Before you install Eclipse, your system must meet a few hardware and software prerequisites, and a couple of additional downloads are recommended. The hardware prerequisites for your machine were outlined in Step 1. The only additional requirements are the software ”you must have a Java runtime environment and a ZIP file utility.
If you have a Macintosh, your Java runtime is built in. For Windows or Linux machines, you need to download one, but they are readily available. To do this, go to Sidestep 1. Also, if you are running Microsoft Windows, I highly suggest the WinZip utility. If you do not already have this program, Sidestep 2 shows you how to get it.
Finally, you can either use the Eclipse SDK version included on the CD-ROM or download the latest version. The release of this book was timed to include the final release of version 2.1 of Eclipse, released on March 28, 2003. Based on when you are reading this book, you may choose to download a later release rather than use the included software. In general, I'd say the CD version will be fine for at least a year (that is, until March 2004). After that (or if you enjoy seeing new features), I would recommend downloading a newer version. Information on downloading Eclipse from the Eclipse Web site is available in Sidestep 3.
Just remember that if you do download a newer version, chances are that there will be minor changes to some of the screens.
Once you've met these initial requirements and decided on which Eclipse version to use, you can continue on.