Tuesday May 08, 2007

Working on OpenJDK using NetBeans

I like the way Rich Green said it at this morning's JavaOne keynote: Today begins the next phase for Java. Sun continued the open-sourcing of Java, releasing the rest of the JDK. He also mentioned working on the JDK with NetBeans, and I want to say a little more about that.

The JDK download, available at openjdk.java.net, includes sources for libraries, tools, and, importantly for us here, several NetBeans projects, designed to help developers work on the JDK. Once you've unpacked the source code bundle, you'll find them in

<install-dir>/openjdk/j2se/make/netbeans
That directory incluces a README file which provides an overview of what else you'll need to get started, settings to help work with the projects, and do on. Let me mention here that you'll need to get the latest preview release of NetBeans, available here. For working on the JDK you only need the Basic version.

There are about a half dozen NetBeans projects in the source bundle, including ones for Swing, building the whole JDK, the javac compiler, and more. Aside from those which build the whole JDK, each project focuses on an area of interest of the JDK. There's a project-specific README in each project's directory.

We can well imagine that you might like to work on a different area of the JDK, so the README also has a mini-tutorial on how to make your own project, by starting from one of the provided ones.

And there's a great set of tutorials on the NetBeans site, Getting Started with OpenJDK in NetBeans IDE.

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daveb

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