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Understanding Java setup and Is it necessary to use an IDE for writing Java programs?  RSS feed

 
Robert Hoagland
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Hello,
I have not ever written a Java program and am just trying to see if I can install all of what is required to do so. I just have a few questions starting off.
Am I right in thinking that the "Java SDK" is actually the implementation that contains the core language? Is the compiler built into this? I also keep seeing references to the "Java Runtime Environment". Is this something completely different?

Another question is can anyone say if it is necessary to use an IDE for writing Java programs or can I simply use a text editor & compile from the command line? If it is not required, is there anything useful to be gained from not using an IDE? (I'm thinking about understanding paths, learning compile commands etc) What is the recommended set up for a beginner?

Thanks
 
Stefan Evans
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>Am I right in thinking that the "Java SDK" is actually the implementation that contains the core language?

SDK --> Software Development Kit
All that you need to develop in java (and perhaps more than you need, depending upon what you are doing)
Runtime Environment --> Exactly what it says. For running java programs other people have written.

For starting off you will probably want to get Java SE (Standard Edition)

>Another question is can anyone say if it is necessary to use an IDE for writing Java programs or can I simply use a text editor & compile from the command line?
Text editor and command line compiler will work fine.

> If it is not required, is there anything useful to be gained from not using an IDE?
Some people mandate it for learners. You will get a better understanding of classpath/compilation steps.

Personally I like using an IDE for the quick feedback on syntax errors, and the ability to run/debug.

Its up to you :-)
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

We have an FAQ which will probably answer most of your questions. What you want is usually called JDK=Java Development Kit.
I think it is a bad idea to start by using an IDE because you have to learn too much all at once.
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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Our IDE Faq explains why you should not use an IDE when first starting with programming. The Editor FAQ provides a list of editors that you can use instead, until you are comfortable with compiling from the command line.

And welcome to the Ranch!
 
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