No computer matches the support for Java out of the box that you find in a Mac. OS X ships with support for Java applets in Safari, natively packaged Java applications, a Java-friendly IDE, native-interface APIs, and several Java tools and applications. Support for Java upgrades is integrated into the directory structure and system updates. Apple even maintains and builds an optimized version of Java just for the Mac.
Java configuration is different on Macs than on other computer systems. Setting up extensions and version preferences is easy, but it requires some explanation. Knowledge of the Terminal application and the shell environment is useful too.
In this chapter, I cover the nuances of Java configuration on OS X. This includes installing JAR and JNI libraries, setting the default JVM, and properly setting JAVA_HOME. I also introduce the Terminal application, environment properties, dot files, and storage of system configurations.
Effective Java programming on OS X requires an understanding of the Finder and the Terminal applications. Navigation of directories and running of applications by users (like you and me) is accomplished through either the Finder or the Terminal. The Finder and Terminal applications provided essentially the same service to users. One is GUI based. ...