Local Mirrors

I've mirrored some resources locally.

I'll be updating this throughout the term. Let me know if you find any problems.

Java Links

NB.  There are very many sites out there that have collected together a set of links to Java
tools and related resources.  It will only help you to be familiar with other sources of
Java information.  This collection is put here from my meagre list of bookmarks.


If, after reading this document, you are confused about basic definitions, I suggest reading Sun's JDK FAQ as a good place to start.

I have put this collection together so that I can make some comments that might help you
decide what environment to use.  There will be no officially recommended set of resources.
That being said, I have made some comments that might help you decide on one resource
or another.

Resource Free Platforms IDE Compiler JRE BCE
Jikes Java Compiler y W M S L n y n n
Sun's JDK y W M S L n y y n
Sun's BDK y W M S L n n n n
IBM Visual Age for Java y W y y y y
Microsoft VisualJ++ n W y y y ?
Symantec Visual Cafe n W y y y y
Imprise JBuilder n W y y y y

Platform Codes
W Windows 95/98/NT
S Solaris on SPARC
L Linux x86 or PowerPC

Confused? Some Quick Definitions

BCE Bean Composition Editor.

Beans are programming components written in Java.  A BCE is typically a visual language where programming consists of selecting components, placing them on the screen, and then wiring them together.  Programmers of Visual Basic will be familiar with the style of visual editing done in typical BCEs.

JDK Java Development Kit.

This is a collection of programs, source code, and documentation (a kit) that allows you to develop Java programs.  It normally consists of a compiler, a JRE, and the standard Java packages (the standard library).  With a JDK you can develop stand-alone applications, Applets that are meant to run in browsers, and Java Beans.  The compiler is often used by a BDK to compile bean compositions.

BDK Bean Development Kit.

Basically a JDK with some Beans and a BCE.  These are the basic tools for building Beans.

JRE Java Runtime Environment. 

The stuff needed to execute compiled Java code. Includes an interpreter for Java bytecode---the program that runs your Java programs on your particular computer. See Sun's description.

Description of Tools

Your choice of tools will depend upon your budget, disk space, and preferences. You can definitely get good tools for very little money (eg. free), but you might be interested in certain commercial products because of their support, documentation, and prestige. If you get one of the all-inclusive packages (e.g. IBM, Microsoft, etc.), you won't need a separate compiler and JVM (such as Sun's JDK) since that will already be included. I cannot recommend any particular tools. However I can give you my preferences based on your inclinations: