More than a few code editors are available for Mac OS X, and no work on Java would be complete without at least mentioning these integrated development environments (IDEs). I’ve broken them up into several categories: those that are open source, those that are free, and those that are sold commercially. I’m a big fan of open source tools, but all the tools mentioned here get the job done, so pick your own poison.
Many available open source tools have been ported to or run under Mac OS X. These tools are all free (as are the tools in the next section), but also make their source code available.
NetBeans™ is a full-featured, commercial-grade IDE that was acquired and open-sourced by Sun Microsystems. Written in Java, it’s easily configured to run on Mac OS X. You can download it for free from http://www.netbeans.com/.
To install and configure NetBeans, pull down a current version of the software. I’m currently using NetBeans 3.4.1. Go to the NetBeans web site, click on the download link, and agree to the NetBeans license. You can then download a release for Mac OS X in disk image format. On my system, the downloaded file was called NetBeansIDE-release341-MacOSX.dmg. Mac OS X will mount it, and you can then launch NetBeans from the disk image.
Before starting up NetBeans, though, you should copy the contents of the disk image into a folder on your hard drive, such as /Applications/netbeans. I created this folder in the Finder and then copied ...