COP 2805 (Java II) Project
Install and Practice Using Eclipse and NetBeans


Due: by the start of class on the date shown on the syllabus


For this project you will install and then explore Eclipse and NetBeans Java IDEs.  In either case you will need to have installed the JDK too, which in turn includes a JRE.

Complete directions for installing all software as used in the classroom can be found in the course resources, in the Java Setup link.  What follows are the brief directions for setting up just the two IDEs.

Part I — Eclipse

  1. Download and install he current release of Eclipse from  Once you hit the download button you will see a choice of package bundles to download.  For our class, choose either the Java or Java EE packages.

    Eclipse is easy to install on a Windows platform.  You download the “zip” file for Eclipse and extract the contents into “C:\Program Files”.  This creates a new sub-directory “eclipse”.  Open that folder and right-click on the file eclipse.exe.  Choose “Copy”.  Next, right-click on the “Start” button and click on “Open”.  Next open “Programs”.  Finally right-click in this window and chose “Paste Shortcut”.  (You can add additional short-cuts to your desktop or the quick launch bar, if desired.)

    Eclipse is now installed and ready to use.  Before getting started, it is a good idea to go to the “Help” menu and select “Check for Updates”.

  2. Now launch Eclipse.  It may ask a few questions such as where it should keep its files (the Eclipse workspace).  You can put this anywhere you like.  Personally I prefer to use either “My Documents\Eclipse-workspace” or “C:\Temp\Eclipse-workspace”, depending on if the computer is single user or multi-user.  (You can click the button to make Eclipse remember your choice.)
  3. On the Welcome page go to Overview → Workbench Basics → Workbench User Guide → Getting Started.  (This will give you an overview on how to Use and configure Eclipse.)

    After this go back to the Welcome page and chose Tutorials → Create Hello World Application.  (This will provide a step-by-step instruction on how to create a Hello World application.)

    As of Eclipse Galileo (v3.5) the tutorials and samples are missing and the links on the welcome page don't work!  Until that gets fixed, try this alternative tutorial:

    If you lose the “Welcome” window, you can bring it back from the Help→Welcome menu.  There are many other tutorials and guides you can read.  Consider reading the CVS and ant tutorials.  You can find these in the Workbench User Guide.

    You can read the Eclipse Documentation online, especially the Workbench User Guide and the Java Development User Guide.

  4. Eclipse supports plug-ins, many of which are freely available.  This are in reality jar files placed into the Eclipse install directory.  There are hundreds available to extend Eclipse with additional functionality, such as XML editors, Junit test case editors, UML GUI drawing tools (that generate Java code for you), and Java EE tools.

    A collection of these projects useful for Java and Java EE development has been bundled together under the name Juno, which is what you have installed.  To install other Eclipse plug-ins:

    1. Under the Help menu, click on “Install New Software...”.  Now tell Eclipse where to look for the new plug-ins.  You should select “The Eclipse Project Updates - URL”, but to add some third party plug-in you need to add their site to the list, bu clicking on the “Add...” button.  Then you can select that site.  You can also pick “Juno” (the current Eclipse release name at the time of this writing) to install additional projects not included with your installer bundle.
    2. On the bottom of the window are a bunch of check boxes, for things such as “Only show the latest versions” and “hide items that are already installed”.  I would check all these items to limit the list of available software to only the plug-ins you are actually interested in seeing.
    3. Check the check-box next to the items you want (and don't already have installed), and then click on the Install... button.  For example, try adding the two UML2 projects (under “modeling” in the Galileo release site), and click “Next”.  This shows a summary of all the items that will be installed based on your choices.  Click “Next” show the license screen; be sure to select the “I agree ...” button, then click on the “Finish” button to start the install.

    Feel free to explore other available plug-ins.  Even more plug-ins can be found at  (Warning: You should learn the basic Eclipse platform first, because adding plug-ins complicates the user interface.)

  5. Once plug-ins are installed, you will want to keep them up to date.  Just select “Check for Updates” from the Help menu.
  6. You can explore the preferences and make a few changes, but don't make too many changes until you have learned Eclipse better (or the tutorials won't match what you see!).
  7. Explore the other features of Eclipse.  This is the whole point of this project, so spend some time trying stuff out.
  8. Start a new Java project, add a new class Hello.  You should see a new file “” in the Package Explorer window.  Right-click on it and chose open, and create another hello world (or other simple) application.  Your application should not be identical with the tutorial; make yours say something such as “Hello from the world of Eclipse!”.  Don't forget to add appropriate comments (and to delete pointless comments that Eclipse may insert automatically for you).

    Note the Eclipse won't automatically put your classes in packages.  That is fine for this project, but generally it is best to use packages.  You can name your package after the project name.

Part II — NetBeans

  1. Download and install NetBeans.  (Note: There is a Java JDK+NetBeans bundle you can download when you install the Java JDK.)  As with eclipse there are bundles of plug-ins you can use.  For our purposes you should download either the “Java” bundle or the “All” bundle.  Note this includes a Java EE server glassfish, version 2.  It also includes a pre-release of version 3; you need not install that.
  2. After the install is complete, you will want to update your software.  Use the “Help→Check for Update” to do this.
  3. You can read on-line tutorials and documentation from  Feel free to read those but at least read the “NetBeans IDE Java Quick Start Tutorial”; and the “Developing and Deploying General Java Applications” guides.  You may also find some of the video NetBeans tutorials useful, such as Java Editing in NetBeans IDE or Java Editor in NetBeans IDE.
  4. Explore the features of NetBeans.  You should spend some time doing this, since learning to use the IDE is the whole point of this project.  Feel free to explore and change the preferences, but don't change too much at first; you want the settings to match the tutorials!
  5. Create a simple “Hello World” type of Java application using NetBeans.  Your application should say something such as “Hello from the world of NetBeans!”.  Be sure to add appropriate comments (and delete any empty or pointless comments that NetBeans may automatically add).
  6. To create a new Java application using NetBeans, Use the file menu and click on “New Project...”.  Next select “Java Application” from the “Java” category, and click “Next”.

    Give your project a useful name (e.g., “hello”), and pick a name for the class that will be generated (e.g., “hello.Hello”).  Note the NetBeans automatically puts your classes in a package named after the project.  That is fine, but for this simple project, you could put your class in the default, nameless package.  Leave “Set as Main Project” selected, and click “Finish”.

Part III — Additional Questions

  1. What other IDEs are available for Java programming?  Name at least two besides Eclipse and NetBeans.
  2. Based on your experiences so far, which IDE do you prefer?
  3. Which developer feature(s) did you like better in Eclipse versus NetBeans?
  4. Which developer feature(s) did you like better in NetBeans versus Eclipse?

To be turned in:

A copy of your Java source code from the “Hello World” programs you created in parts I and II, and the answers to the questions asked in part III.  You can send as email to (preferred).  If email is a problem for some reason, you may turn in a hard-copy.  In this case the pages should be readable, dated, and stapled together.  Your name should appear on the first page.

Please see your syllabus for more information about projects, about submitting projects.