Setting Up an IDE (Eclipse)

09/02/2019
04:13 PM
Category: Library
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Eclipse IDE

Integrated Development Environments, also known as an IDE, have been an important tool for developers since the dawn of modern computer systems. In the early days of computing, most text editors did nothing more than just basic syntax highlighting, indent formatting, and allow for macro keyboard combinations to perform simple to complex build tasks.

Emacs Text Editor Demo

An example of a popular console based text editor known as EMACS. More info can be found at https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/

These editors have evolved significantly since then allowing for more powerful and easy to use features such as advanced introspection of class types, detection of build errors, version control integration, and integrated debugging. These features are always active and inspecting your code as you type, giving you a smooth and seamless coding session. Many professional developers, designers, and even system administrators are required to use these tools due to the growing complexity of today's information technology projects.

Visual Studio IDE Demo

The very popular IDE Visual Studio showing it's advanced features in the editor window. More info can be found at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/

In this article I will show you how to setup a popular open source IDE known as Eclipse that provides many popular coding features out of the box. It comes with features out of the box that rival most commercial code editors on the market today.

Download The Latest Version of Eclipse IDE

Go to https://www.eclipse.org/ to download and install the latest version of Eclipse. There will be a download link on the front page for the OS platform you are currently using, or at least what your browser is reporting. Install the downloaded package using standard install procedures for your operating system.

For some additional help, here are the officially published support links for:

Create a "Hello World" Project

Eclipse uses what's called a workspace on your computer to manage all of the various projects you will work with.
When prompted, select a directory on your computer that will hold all of your project files. This will be your default workspace. Once Eclipse launches, follow these steps to get your Hello World program working:

  • Create a project by going to File -> New -> Java Project. Name the project "HelloWorld"
  • Select the Java Runtime Environment that you will be working in under the section labeled "execution environment". In this tutorial we are using JRE SE 1.8
  • Click "Finished".
  • Create a new Java class by going to File -> New -> Java Class. Name the class "HelloWorld"
  • Ensure that the checkbox labeled "public static void main(String[] args)" is checked.
  • Copy the contents below into your new java file and click the "Run" button in the top toolbar:


HelloWorld.java

import java.io.*;

public class HelloWorld {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello world!");
    }

}

Voila! You are now using an IDE

Take a moment to pat yourself on your back. All joking aside, you should now be able to start writing some basic Java development code with ease. See the animated image below for a quick recap of how we created our Hello World project.

Atom Text Editor

Written by:  Henry Schmeding