Hi, I've only been doing Java for a few weeks now. I use WSAD at work however I want to study for the Java Prog Cert Exam. I want to use a compiler at home. What's the best free compiler to use at home. Is it J2EE 1.4 SDK? How do you use the compiler, via the command line and creating .java files. Do I need to change my classpath?
yes, the J2SDK contains the commandline compiler. Classpath is set using the -classpath option to javac and java (the runtime), which appends the classpath set in your system settings. There's also a free equivalent of WSAD, go to http://www.eclipse.org (note this still needs the J2SDK).
What's the best free compiler to use at home. Is it J2EE 1.4 SDK? No. Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), is an extension to Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE). J2EE is intended to help with the development of server-side Java programs. The J2SE SDK is what you're after to compile and run most Java applications and Applets. How do you use the compiler, via the command line and creating .java files. Take a look at the Java 2 SDK Tools and Utilities documentation as well as the "Your First Cup of Java" and "Getting Started" trails of Sun's Java Tutorial. Do I need to change my classpath? Well, that sort of depends on what it's current value is. But, it's not likely that you'll need to change, or even specify it for simple application development using only Sun's J2SE libraries. If you start to use J2EE or third party libraries, then it'll need to be changed, which many IDEs will do automatically during their use.
J2SDK + Textpad does for me. I set it up so it opens all the java files in a directory at once. I compile from within textpad. I use a simple log file I open also from the same textpad. Textpad allows me global search for java names. I use the index in sun's documentation to look up api's.
The nice thing about Standards is that there are so many to choose from!