What to use if I don't want a Java IDE? (OSX)

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Soldato
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I kinda have the way I develop set up how I like it, and I wouldn't really like to change that using java. the editor I use right now (Textmate) supports java highlighting and code completion (which I don't really use that much anyway), so I'm guessing that I'll be needing a compiler. Is there a standalone compiler I can use (I'm not scared of the command line!), or are the IDEs really the only way to go?

I'm very very new to java (ie. when I've sorted out my software, I'll be doing tutorials right from the start!) so words of one syllable are appreciated!

I'd preferably like to spend as little cash as possible.

thanks!
 
Soldato
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Well the Java SDK is free and is what all of the IDE's require to run so if you have ever compiled Java code before then you have been using it. You can compile Java from the command line by issuing "javac source.java" which will create "source.class" that can then be executed by "java source" (where 'source' is the name of the file). How have you been writing and compiling code before? I am a little confused at what you're asking here.
 

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Soldato
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well, this is going to be my first client side language - I've only done compiling of things if I've got new versions from cvs/svn - never done any java compiling so I might have got the complete wrong idea of how everything works. I'm just not a fan of using an IDE because the java ones for mac are incredibly bloated and, like I said, I like my Textmate! I think you've answered my questions in your post, though! thanks :)
 
Soldato
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Unlike some langauges, the Java SDK is pretty much the main compiler around to compile code and it's free. I have used the NetBeans and Eclipse IDE's on my MacBook under OSX and they ran fine, they do use up a lot or resources though but offer lots of functionality. The main features I make use of are code completion, auto format & indentation, GUI Builder, inline warning and the debugger. The debugger is by far the most important feature of the IDE's because you can track down problems very easily and investigate how your program works at runtime. Inline warning also point out simple mistakes which is handy and saves having to recompile the code to detect and correct them. Auto complete can also be very useful, especially when you make a call to something that throws an exception, the auto-complete can insert the try-catch-finally blocks around them, saving you a lot of typing.
 
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Soldato
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I think you should use an IDE while you are learning. Then when you feel confident in the new language, go to your much loved textmate.

Java will have quite a few new concepts [OO stuff] that can be hard to get your brain around, so anything that can aid you while you're learning has to be a bonus.

I have used NetBeans myself and found it to be pretty good. Don't know if there is a Mac version of it though.
 
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