Java is a general-purpose computer programming language and computing platform. It was firstly released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Currently, there are a lot of applications and websites that are running on it. There are also some applications that will not work until Java is available on user’s system. Many more applications and websites are created every day using this programming language. It is a fast, secure and very reliable programming language. It has its application from laptops to data centers, gaming consoles to scientific supercomputers, from cell phones to the Internet.
More about the Java programming language:
It has a very strong support for web development. Java is also an example of an object-oriented language just like the C++. However, the main motive and idea behind its design were to simplify or eliminate some features that cause common programming errors in C++. The java compiler converts the source code files (files with a .java extension) into the bytecode format(files with .class extension). Then the java interpreter executes this file and user gets the output.
The java interpreter and the runtime environments are known as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). After the compiler successfully compiles the source code, the JVM runs the code on most of the computers. JVM is a cross-platform software and is available for most of the Operating Systems. It is available under the name of Java Development Kit (JDK). JDK is available for UNIX, the Macintosh OS, and Windows. Using the just-in-time compiler (JIT), a programmer can convert the Bytecode directly into machine language instructions. Since 2007 most of the Java technologies are available under the GNU General Public License.
What is an IDE
An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application for computer programming. IDE provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for development of software. An IDE mainly consists of 3 different parts. The first part is the source code editor that provides an editor for writing the codes from the program. The next part is the build automation tool that mainly compiles the codes by the programmer. The third part is a debugger whose main task is to test or debug the program for any errors in the code. There are IDE’s available for various programming languages such as C++, Java, Python, C and others too.
Nowadays most of the modern IDE have an intelligent code completion. The IDE design helps programmer by maximizing the productivity by providing tight-knit components. These components have the similar user interface that allows the programmer to easily use them. Some IDE contains either a compiler or an interpreter such as SharpDevelop and Lazarus. While some other IDE such as NetBeans and Eclipse contains both the compiler and interpreter for the execution of code. Some IDEs are mainly designed for a specific programming language. However, there are many multiple language IDE that allows the user to do programming for multiple languages using just one IDE.
Basic Uses of an Integrated Development Environment
The use of an IDE depends on the programming language. However here are some of the basic uses of an IDE.
- An IDE allows the programmer to quickly navigate to a type without worrying about the project.
- It also allows the programmer to easily navigate to other members by using them as hyperlinks.
- It also allows programmers to automatically generate a code depending upon previous codes.
- An IDE also organizes the various imports by the programmer and also adds some appropriate imports.
- It also gives warnings while the user is typing and some error occurs.
- An IDE also keeps the view of files, errors or warnings and source code on the same screen that makes programmers work easy.
- It also makes the running of unit tests easy as a programmer have to run the code from the same window.
- IDE also allows the programmer to navigate directly to the compile time error or runtime exception directly from the error details.
Now, let’s know about some of the best known Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for C++ programming language.
List of 10 Best IDE for Java programming
NetBeans is the first IDE in our list of 10 Best IDE for Java. It is a free and open-source IDE and it is ideal for editing existing projects or starting a project from the start. NetBeans possesses a simple drag and drop interface that also comes with a list of convenient project templates. It is most used IDE for the development of Java applications. But users can also download some bundles that support other languages.
NetBeans was once owned by Sun Microsystems, however, now Oracle is the current owner of one of the best IDE from the past decade. NetBeans is also compatible with all Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux, OS X and even Solaris platform. It includes both dynamic and static libraries. NetBeans also allows programmers to remotely monitor the development of their project.
Eclipse is one of the most popular and powerful IDE for Java programming. It offers open source utility and functionality for programmers. It is also very simple and easy to work upon. One of the main features of Eclipse IDE is that it is an open source software i.e. it is available for free to use.
It supports all platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. It also supports various features of IDE such as Debugging, Compiling, Profiling and Auto completion of code. Eclipse has a great Graphical User Interface that allows programmers to arrange elements using drag and drop functionality. Eclipse also supports Static Code Analysis.
