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BlueJ - The Ultimate Java Development Environment for Free


BlueJ Free Download: A Beginner's Guide to Java Programming




If you are interested in learning Java programming, you might want to try BlueJ, a free and easy-to-use development environment designed for beginners. In this article, we will explain what BlueJ is, how to install and use it, how to learn Java with it, and what are some of the alternatives to it.




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What is BlueJ?




BlueJ is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java programming language, developed mainly for educational purposes, but also suitable for small-scale software development. It was created by the BlueJ team at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. More information about BlueJ is available at [21](


Features of BlueJ




Some of the features of BlueJ are:



  • Simple and user-friendly interface that shows the class structure of an application in a graphical way.



  • Interactive and dynamic creation and testing of objects.



  • Direct invocation of Java expressions without compilation.



  • Syntax highlighting and scope coloring in the code editor.



  • Built-in debugger and testing tools.



  • Support for multiple platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.).



  • Extensible through plug-ins.



  • Free and open source software.



Benefits of BlueJ




Some of the benefits of using BlueJ are:



  • It helps beginners to get started with Java programming quickly and easily.



  • It supports the learning and teaching of object-oriented programming concepts.



  • It allows experimentation and exploration with objects and code.



  • It has a large and active community of users and developers.



  • It has a supplementary textbook and a portal of teaching resources.



How to Install BlueJ?




Prerequisites




To use BlueJ, you need to have Java Development Kit (JDK) installed on your system. Depending on the version of BlueJ, you may need different versions of JDK:



  • For BlueJ 4.2.0 and later, you need OpenJDK 11 and OpenJFX 11, which are only available for 64-bit operating systems. You can download them from [20]( and [19]( respectively.



For BlueJ 4.0.0 to 4.1.4, you need JDK 8 or later. You can download it from [18](


For BlueJ 3.x.x or earlier, you need JDK 6 or later. You can download it from [17](


Note that JDK is different from JRE (Java Runtime Environment ), which is only for running Java applications. You need JDK to compile and develop Java programs.


Installation Procedure




The installation procedure of BlueJ varies depending on the operating system and the version of BlueJ. Here are the general steps:



  • Download the appropriate installer file from [16]( according to your system specifications.



  • Run the installer file and follow the instructions on the screen. You may need to accept the license agreement and choose the installation directory.



  • If you have downloaded the bundled version of BlueJ, which includes JDK and OpenJFX, you do not need to do anything else. If you have downloaded the standalone version of BlueJ, you need to make sure that BlueJ can find JDK and OpenJFX on your system. You can do this by setting the environment variables JAVA_HOME and PATH, or by using the BlueJ configuration tool.



  • Launch BlueJ from the start menu or the desktop shortcut. You should see the main window of BlueJ with a menu bar and a toolbar.



How to Use BlueJ?




BlueJ is designed to be simple and intuitive for beginners. Here are some of the basic operations you can do with BlueJ:


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Creating a Project




A project in BlueJ is a collection of Java classes that work together to form an application. To create a new project, you can do the following:



  • Click on the Project menu and select New Project.



  • Choose a name and a location for your project and click OK.



  • You should see a blank project window with a title bar showing the name of your project.



Writing and Compiling Code




To write code in BlueJ, you need to create classes and methods. To create a new class, you can do the following:



  • Right-click on an empty space in the project window and select New Class.



  • Type a name for your class and choose a class type (such as Application, Applet, JUnit Test Case, etc.). You can also choose an existing class as a superclass or an interface to inherit from.



  • Click OK. You should see a class icon with the name of your class in the project window.



To edit the code of your class, you can do the following:



  • Double-click on the class icon or right-click on it and select Open Editor.



  • You should see a code editor window with the template code for your class. You can modify the code as you wish, using the syntax highlighting and scope coloring features to help you.



  • To compile your code, you can click on the Compile button on the toolbar or press Ctrl+K. If there are any errors or warnings in your code, they will be shown in a message box at the bottom of the editor window. You can fix them and compile again until your code is error-free.



Debugging and Testing Code




To debug and test your code in BlueJ, you can use the built-in debugger and testing tools. To use the debugger, you can do the following:



  • Select a class that contains a main method (the entry point of your application) or a test method (a method annotated with @Test).



  • Right-click on it and select Debug from the context menu. You should see a debugger window with a control panel and a variable inspector.



  • You can use the control panel to run, pause, resume, step into, step over, or stop your program execution. You can also set breakpoints, watch expressions, or inspect variables using the variable inspector.



To use the testing tools, you can do the following:



  • Create a test class that extends TestCase or uses JUnit annotations (@Test, @Before, @After, etc.). Write test methods that assert expected outcomes using methods such as assertEquals, assertTrue, assertFalse, etc.



  • Select your test class and right-click on it. Select Run Tests from the context menu. You should see a test runner window with a progress bar and a result table.



  • You can see how many tests passed or failed, and click on any failed test to see more details about the error or exception that occurred.



Using the Object Bench and the Code Pad




One of the unique features of BlueJ is that it allows you to interactively create and manipulate objects without writing any code. To use this feature, you can use the object bench and the code pad. To use the object bench, you can do the following:



  • Select a class that has a constructor or a static method that returns an object of that class.



  • Right-click on it and select New Object or Call Static Method from the context menu. You should see a dialog box that shows the parameters of the constructor or the method.



  • Enter the values for the parameters or choose them from the object bench if they are objects. Click OK. You should see an object icon with the name of your object on the object bench.



  • Right-click on the object icon and select any of the methods that are available for that object. You should see another dialog box that shows the parameters and the return value of the method. You can also enter or choose values for the parameters and click OK to invoke the method.



  • You can also drag and drop objects from the object bench to the code editor or vice versa to insert code snippets or create objects.



To use the code pad,


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