I still run into minor problems. Just my 2 cents worth.
I'm a long-time Kawa user, and I'm sure I've mentioned it here before (care to search, Paul?). I can't say much about the debugger as I don't usually use them - I unit test in very small chunks, and use diagnostic outputs to display state. I do know that Kawa is cheap, and their upgrade policy is very generous. I've been getting free upgrades for two or three years now, although there are rumours of a major upgrade soon which may be charged for. One of the key things about Kawa is that it not only lets you change compiler, but lets you have several different compilers (and their associated libraries, runtimes etc.) available to switch between. This is vital if you need to check that your code compiles and runs on several Java versions. I typically have setups for 1.1.3 (the version shipped with Solaris 2.6), 1.1.8 (the latest and greatest 1.1) 1.2.2 (the latest 1.2), a beta or RC of 1.3, and Jikes. I really like Jikes. It's literally 10 times faster than javac. Although its a bit more picky, that's probably a good thing. The only down side seems to be that it's not too hot with cyclical dependencies between classes. It can occasionally require two compilations to fully compile a cyclical project. To be honest, I have come to the decision that cyclical dependencies are probably a bad thing anyway, so I make use of interfaces to eliminate them these days. I like Kawa for it's straightforwardness. It has project management, multiple compiler support, a reasonable syntax-colouring editor and "F1" help which takes you direct to the appropriate API references. It doesn't have a fancy GUI builder (Tek-Tools have one as another product), bean box or other bloatware. It doesn't force you through its own wizards or make any assumptions about what you want to program. It doesn't much about with Windows' file associations for Java files, Jar files or whatever. It doesn't eat up your RAM or hard disk; I've used it quite happily on a 32MB W95 box. It does have a few small quirks, but it's never crashed on me. If anyone is interested in any more details, just say so, and I'll try to elaborate.
To update this for those interested - the above site now has Kawa 4.0 for $129 (or $35 as an upgrade if you bought an earlier version, which I assume is no longe possible.) However there is now a free 30-day demo available, for those who want to try it. (I just got it myself - no real feedback yet.)
"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
posted 19 years ago
I'm now using version 4 for most of my development. In general it's a lot better than previous versions. The editor has tons more features, and supports other languages better (not all projectes are 100% pure...). Some of the old quirks are still there, and some new ones have been introduced, but on the whole an improvement. I tried to upgrade my old version using their web form but it just wouldn't have it, so I had to make an international phone call. The woman on the phone was surprised how long ago I'd bought my first copy (1997), but I still use Kawa, and probably more than any other software.