Symantec publishes Cafe and Visual Cafe, an applet development environment for Windows 95, NT and the Mac. It includes a source code editor and a class browser, and a just-in-time compiler. It is still beta quality at best. I do not recommend it.

Natural Intelligence's Roaster is a Macintosh hosted applet development environment. It is also still beta quality. I do not recommend it.

Metrowerks includes Java support in Code Warrior Gold. Metrowerks has licensed Sun's source code. The Java support is alpha quality, and is not by itself worth the price of Code Warrior, even the $99 Java only edition. However if you also need a C compiler it doesn't cost you anymore to get Java support.

Sun publishes a payware IDE called Java Workshop. It is fairly cheap, ($99) but again not yet worth the download time. Java Workshop is similar to Sun's existing Workshop products for Fortran and C++. However it is written entirely in Java. You'll need at least a Pentium Pro to squeeze adequate performance out of this system.

Microsoft's Visual J++ is one of the faster VM/JIT combinations available. However the compiler has some bugs that prevent it from compiling certain legal Java code. Once again this is beta software at best, and is not worth spending money on.

Borland's JBuilder has gotten some nice reviews, but I've yet to try it personally. Furthermore, their lawyers seem to be out of control.

The bottom line is that you should use Sun's JDK (or your local platform's equivalent) and the text editor of your choice. None of the available IDEs are worth what they cost. All will cause you more problems than they solve. Unless you enjoy paying to beta test products, there's no reason to purchase any of these products at this time.

Posted in: Java

Related FAQ's

Marius Ion ANGEL HOT SOFT LLC (800) 316-7677