This week's book giveaway is in the Mac OS forum. We're giving away four copies of a choice of "Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite" or "Take Control of Automating Your Mac" and have Joe Kissell on-line! See this thread for details.
John Reese wrote:"Updating the PATH Environment Variable (Optional)" [Actually, the word 'optional' is misleading I think; it's the only practical option.]
No, it is not... In the case where you have to manage multiple versions of the same code for maintenance reasons, then you might end up with multiple JDK installed on your computer. Then you would like to use the one that corresponds to the released version and not a system default. So then you need to set the PATH to the JDK with a script, have a build tool like Maven or Ant keep track of it or use an IDE such at Netbeans or Eclipse.
I agree that when starting to learn Java, that is what you should do. Most newbie tutorials I've seen walks you through this step of setting up the PATH variable.