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Best free IDE?

 
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I have already done a google search on the "ranch" for "free ide" and did not get any hits. I'm a newbie looking for something that is not buggy and not overwhelming. Is this asking for too much? So, here's my questions:
1. BlueJ is available on Sun's site for free. Is this any good? What are the negatives to learning/using this tool?
2. Are there any other free ide's which are good?
Any assistance would be appreciated.
Janet
 
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I have used Bluej for a couple of small 'one person' projects. I like the class diagrams a lot. Download the latest from the bluej site.
I normally use an editor, the compiler/runtime, and Ant.
If you want a full blown IDE I'd suggest Eclipse (and I'm sure others have their own opinions).
Regards, Guy
 
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Yes you could download eclipse from eclipse.org or get JBuilder 7 from Borland Personal Edition with a free key. Seems that JBuilder has more docs and associated help files. Eclipse can be a little cumbersome. You could also use the Java SDK or Forte if they are still offered.
HTH
 
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I like the freeware version of JCreator. It's a relatively small program written in C++ (so it runs fast) that is little more than a basic text editor with simple features that come in handy when programming like text colorizing and simple integration of a Java compiler and JRE. It has other bells and whisltes, but mostly, it stays out of the way and lets me learn how to program in Java.
 
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Hi,
In my opinion are Netbeans, JEdit.
By
 
Janet Wilson
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Thanks to Guy, Rex, Dirk, and Isaias for your opinions on this topic.
I'll wait and see what some of the others say and then venture down this road. My biggest concern is not being overwhelmed by having to learn yet another thing, but I can't imagine that notepad is the way to go for the long haul, either.
Thanks! Janet
 
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I suggest you search under best editor. I bet you'll get lots of threads to read.

Many people suggest that using an editor is the best way to begin while learning Java. Otherwise you spend time learning the IDE rather than learning the language.

Top accolades go to TextPad, UltraEdit, (even DOS Edit(free) is better than Notepad(free) in my opinion). These two are shareware - not free but very inexpensive (under $30 last I checked). Visual Slick Edit is very good, but costs around $300.

Many IDEs also have free trial versions, but again, it seems that by the time you learn the editor well the time is up and you either have to put out lots of money or learn another IDE. In the IDE catagory, top contenders are JBuilder, Eclipse, and IDEA. Forte also comes free with Java 1.4 download.
 
Janet Wilson
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Thanks Marilyn.
When I put the phrase "Free IDE" or "Free Editor" I struck out, hence, my posting. Otherwise, I'm sure you are quite right that putting into the search "best IDE" or "best editor" would reap me loads of reading. Again, I was looking for "free" forever (not just trial). Hope this clarifies things.
So, any other suggestions? Janet
 
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You can't go wrog with JBuilder. You write your code, hit F9, and your program compiles and runs. It's free, and has a fantastic visual editor to create GUI's with a drag'ndrop interface. Go to www.borland.com
If you want to keep it lean and mean, IntelliJ IDEA and JCreator are also excellent. With both you will have to tell it where to look for your JDK.
Instead of searching the web at large, just search Cnet (download.com). Any software that is even fairly popular will be available there, freeware, shareware, and trial versions.
If you let me know what specific tasks you need to accomplish most of the time, maybe I can recommend more specifically.
 
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If you want a free Java IDE/Editor, searching for "Free Java IDE" or "Free Java editor" will get you better results.
 
Janet Wilson
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Thanks John F and John Z!
 
Janet Wilson
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Thank you very much for the pointers and posting all of this good stuff.
Janet
 
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My vote goes to Netbeans and Forte For Java.
Though if Forte gets any bigger, downloading it over the net using a dial-up connection will signal it's downfall.
I've found a lot of usefull features and not always enough time to research using them.
As for the best all around editor, my hat goes off to Ian M. Meade, the creator of UltraEdit. UltraEdit is the best of the best and is cheap enough that you can just buy it without getting approvals.
Jerome
 
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JEdit and Ant (I believe you can get the ant plugin with the latest version)
They have some great plugins (although I pretty much just use JEdit core and Ant).
 
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code guide is a simple lean IDe available for both windows and solaris.
 
Janet Wilson
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Thanks for your input: Jerome, Robert, and Sridhar
I appreciate it! Janet
 
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Just for completeness:
I'm using Emacs for most of my development. The JDE package provides most of the IDE amenities of the specialized products - though it's pretty cumbersome doing code completion, and if you're a REAL glutton for punishment, you can even run a debugging session. The upside is that it runs well on a 200MHz Pentium system, I recommend AT LEAST a 600MHz machine for any of the more Java-specific IDEs, whether commercial or free, as they all seem to eat vast quantities of RAM and CPU. I use Eclipse on an 1800XP+ when I need more than simple "println" debugging. It seems about typical in resource usage - which is to say I do a LOT of "println"s just because it's faster to compile and test on a 200MHz Pentium using println than to bring up a GUI debugger even on an 1800XP+.
The downside to Emacs is that if you plan to customize it, you can't use Java - Emacs is customized in LISP. Also it uses more escape key sequences than WordStar and unless tweaked has a lamentably arrogant attitude towards the Unix cut/copy/paste paradigm which I find both less natural and more keystroke-intensive than that introduced by the Macintosh and then promulgated by Microsoft Windows.
And, not to slight the "other" Unix True Religion, I think there's a Java development package for the vi (or at least vim) editor as well, though I'm not familiar with it. If you're running Windows, you can run run Emacs and vi under the Cygnus package, and probably natively as well - I know that Emacs had been ported to run native under AmigaDOS anyway.
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Also, for something completely different: If you're interested in open-source UML-based development, check out the Argo/UML project (search freshmeat.net). It's a Java-coded UML design tool. A commercialized variant of it is Poseidon (like Sun's Forte, they have a free "Community edition"), which comes in several enhancement levels, including one that does round-trip code-to-uml-to-code. At up to $900, it's not free, but a similar packages such as Rational or the Borland Enterprise system typically run 3 times that price.
 
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