My Basic Java Development Environment

Since I’m writing the in the fall of 2012, we’ll start by going for the current versions: Java 7, JEE 6, the lot. Since my posts will refer to the directory structure, let’s start with that though.

Disclaimer: This is a Windows box. Apart from being used for software development, it’s also my “flying” PC and FS-X runs on Windows…

I have a C: drive for the OS and many small tools (it’s an SSD, so size is a limitation). My D: drive is where software development happens. All tools are installed under C:\Tools, with the main (in the context of Java) things happening in D:\Tools\DevEnv and D:\Tools\Java. Blame me for being orderly: The JDK is in D:\Tools\Java\jdk\1.7.0_07, public runtime in D:\Tools\Java\jre\1.7. On the JEE side, I used to choose between JBoss and Tomcat, choosing the latter if the target was a Web project, but with JBoss AS 7 being as fast as it is, I just stay on that. So give a hearty welcome to D:\Tools\Java\JBoss\jboss-as-7.1.1.Final. With Java distributions it’s quite common to have the top-level directory in the archive, with the name including the version, so I tend to let that be. Only exception to this nice convention is Eclipse, but we’ll get to that next.

Next is the IDE. I’m not adverse to switching, but have been pretty stable on Eclipse the last few years. Eclipse Juno looks pretty good and most plugins work well with it, so that’s my current choice. I unpacked the zip and renamed it to D:\Tools\DevEnv\Eclipse-4.2. If a plugin requires a different version, I’ll have multiple installations living next to each other. Now combining Eclipse with JBoss isn’t that much of a problem, given the quality tooling from JBoss Tools, were it not for a small thing called “XULrunner”. I’m not sure what the problem is and don’t intend to dive into it, but for some reason it is essential to the visual editor of JBoss Tools, and there is no 64-bit version of it. This ridiculous combination means you either have to forgo 64 bit, meaning you’ll have to install a 32-bit JDK and get the 32-bit Eclipse distro, or accept you won’t be able to visually edit web pages. Sigh. Me being a dinosaur and such, I still distrust visual editors to such an extend that I wasn’t using them anyways, but you might, so be prepared.

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