Java On Mac A Few Tips


Ensuring you have the most up to date Java SE:

Be sure that you have run your most recent software update. This will ensure that, among many other things, you have the lates version of the Java SE for Mac.


Text Editors:

Here are some text editors-- that can be used on a Mac. They are:


         Komodo Edit (site) simple and free.

         TextWrangler (site) also simple and free, easy to use, but sometimes (not always!) requires a couple of steps to get configured. Here is a link to those steps.

         Text Edit already installed on the Mac, but sometimes takes configuring to work with Java

         Eclipse Very good, free and powerful. High learning curve. Very popular.

         NetBeans Perhaps not as strong as Eclipse, but not as high a learning curve either.

         jEdit - See notes below.

         TextMate - Very good feedback from one student, Easy to use and good for Java, HTML and others. However currently costs about $30.


Eclipse and NetBeans relatively powerful text editors. Those of you who anticipate using Java beyond 211 and 212 may want to invest the time learning to use them. During the initial phases of 211, however, I strongly urge you to use one of the more basic ones. Eclipse is probably the better app, but is slightly more difficult to use. Still, NetBeans is excellent, so it may make more sense to start with that one. If you anticipate going forward with Java, then you should probably learn to use Eclipse. There are many tutorials that can be found online to get you started.


jEdit program is free and pretty popular. The site is: The main downside to all of this is that you will have to compile from the terminal window. For some of you, you may need to google to find out how to do this. However, your better bet is to install a plugin for jEdit called 'JCompiler'. Unfortunately, not being a Mac user, I do not know how to do this, but there are many instructions available online. The link to this plugin is: But again, as I do not have a Mac, I have not been able to test this myself. As I said, getting the JDK and a text editor working is really the crux of the work for you to do this week. It can be a bit frustrating, but I've never had a student not be able to work it out. You might want to find a Mac-guru friend who knows some Java to help you out, though.



Installing Java:

The good news is that most of you probably have the JDK already installed on your machine. To find out, get to a terminal window and type: java -version You should get a line telling you the current version of Java that is installed on your machine. Otherwise you will get a line telling you that it is not installed. However, you should run your Software Update feature (under the Apple menu) to ensure you have the latest version of Java.