This chapter covers some entry-level tasks that you need to know how to do before you can go on it is said you must crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can ride a bicycle. Before you can try out anything in this book, you need to be able to compile and run your Java code, so I start there, showing several ways: the JDK way, the Ant way, and the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) way. Another issue people run into is setting CLASSPATH correctly, so that's dealt with next. Then I'll discuss a few details about applets, in case you are working on them. Deprecation warnings come next, as you're likely to meet them in maintaining "old" Java code. The chapter ends with some general information about conditional compilation, unit testing, assertions, and debugging.
If you're already happy with your IDE, you may wish to skip some or all of this material. It's here to ensure that everybody can compile and debug their programs before we move on.