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IDE's, the command line, and debuggers

 
Kaydell Leavitt
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I read that Java beginners should use the command-line to compile and run programs using the javac and the java commands.

If I do this, is there an easy way to run a debugger that allows me to step through my source code, and to inspect the values of variables?

-- Kaydell
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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There's "jdb", the command-line debugger that comes with the JDK.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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While I agree that knowing how to use the command line for compiling and running is quite beneficial, I wouldn't extend that to debugging, especially as jdb is very basic. For a great standalone (i.e., not integrated in an IDE) debugger, check out JSwat.
 
Kaydell Leavitt
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I found JSwat at:

JSwat Web-Site

I vote "no" for Eclipse and NetBeans because my source windows are a shared, small window-pane. I like larger overlapping windows.

BlueJ was terrible. I couldn't even type in a package declaration without choosing a menu to do everything for me. Too much hand-holding can be restraining.

I'm trying JSwat, but it told me that I don't have Java 5.0 installed, but I do (by the way I'm running Mac OS 10.4.8).

The JSwat web-site said that it works with all platforms.

The best Java IDE that I've found to suit me is Apple's XCode. It's free and it has features that I like, like overlapping winows, and you have freedom to be in control of the IDE. The main drawback of the XCode IDE is that it is not cross-platform. The .java files are of course, it's just the .project file that isn't cross-platform.

-- Kaydell
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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