Hi, a ew years ago, I did quite a bit of Java App development, using an editor, and compiling/running on a command line via JAVAC Myapp/Java Myapp.
I've just installed J2SE5 and Netbeans 4.1 IDE. I like the IDE, but how do I run the resulting .class file(s) as a free-standing application, and what packaging (if any) would I need to make a distributable App.
The best place to find information on NetBeans IDE 4.1 and 5.0 RC1 is at NetBeans.org. The documentation location is here. Recently, NetBeans.org released NetBeans 5.0 RC1 (release candidate) and it includes a very powerful UI builder which may or may not be of interest to you. You can find a nice tutorial on it here.
You can find a complete tutorial on using NetBeans IDE 4.1 here..
To create a "stand alone application", you need to tell NetBeans to build a JAR file. I am not on my own computer at the moment so I can't verify the following instructions. I hope it is close enough to give you the right idea.
1) Right click on the project name on the left 2) Find the menu item that says something like "Run an Ant target" 3) Select the "jar" or "build-jar" target
The executable JAR file will be in the dist subdirectory under your project's main directory. I'm sorry if these instructions are not completely accurate. I hope they are close enough to put you on the right track.
As for distribution, you will need to include the JRE with your JAR file. Either you can provide the whole software package or a link with instructions how to download it.