Why Do Java Development on the Mac?
The ease of use of Mac OS X, the power and stability of UNIX, the integration of Java into Mac OS X and the availability of great development environments like Eclipse make the Mac a great Java development environment.
UNIX users feel at home in Darwin, the robust UNIX-based environment that underlies Mac OS X. That environment is accessible at any time from the Terminal application. All of the standard UNIX utilities and scripting languages are included in Mac OS X—editors such as emacs, vim and pico; file management tools such as cp, mv, ls and gnutar; shell scripts including bash, tcsh (csh) and zsh; and scripting languages such as Perl, PHP, tcl, Ruby and Python. For Java-based web engineers, Apache, Tomcat and JBoss are also included, so you can do JSP development or enterprise class J2EE applications.
Mac OS X also gives you a highly mobile platform. The PowerBook series provides a high-powered workstation that is completely portable and allows you to pick up and go, and then quickly resume work at a new location. Even as you open your laptop, network connections are being reestablished and the computer is immediately up and running.
Apple has made Java a core component of Mac OS X—every Mac ships with the full version of Java 2, Standard Edition included—meaning you have the Java Developer Kit (JDK) and the HotSpot virtual machine (VM) without downloading, installing or configuring anything. And because Apple has optimized Java on Mac OS X, Java applications act as first-class citizens on Mac OS X.
In addition to Eclipse many of the industry leading tools are available, including IntelliJ's IDEA, Borland's JBuilder, Oracle's JDeveloper, and Sun's NetBeans, just to name a few. Mac OS X also includes free developer tools which support rapid Java development right out of the box.
You can get a copy of Eclipse by visiting the Eclipse download page and downloading the latest build. (The current version of Eclipse requires Mac OS X v10.3 Panther.) All builds are delivered as .ZIP files.
Download and install Eclipse
- Using your Safari browser, go to the eclipse.org Website.
- Click Downloads.
- Click Main Eclipse Download Site. If you are not located in North America, use the mirror site closet to your location.
- Click the name of the Release Build you want. At the time of this writing, the "3.0 Stream Stable Build" is the latest developer preview of version 3.0. This version is currently fine for daily use.
- Under "Eclipse SDK, find "Mac OSX (Mac/Carbon) (Supported Versions)"—the file name is also displayed. Select either the HTTP or FTP download option.
- After reading the Notes, click "Download" at the bottom of the page.
- When the download is complete, unzip the archive into the appropriate folder.(Older versions of Stuffit truncated file names and caused problems with Eclipse. Make sure you are using the appropriate version.)
Your installation is now complete.
- Click the Eclipse icon to launch the IDE.
The first time you run Eclipse, it completes a few remaining install tasks—such as creating a workspace directory—before the Eclipse environment appears.
Work through the tutorials
With Eclipse installed and running, you can begin by looking at an overview of Eclipse features and plugins installed on your system, and then doing a tutorial that guides you through building a simple Java application.
To see the overview of the Eclipse features: from the Help menu, choose
About Eclipse Platform
To do a tutorial on building a simple Java application: from the Help menu, choose
Java Development User Guide > Getting Started > Basic Tutorial
Resources for More Information
- Mailing lists: www.eclipse.org/mail/index.html
- Plugin archives: www.eclipse-plugins.info/eclipse/index.jsp
- Join community: www.eclipse.org/community/index.html
- Eclipse Live, by Bill Dudney (paid subscription).
- Eclipse, by Steve Holzner.