Java News from Thursday, December 14, 2006

IBM's developerWorks has published my latest article: Managing the Java classpath. This one comes in two versions, Windows and Unix. It is based on my years of experience teaching introductory Java courses to university students. Over that time, I have noticed that nothing is as pointlessly confusing as the classpath and sourcepath. Nothing else causes otherwise bright students to hit a wall so reliably. To make matters worse, no textbook I've read actually covers all the important nuances of the classpath. They always leave out a critical part or two (most often, the sourcepath). So I decided to finally write down in exquisite detail exactly what someone starting out needs to understand about the classpath and sourcepath, and IBM graciously agreed to publish it. This article is probably a tad basic for most people who read this web site, and who long ago learned all these details by painful experience; but I hope you'll find it useful when you need to teach someone else, and I hope it makes learning this material easier for up and coming Java programmers in the future.

Nathan Fiedler has released version 3.14 of JSwat, a graphical, stand-alone Java debugger built on top of the Java Platform Debugger Architecture. Features include breakpoints, source code viewing, single-stepping, watching variables, viewing stack frames, and printing variables. Version 3.14 is a bug fix release. JSwat is now published under the Sun Public License. (It was previously published under the GPL.)