1.2 Getting Eclipse


How do you get and install Eclipse? Eclipse is free for the downloadingall you have to do is navigate to http://www.eclipse.org/downloads and select one of the download mirrors available on that page. When you do, you'll be presented with a list of the available downloads, which are of these types:

Release builds

The Eclipse team releases these versions for general use. Usually when you download Eclipse, you'll use one of the release versions. These builds have been thoroughly tested , and the chance of coming across serious bugs is minimal. This is a version of Eclipse comparable to the version that other companies would sellif Eclipse were for sale.

Stable builds

These are comparable to beta versions. A stable build is a step along the way toward a release version. The Eclipse team considers this build to be relatively stable, but there may be problems. This is where you'll find the new features that are upcoming in Eclipse.

Integration builds

These builds are made up of components that have been fairly well tested, but their operation with other components may still have some issues. If things work out OK and the integration build proves itself, it may be elevated to a stable version.

Nightly builds

These are the most experimental of all publicly available Eclipse builds. They're created nightly by the Eclipse team, and there's really no guarantee that things will work well. Some experience with these builds indicates that they can actually have substantial problems.

Normally, you'll use the most recent release version of Eclipse. To get Eclipse, select the most recent release download for your operating system and click the appropriate link to download it.

Want to learn more about the current and upcoming versions of Eclipse? See http://www.eclipse.org/eclipse/development/main.html.

Installing Eclipse is not difficultall you've got to do is unzip or untar it, depending on your operating system. Since you've downloaded the version of Eclipse targeted to your operating system, you'll find the executable file ready to run as soon as you uncompress Eclipse.

Windows users will be pleased to learn that Eclipse doesn't use the Windows registry, so (re)installation is easy and trouble free.

You start Eclipse by running the Eclipse executable, such as eclipse.exe . When you start the program the first time, it may ask you to wait while it completes the installation, which does not take long (Eclipse is creating the workspace directories it'll be using). When you first run Eclipse, you should see something like Figure 1-1, shown earlier in this chapter.

You must have Java installed on your machine when you try to start Eclipse. If you start Eclipse for the first time and see a dialog box with the message that begins "A Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development Kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse," you've got to download and install Java first. You can get Java for free at http://java.sun.com/j2se/.

In the next chapter, we'll see how to switch the local installation of Java that Eclipse will use if you have multiple installations of Java (for example, you might want to use a newly downloaded JDK instead of the default JRE that comes with many browsers).

To make starting Eclipse easier, you can also connect various shortcuts to the Eclipse executable. In Windows, right-click the executable file in the Windows Explorer and select "Create Shortcut" from the context menu that opens, then drag the new shortcut where you want it. In Linux or Unix, just add the Eclipse directory to your path , or use ln -s to create a symbolic link to the Eclipse executable.

ISBN: 0596006411
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 114
Authors: Steve Holzner

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