JDeveloper is a fully free IDE that comes from the house of Oracle. JDeveloper offers various features such as Refactoring, Version Control and Audit & Metrics. It also includes features such as Debugging, Profiling, Ant Support and Maven Support. It is available in two different editions. The first edition is the Studio edition that contains set all the tools for creating programs in Java. The second one is the Java Edition, which lacks J2EE, ADF, UML and Database features. However is is is much smaller and faster.
The Java Edition contains all the core features that a programmer will need for the development of Java programs. It should be able to satisfy most of the beginners and intermediate Java coders.
4. IntelliJ IDEA:
IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition is a free IDE for programming in Java. IntelliJ IDEA is mainly used for Android app development, Scala, Groovy, Java SE and Java programming. It is a lightweight software that comes with some very useful features such as JUnit testing, TestNG and debugging. IntelliJ IDEA also includes some other features such as code inspection, code completion, and support for multiple refactoring. It also has the Plus Maven build tools, ant, visual GUI builder and code editor for XML and java.
Some of the features are missing from the Community Edition. However, if any programmer requires those features, they can buy the license to unlock all the features. IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition is available under the license from Apache 2.
The next IDE on our list of 10 Best IDE for Java is BlueJ. BlueJ is an open source IDE for Java programming that is mainly used for educational purposes. It is also one of the best IDE for developing small software projects. The User Interface of the BlueJ IDE is quite simple, basic and very easy for beginners to use. It shows the classes and objects in an easy manner that helps the programmer to easily understand the program. BlueJ is one of the excellent tool for new learners who want to study about Object Oriented Programming.
The next IDE for Java programming on our list of 10 Best IDE is Codenvy. Codenvy, unlike most of the IDE is a completely cloud-based IDE. It does not require any software download or installation. It has all the features like any of the offline IDE including the build, runs and debugs environment. The interface of Codenvy is quite good and also user can work on several work-space at a single time. However, it is available after paying a monthly subscription amount. But the community edition if free to use for the programmers.
7. Dr. Java:
The next IDE on the list is Dr. Java. It is a lightweight IDE for java programming which is maintained on Sourceforge. The IDE is best suitable for Students and beginners. However, it also contains some advance features that will be helpful to the professional programmers. Dr. Java is also a free and open source software. It is maintained at the Rice University by the JavaPLT group. The design of its interface is based on the Swing toolkit developed by Sun Microsystems.
JCreator is the next IDE on our 10 Best IDE list. JCreator is a fast and efficient IDE written in C++ (which surprisingly makes it faster than the other IDEs which have been written in Java). The User Interface of the JCreator is very much similar to the earlier versions of Visual Studio. JCreator also allows users to customize the interface according to the user’s preference. It is a paid IDE, however, a free version is available that does not include some of the features such as auto code completion. JCreator is available only for Windows. However, it can run on Linux using the Vine setup.
JGrasp is another super light weight IDE available for Java programming. JGrasp mainly focuses on the software visualizations. It includes some of the features like UML class diagrams that helps programmers to improve code readability. JGrasp also generates the visualizations automatically. It also includes a data structure identification mechanisms. JGrasp also includes some other features such as dynamic object viewing that allows programmers to present Java code in a nice, readable textbook-like view.
The last IDE on our list of 10 Best IDE for Java programming is Greenfoot. Greenfoot is an educational IDE that is completely based on the interaction. It also relies very heavily on visualization of data structures. It is mainly optimized to create simple programs and 2D Java games. Greenfoot also allows users to share their programs online so the other programmers can view them.
IDEs offer more programming comfort-ability and are easy to use than the traditional text editors. So, it is always a very good idea and habit to use IDE for programming. The IDE comes with some exciting features and also offers a comprehensive development environment. Sometimes a programmer may find it difficult to select the best IDE to use for Java programming. There are a large number of IDE available on the Internet. All the above IDE in the list of 10 Best IDE for Java programming are different in their own manners but the sole motive of each of the IDE is same to speed up the development of codes. A programmer can select any of that above IDE for Java programming. I hope that this tutorial will have new and emerging programmers to select the best IDE for themselves.