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JBuilder 3: Building Java Apps Under Linux - page 4

Freely Available: JBuilder 3 Foundation for Linux

  • February 10, 2000
  • By Eric Foster-Johnson

Once you get all the pieces to install, run JBuilder. I highly recommend installing all the documentation, as there's a good bit of getting-started information there helpful in figuring out the user interface. If you installed JBuilder in the default location, /usr/local/jbuilder30, then run the program with the following command to launch the IDE:

/usr/local/jbuilder30/bin/jbuilder &

If it's in another location, the command is bin/jbuilder under the directory where you installed.

The first time it's run, you'll be prompted to set up the license. For this, you need the serial number and authorization key printed on the CD-ROM sleeve. Without the CD-ROM, contact Borland to get the magic numbers. On the Web, follow the steps at http://www.borland.com/jbuilder/foundation/download/ to get them.

As with most integrated development environments, JBuilder organizes work around what it calls projects. A project describes the Java files necessary to build an application, along with all settings such as target directories and compiling options. The project definition is a lot like a Makefile in more traditional development, except that it usually includes more information than is stored in a Makefile.

The nice thing about projects is that when switching between building different applications, applets, and so on, just switch between projects and JBuilder is ready to work on the next task.

The downside is that you're no longer just editing code--you're restricted to working inside a project, a structure that may not feel appropriate for your work. For example, I often call up Java source code files from many different projects into my text editor, just to see the code. The project organization in JBuilder (and virtually all other IDEs, for that matter) tends to interfere with this way of working.

So, the first thing is to create a new project for your work.

When it starts, JBuilder normally presents one large window called the AppBrowser. The AppBrowser sports a rather busy interface, with a menu bar, two toolbars and a number of separate viewing panes.

JBuilder includes a lot of tools, including:

  • an integrated text editor
  • a project browser, to call up different project files
  • a visual designer for creating your user interfaces
  • an integrated debugger
  • an integrated javadoc documentation viewer.

These tools are all described in the extensive online documentation, also available on the Web.

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