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Searchable Java API?

Fyle
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 25
I'm taking an intro comp sci class with Java this summer and am loving it this far. I've had my encounters with Java before.. and they were anything but connected with any kind of love.. but that's a whole different story.

We use the latest Eclipse IDE and I already don't know how I could ever code without it. It's extremely useful. It seems professors these days have completely different stances regarding the use of IDEs for beginning programmers.. my last professor swore by TextPad for noobs, and absolutely nothing else, while my current one didn't even give a complete answer to my question about the popular notion among programmers that noob coders should use nothing but a plain text editor... probably because he's so used to using an IDE. Told me about his "ripeness" and wisdom. That's the difference between a good professor and a great professor. A great professor will have answers even to the things you would expect him not to know much about, even though in this case that doesn't exactly apply.. a comp sci professor teaching Java should probably have an idea about the pros and cons of teaching intro comp sci classes with text editors as compared to IDEs.. the single reason he stated for using an IDE was "syntax highlighting".. I was shocked at the answer, knowing that just about every good text editor that can be used for programming has that. TextPad, EditPad and my favorite, UltraEdit, all have the feature..

Anyway. I'm sitting in lab and listening to this lab assistant guy whose English is broken and funny to listen to and can't concentrate on his babbling... 10 minutes ago I asked him to increase the font size in Eclipse so us people in the back rows can see what he's doing on the projector as well, and instead of doing it in Eclipse, (it's very simple), he changes the Windows desktop resolution to something weird that messes up the screen on the projector and makes everything look stretched... I did not have the balls to actually go up there and show him how to do it.

Just now he got two IM messages on the projector! This keeps getting better..

This is one terrible post. Sorry folks. My question is very simple: is there any way to have the Java API be fully searchable and easily accessible? Is there a way to access it through Eclipse directly? Clicking myself through the standard Java API is a PITA... I'd like to have the entire API fully searchable so I can easily find the functions I'm looking for.

Thanks.. and sorry for the long post.


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Mike Noel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 108
I think you are trying to ask if there's a way to link the javadocs with Eclipse. I think that there is but I don't know cause I've never tried (but it would be cool). Despite that, you might have better luck with this question in the "IDEs, Version Control and other tools" forum. They seem to discuss Eclipse there a lot.

_M_


Mike Noel
Fyle
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 25
Perhaps I should ask there.. still, the question still applies to this forum, because I'd like to know if one can have a fully searchable Java API whether an IDE is used or not.. I don't want to be stuck to Eclipse forever, as much as I like it . I'd like to know a way to have the API searchable without depending on a specific IDE.
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Searchable API without an IDE? Well, its not quite directly searchable, but Google does index Sun's JavaDocs. And the JavaDocs include an index. What more do you need?
[ May 30, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]

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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

I use Google; it works extremely well. For example, to find all references to "DecimalFormat" in the JDK 1.5.0 docs, use the following Google query:

DecimalFormat site:http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/api/

Of course, it works for full-text search too, not just for keywords.


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Fyle
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 25
Originally posted by Paul Sturrock:
Searchable API without an IDE? Well, its not quite directly searchable, but Google does index Sun's JavaDocs. And the JavaDocs include an index. What more do you need?

[ May 30, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]

I forgot about the Google method. Good call. Well.. an index is just that, an index. It's great as a basic way of organizing content, but it still requires you to scroll around and look for things manually.. to be able to search is key for me with just about everything computer related I use these days. It's way faster to search than to crawl through the index too.. for me at least.
Ok.. the Google method is good. Now what about offline access to a searchable Java API? I remember about a year ago I was looking at projects where someone took the entire Java API and put it in help document format or something.. making it fully searchable.

Of course for now the ideal thing would be to link the Java API to Eclipse, integrating it into the IDE so I can have direct access to the Java API through Eclipse. Perhaps I should ask about that in the IDE forum.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42286
    
  64
For J2SE and J2EE methods you can use the javadocs.org site, which will lead you to the docs. It should also be easy to come up with a Firefox search plugin that does the search on javadocs.org for you.


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Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


Now what about offline access to a searchable Java API? I remember about a year ago I was looking at projects where someone took the entire Java API and put it in help document format or something.. making it fully searchable.

Well, if you are a Windows user and you download the JavaDocs the index service will index their content and you can search them using the Windows search functionality.

You already have direct access to the Sun JavaDocs from Eclipse, though not a search facility. Move your mouse over any Class name in your java file and hey-presto! JavaDocs. Or Shift+F2 opens them in your default browser.

This is really an IDE question now though. You will get a better result asking any follow ups in the IDE forum.
[ May 30, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]
Sanjaya Sugiarto
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 229
Look at: http://www.allimant.org/javadoc/jdk15e.html (there are CHM and WindowsHelp version)


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Fyle
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 25
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
For J2SE and J2EE methods you can use the javadocs.org site, which will lead you to the docs. It should also be easy to come up with a Firefox search plugin that does the search on javadocs.org for you.


That's a sweet tip. I like the simplicity and speed of javadocs.org! Thanks. Also.. there already IS a Firefox extension for javadocs.org search (and even bookmarklets for FF as well as IE).. in fact, it's right below the javadocs.org search field, just take a look. Thanks again!

This probably is the easiest and quickest way to get to the docs online.

Originally posted by Paul Sturrock:
Well, if you are a Windows user and you download the JavaDocs the index service will index their content and you can search them using the Windows search functionality.

You already have direct access to the Sun JavaDocs from Eclipse, though not a search facility. Move your mouse over any Class name in your java file and hey-presto! JavaDocs. Or Shift+F2 opens them in your default browser.

This is really an IDE question now though. You will get a better result asking any follow ups in the IDE forum.
[ May 30, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]

Windows Indexing? GASP!! That's the very first thing I completely disable on a new Windows installation. I don't think I've ever had the Indexing Service running since WinXP came out. These days I even use pre-installation registry tweaks to have it disabled automatically right at installation.

As for direct access to JavaDocs from Eclipse.. perhaps I'm missing a correct setting in Eclipose, but if I mouse over "String" for example, I get a yellow info box and all it says is "java.lang.String". I wouldn't call that JavaDocs.. or perhaps I'm getting something wrong here? By JavaDocs for the class String, I would mean this. Shift+F2 didn't do anything for me when I tried..

What you describe sounds just like what I'm asking for here, except it doesn't exactly work the way you describe for me.

You're right. This really is an IDE question now. I'll make a new thread in the IDE forum.

And...

Originally posted by Sanjaya Sugiarto:
Look at: http://www.allimant.org/javadoc/jdk15e.html (there are CHM and WindowsHelp version)


That's PRECISELY what I meant when I said, earlier in this thread: "I remember about a year ago I was looking at projects where someone took the entire Java API and put it in help document format or something.. making it fully searchable."

Thank you! Gotta bookmark that. Now only to get Eclipse working directly with Javadocs and everything will be great
 
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