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17 October 2013

Raspberry Pi Java with BlueJ

So the Raspberry Pi has a new performance-enhanced port of Oracle Java programming language.

But some of the traditional Java IDEs like Eclipse and Netbeans are large, memory-hogging applications. Is there a more Pi-friendly alternative?

The BlueJ Java programming environment aims to teach the fundamentals of object orientation (OO) design. While similar in concept to the closely related Greenfoot project BlueJ is targeted at students or anyone wishing to explore modern programming concepts through experimentation.

A graphical programming interface helps to visualise the high-level OO design, as opposed to just diving into the code. Behind the scenes there a full source code editor with built-in compiler, syntax-highlighting, scope-visualisation and auto-completion, plus an interactive testing mode.

It's an ideal solution when working with an unfamiliar set of Java classes, such as Mojang's Minecraft API for the Pi.

A recent Michael Kolling's Oracle Java Magazine article demonstrates how to install and run the Pi-friendly BlueJ 3.14 on your Raspberry Pi.

Alternatively, if your Pi is running the Raspbian image the BlueJ website has a Debian-specific .deb file download. After downloading move to the download directory, then execute this command in a terminal window:

$ dpkg -i bluej-314.deb

Below is a screenshot of BlueJ in action:

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