Recommended Java Environments


Eclipse is a modern open source tools platform that will work very well for most development in Java, C++, and even Cobol (more in the future). It is free from


Completely independent of a particular version of Java. Any JDK will do. Versions for PC/ Linux/Solaris. Will probably have a long life so the learning curve won't be wasted. It is very flexible and can host many different types of tools, including (in the near future) team collaboration tools. It will format your code, write code skeletons, insert JavaDoc comments, etc. It is integrated with the JUnit testing framework and has a refactoring layer for improving existing code.

One nice feature is that it gives you warnings and errors as you type. You don't need to compile to see that you have mis-typed something. You can link it to the JavaDoc. It will do typing completions, etc.


Has a learning curve. Some of its terminology may not be familiar to you. Some of its menus/key strokes are not standard for your platform.


Download for free from You can also get the source code if you like. You can even join the project.


Kawa 5.0 (Allaire -- Macromedia ???) It is probably obsolete, but if you have it or can get it, it is fine for our purposes. JCreator is a worthy successor.


Completely independent of a particular version of Java. Any JDK will do. Versions for PC/ Linux/Solaris.


No graphical gui builder. Some setup is a bit awkward untill you get used to it.


Download a free 30 day version from It WILL expire. Pay and download also possible.

Full price is $130. Upgrades have been inexpensive, but this is a new company. Kawa was previously owned by tek-tools. We are working to make this available for $35 for students, but don't know yet if this will be possible.

To use Kawa you also need to download the JDK from

Setup instructions.



I don't know much about this but it is cheap or free and similar to Kawa. You can point it to any version of the JDK.


Unknown -- Windows only, though.


There is both a free version and a very inexpensive (for education) "Pro" version. The free version is probably all you need.

You can find some information about setting it up at:

JBuilder 4 (Borland/Inprise)


Cheap. Gui builder (not needed). Now available on many platforms.


The instructor only uses this on the Macintosh OS X. He has no other experience with it.

Where/Howmuch Foundation version $40. Pro version $100. (You only need the foundation version.)

Download from (Back it up).

CodeWarrior Pro 6 (MetroWerks)


Includes Java, C++, and Pascal. Runs on PC and Mac (Other versions for Solaris/linux and for cross development to Palm...). Good value for the money. A professional, cross platform IDE.


Depends on a particular version of Java so you may need to wait for updates. There is lots of documentation, but it is all on CD.

Where/Howmuch $120, upgrades about $80.

Not Recommended and Why

J++ (Microsoft) is Not Java

Visual Age for Java (IBM) has a nice GUI builder but you can't read the code effectively.

Also Possible

You can use just the JDK from with any editor. Textpad from Helios software for example. ( $27. Notepad does NOT work well, however. You can also investigate Sun's Forte for Java and the open source Eclipse, which is a successor to Visual Age.


Last Updated: August 16, 2003