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JBuilder 3: Building Java Apps Under Linux - page 2

Freely Available: JBuilder 3 Foundation for Linux

  • February 10, 2000
  • By Eric Foster-Johnson

Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs, have been popular mostly in the Windows and MacOS worlds. For Linux programmers, the emacs text editor forms the most common development environment. And it's true that emacs can do just about everything you can imagine. Since emacs sports a built-in LISP interpreter, it's hard to dispute any claims about what it can do.

It includes support for integrating compiling and debugging, looking up your online Linux manuals, and lots more. Heck, you can even read e-mail and newsgroups from emacs.

So, why would anyone want an IDE on Linux?

IDEs, like text editors and other programming tools, are largely a matter of taste. Your best bet always is to use what is most productive for you. So, while many emacs diehards will scoff at tools like JBuilder, all tools have their place and there's no one right tool for all jobs.

With JBuilder, Windows users familiar with any of the visual development tools will find themselves right at home, as the Linux clone looks and acts almost exactly like JBuilder for Windows. This really helps if you want to work on Linux in an all-Windows shop. With JBuilder, your entire team could use the same tool, regardless of platform.

Even if you're not an "IDE person," you should check out JBuilder, as the integrated debugger, extensive online Java API documentation and source code navigation tools might well make you a believer.

Downloading JBuilder 3 Foundation

You can download JBuilder for Linux here. There's a lot to download, including:

  • The IDE, at 10.7MB (compressed with gzip)
  • The documentation, at 28MB
  • Open tools (extension) documentation, at 518K.

Instead of all this downloading, you can order it with Sun's 1.2.2 JDK on CD-ROM for the very low price of $6.95, giving you a nice backup and avoiding long downloads.

The CD-ROM includes a good bit of the Borland JBuilder Web site as documentation.

JBuilder for Linux requires Sun's version of the Java Developer Kit, or JDK, at version 1.2.2. You can download this JDK here from Sun. Borland's download page also links to this download. You can also download the 1.2.2 JDK here from the Blackdown organization, the group which has been providing Java for Linux for years. The 1.2.2 Java Developer Kit is about 22MB regardless of source.

Note, too, that this is not the final released JDK 1.2.2. Instead, Sun offers release candidate 2 and the Blackdown organization release candidate 4 (the latest as of this writing). Because the it seems to be further along, I recommend you download the JDK from here.

Furthermore, you should have 128MB of RAM, according to Borland. JBuilder is no small application. You should also have at least 150MB free disk space, and Borland recommends at least a Pentium II processor running at 200 MHz or faster.

As choice of Linux distribution, Borland recommends Linux-Mandrake or Red Hat Linux 6.x, although I saw nothing in the package specific to a particular distribution.

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