We use Java 8 and Eclipse for Java Developers (Luna) Integrated Development Environment (aka: Eclipse IDE, or simply Eclipse) for writing, compiling and testing Java programs in CS302 (and subsequent CS courses). Both Eclipse and Java are available for FREE and have versions for all popular computing platforms (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux).
We strongly encourage students to install Eclipse and Java on your computers making it possible for you to practice programming at your convenience. This practice is invaluable for learning the Java language and improving your programming skills. (We also encourage students to get practice programming by signing up for CodeLab.)
If you choose to install Eclipse and Java, you are agreeing to be responsible for backing up your own work! Losing your work because your computer crashes or having trouble with your computer are not acceptable excuses for not getting an assignment done on time. You'll also need to be responsible for correctly installing and configuring this software. The vast majority of students do not have problems with this, but we make no guarantee that all students will be able to do so.
If you're not confident about downloading, installing and configuring software then you might try to get help from a friend or a classmate. You are also welcome to ask lab consultants for help during scheduled hours to install this software, but note they are not able to be a system administrator for other issues with your computer. If you are having problems with your computer, you can always complete your course work using a lab computer instead.
The CS department provides instructional lab computers with Eclipse 4.4 (Luna) and Java 8 installed for students to do their lab work, their programming assignments, and to practice Java programming. Doing the work on a lab computer has the benefit that your work is automatically backed up each night. Students who have earlier versions of Java should be fine for all programming assignments. We do hope to use JavaFX for the code we provide to students for Program 3. If that is the case, then Java 8 would be required for that assignment. Students can always work in the labs, if their home system is not configured for a particular task.
We strongly recommend that you install the Firefox web browser. It's a free program like Eclipse and Java, and it is needed to use the CS302 web form. You you can get it from www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox. Click on the download link for the operating system and language of your choice.
Note: Some students have also had to install the JRE on Windows machines. Google "JRE" and download and follow those instructions to install the Java 8 version on your home computer before launching Eclipse.
These instructions have not been confirmed for the new release. If you plan on using a Mac you should be using OS X 10.5.10 or greater. Last we checked, Mac OS X 10.9.4 (Lion) was the latest release.